Can you drive Victoria to Tofino?

Apr 3rd, 2004, 02:09 PM
  #1  
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Can you drive Victoria to Tofino?

Somehow I'd always been under the impression that if one wanted to stay at the Wickanish (sp) Inn that you had to go by boat or air. Then I saw something that indicated you could drive. Is this possible? How many hours? Could one go out to Tofino from Victoria for lunch for instance?
hopingtotravel is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2004, 02:14 PM
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From my map, Tofino is about 327km from Victoria by car, including 173km on Rte 4 from Parksville to Tofino. So, if you leave early enough, you can definitely go there for lunch.
rkkwan is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2004, 02:53 PM
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While you could drive from Victoria to Tofino for lunch, it would make for a very long drive to come back the same day. The drive is lovely and there are lots of interesting places to stop along the way. Spend a night somewhere and make it enjoyable. Are you just going to Tofino for lunch at the Wickanish?
Cruiseryyc is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2004, 02:58 PM
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Obviously I don't have a map. However, I could book longer airfare and plan to spend a night or two out there. Thank you.
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Apr 4th, 2004, 08:26 AM
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It would be a shame just to spend one day driving back and forth between Victoria and Tofino, although I have done it. If you're going that far, I'd stay overnight and really enjoy the trip. From Tofino you can get to Hot Springs Cove which is a delightful and not too strenuous hike; then, if you want to spend the money to stay in luxury at the Wickaninnish, you'll enjoy it all the more. Our usual drive out to the Pacific Rim includes a stop at the General Store in Coombs, and lots of stops along the way to admire the scenery.
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Apr 4th, 2004, 09:04 AM
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You can definitely drive from Victoria to Tofino, but it would be difficult to make it for lunch unless you started very early in the morning.

It is a 5 hour drive.

The first two hours are along the eastern coast of Vancouver Island (all the way to Nanaimo), this is a fairly easy drive and there are some great scenic viewpoints at Malahat. Once you get to Nanaimo/Parksville, you turn west and drive a narrow winding mountainous road across the island to Tofino, you can't do this quickly, so you'll be travelling at a reduced speed and this will take you longer than the distance seems to indicate (3 hours).

I would not recommend doing this as a day trip - it'll be very tiring and you'll be spending most of your day sitting in a car. An overnight trip would be more enjoyable.
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Apr 5th, 2004, 11:03 AM
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If I were to want to do a storm watching stay at Wickannish (sp) in the winter, would the second part of that road be too nasty in a rental car? I find they don't usually have studded tires.
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Apr 6th, 2004, 05:27 AM
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I'm not sure about British Columbia, but studded tires are illegal in Ontario.
The westbound part of the trip to Tofino isn't any more hazardous than the northbound part, really - in fact the drive across the Malahat, near Victoria, is probably the most difficult in winter.
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Apr 6th, 2004, 06:42 AM
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ltt
 
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we left victoria 8:00 a.m., stopped for 45 minutes for food and then walked through the red woods (i think their red woods?? beautiful forest area) and arrived at 2:30. however, i was driving at or below the speed limit because once you start heading west, it is a beautiful drive and i wanted to enjoy it.
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Apr 7th, 2004, 03:36 AM
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meesthare; a question

You mention *From Tofino you can get to Hot Springs Cove which is a delightful and not too strenuous hike*

Can you explain how to access a hiking trail to these hot springs from Tofino?
Thx
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Apr 7th, 2004, 05:12 AM
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Yes - there are water taxis that will take you to the dock at the head of the trail. There are also some expeditions run by the whale-watching companies, etc. that will take you there. If you do a Google search under "Hot Springs Cove" some information should come up. I'll try it, and see what I can find for you. The trail is about a mile long and goes through rainforest. It's very well-maintained. There are lots of stairs to climb (makes the hills a bit easier). We actually did the hike at night, and enjoyed it, although I think it might be nicer by daylight.
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Apr 7th, 2004, 05:15 AM
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Bert2 - I just did a Google search under "hot springs cove bc" and there's a huge amount of information - too much to report here. Enjoy!
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Apr 7th, 2004, 07:01 AM
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Thanks for the clarification .. I was aware that Hot Springs Cove was in Macquinna Provincial Marine Park, approx. 37 km from Tofino & accessible only by boat or air, but interpreted your description differently. I thought perhaps there was another hot springs which was accessible by a walking trail from Tofino.
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Apr 7th, 2004, 03:40 PM
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Like Meesthare I would probably be more concerned about the first part of the drive in winter. The Malahat can snow in very fast (you can bypass it by taking the ferry from Brentwood Bay if it's running). If there is any chance of frost or ice, I would rather avoid driving over the Malahat early in the morning before it has had a chance to melt. Be extra careful in the sections with no dividers. There have been some terrible accidents lately.
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