So, you’ve decided to fly around the globe and experience the great northern wilderness of Canada. But Canada is the second biggest country in the world. It can be tricky deciding on places to see, with so many options. If you have no idea how to narrow down your list and plan your itinerary, read on, as we make the ultimate Canadian bucket list.
Explore Maligne Lake
Deep in the Rockies, in the pristine wilderness of Alberta, you can find Maligne Lake, nestled in Jasper National Park. The crystal clear turquoise water, surrounded by the rugged mountain peaks and evergreen forests creates a picture of surreal beauty that will leave an indelible impression on your mind. If you find yourself in the area, an hour drive from Maligne don’t forget to visit the Jasper Lake Sand Dunes, the only sand dune system in the Rocky Mountains. A little over 100 km from the lake, you can find a real glacier too! The Athabasca Glacier is part of the Columbia Icefield. If you’re not one to get dizzy easily, drink in the view from the glass-floored Glacier Skywalk. The whole area is worth exploring. If you have the time, dedicate a portion of your trip to the Rockies and the Jasper National Park. You can plan a detailed itinerary and self drive Canada tour, so that you can maximize your time exploring the Western area.
Defy gravity on the Capilano Suspension Bridge
This is one Canadian landmark that is definitely not for the faint of heart. Crossing the Capilano River in North Vancouver, British Columbia, this is just a suspension bridge. But what makes it an extraordinary adventure for daredevils is the fact that it is 140 metres long, and suspended 70 metres high up in the air, above the river. The park features other attractions as well. Another popular feature is Treetops Adventures, a foot walk amongst the Douglas firs, 30 metres above the ground. There’s Cliff Walk too – another walkway edging around a cliff face in empty air. Nature lovers will be bowled over by the park’s award-winning gardens and rainforest eco-tours. If you are fascinated by the history of the area, here you can find one of the largest collections of First Nations totem poles in the world.
See polar bears in Manitoba
Sadly, these magnificent creatures are an endangered species nowadays, due mostly to climate change. However, you can still use your visit to the far north to see them in their natural habitat. Churchill in Manitoba is one of the only towns in the world where you can witness these cute predators in the wild. The best time to visit is usually October or November. To see polar bears, you can travel through the untouched beauty of the tundra or stay at a wilderness lodge.
Stand beneath the tallest trees in the world
If you’re heading to British Columbia, you can’t leave before you’ve visited Cathedral Grove on Vancouver Island. Some of the trees in this ancient forest are over 800 years old. You will never feel more awed by nature, than standing beneath these Douglas firs and cedars. With a circumference of 9 metres, and a height of 75 meters, they are a truly breathtaking sight. You can also use this chance to learn about the local aboriginal culture, and the spiritual role the trees played throughout the history of native tribes.
Ski in Whistler
This charming town in British Columbia is hands down the most famous ski resort in Canada, perhaps even North America. The 2010 Host Mountain Resort of the Vancouver Winter Olympic Games, the village itself is so pretty that it has won numerous design awards. Whether you are into skiing, luge, snowboarding, or bobsledding, you can find it all on the impressive slopes of the Whistler and Blackcomb mountains. With Whistler, there’s no doubt whether there will be snow. The average annual snowfall is a whopping 11.35 metres!
Before heading to Canada, always remember that the weather can be brutal. Even if you are not venturing too far north, you’ll probably be surprised at just how cold it gets. During the winter, temperatures usually plummet far below zero, while even in the summer they don’t go much above 20 degrees.
Thanks to our frequent guest writer, Roxana Oliver, for an Australian’s Guide to Canada. Read more by Roxana.
Do Australians need a Visa to visit Canada?
Since 2016, a visa is needed. Find out more information here.