As summer 2019 comes to a close, we’re looking back at some of the incredible adventures we’ve experienced this year, and our camping trip to the island seems like a pretty good place to start. Vancouver Island is only a 2 hour ferry ride from Vancouver, but visiting here always feels like you’ve traveled much further than geography might suggest. The island is full of outdoor adventures, with many beautiful coastal destinations and plenty of wilderness to visit.
Camping is the perfect way to get away from it all for a few days. We left the safety of cellular service behind, transported ourselves into the wilderness, set up our tents and spent a long weekend cut off from the rest of the world. Vancouver Island is the perfect place to escape to from Vancouver. This is why we chose the island – and specifically Port Renfrew – for our annual camping trip with a group of old friends from high school. The remoteness of Port Renfrew was what appealed to us most.
Our adventure began bright and early on a Thursday morning, catching the first ferry from the mainland to the island. While we were quite tired after pulling ourselves out of the comforts of bed at 5am, taking the first ferry allowed us to see the sun rising above the horizon as the ferry left the terminal. It was absolutely stunning. Once we arrived in Victoria, we gathered more people and supplies and made our way west along highway 14 which travels from Sooke to Port Renfrew.
This coastal highway is an attraction on its own, and we stopped a few times along the way to take some pictures and stretch our legs. While traveling along the highway, we eventually passed the boundary of cellular service, leaving civilization behind us and turning our expensive personal computers in our pockets into nothing more than cameras. It was nice to disconnect.
We found the perfect campground along the edge of a creek, and set up our camp site around a fire pit. This year was the first camping trip in many years that we were allowed to have a fire, as southern British Columbia usually has a fire ban due to the dry weather this time of year. 2019 was an exception, and we all quickly realized that camping is much more enjoyable with a fire to sit around, especially during the evening hours. We spent 4 days and 3 nights on the island, and enjoyed every minute.
Sadly, all good things must come to an end, and we eventually had to make the return trip to the real world, driving back mid-afternoon through Victoria on our way to the ferry. Of course, Sunday afternoons in the summer are known for long ferry line ups and we had to wait for 2 and a half hours to get onto a boat, but this turned into a bit of a pleasant surprise, as we were able to watch the sun set over the island, a mirror image of our journey to the island. It was the perfect end to a perfect weekend.
Fortunately, this weekend of camping has become an annual trip for our group of friends, and we’re already counting down the days until next summer’s adventure. We hope you enjoy some of the incredible pictures we captured during this adventure, showing off the beauty of Canada’s westernmost province. If you haven’t been to Vancouver Island before, you are definitely missing out.