Eagle catches fish: On the road to Tofino

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Wickaninnish Hotel in Tofino
Ocean Village Resort

Orca Airways Ltd

#311-5360 Airport Road South, Richmond, BC

Vancouver International Airport, South Terminal

Reservations 1-888-FLY-ORCA (359-6722), Admin 604-270-6722

reservations@flyorcaair.com


Tofino Bus

Offering daily bus service to Tofino from Vancouver Island locations. We pick up passengers arriving via ferry from Vancouver at the Departure Bay ferry terminal in Nanaimo. With connections through Greyhound bus terminals, there's always a way to Tofino on the bus!

346 D Campbell Street (alley side)  •  Tofino, BC  » View map

Toll free 1-866-986-3466, Local (250)725-2871

info@tofinobus.com


Tofino - Long Beach Airport (YAZ)

A thorough website describing services, history, carriers and contacts at the Tofino - Long Beach Airport (YAZ) which is located down Airport Road, directly across from the world-famous Long Beach.


Driving Directions from Victoria to Tofino

If you've ever heard someone say "The drive is the hardest part," about getting to Tofino, well please forgive us for disagreeing completely! We think the drive to Tofino is one of the most scenic and inspiring trips in Canada. Anyone who tells you different is just travelling too fast and not taking the time to see the many awe-inspiring views and stop for the wonders along the way.

From Victoria, drive north on Highway 1. Officially called the Trans Canada Highway, this is known locally as the Island Highway. After about 1.5 hours and some 100 km, you will be approaching Nanaimo (pronounced Nan-eye-mo). Be on the alert for signs indicating Parksville and Campbell River. You want to follow these signs, at least at this point. They will direct you into an exit lane on the right, across an overpass and onto a road bypassing Nanaimo completely.

You are now on Highway 19. If you miss this turnoff, you will continue straight ahead and into downtown Nanaimo (a fine town, but you don’t need to go there en route to Tofino). If you need to stop for supplies, Highway 19 will take you to Woodgrove Centre shopping mall, 18 km north of the turnoff, at Exit #28, Aulds Road.

Driving Directions from Nanaimo to Tofino

From the intersection at Aulds Road and Highway 19, drive 31 km and watch for signs to Port Alberni. Take Exit #60 off Highway 19 and follow the signs to Port Alberni, 38 km ahead. You are now on Highway 4. Consider stopping after 19 km at Cathedral Grove in MacMillan Provincial Park. Here you can follow short hiking trails past giant Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) and western red cedar (Thuja plicata) trees. Toilet facilities are available.

Along the highway through Port Alberni you will find many large stores, fast food chains and plenty of gas stations. Turn right at the T-intersection in Port Alberni and follow signs to Ucluelet & Tofino. Check your fuel level, because there is only one more gas station (1 km ahead on your right) between here and Tofino, 122 km away.

Now get comfortable and be patient. The drive from Port Alberni to Tofino is not far (122 km), but it is curvy, often steep, and in places dangerous. If you are driving between the months of November and March be prepared for snow in higher elevations. This section of the highway is a good area to remember that British Columbia’s driving etiquette dictates that slower vehicles should pull over to the side of the road to let faster vehicles move ahead. There are a number of lovely pullover areas along the Kennedy River and Kennedy Lake throughout this section of the trip that allow you to get out and explore the water’s edge.

After about an hour’s drive, you will reach the Pacific Rim Visitor Centre at The Junction, stop for information, or simply turn right and drive the remaining 30 km to Tofino. If you decide to stop at one of the Long Beach parking areas to stretch your legs on the beach, make sure to purchase your Park Pass, even if you only intend to stop for a few minutes. These parking areas are well monitored and you will likely be fined if you do not purchase your Park Pass.


Bus to Tofino ("Tofino Bus")

  • 346 Campbell Street 1-866-986-3466 or 1-250-725-2871 || website
  • Bus service to and from Vancouver, Victoria, Nanaimo and Comox / Courtenay
  • Connects with Greyhound Bus service
  • Departs twice daily
  • Tofino Bus can transport your gear including surfboards and bikes
  • Reservations recommended

BC Ferries information

Toll free 1-888-223-3779 || website

Vehicle and passenger ferry service from the mainland to Vancouver Island

Ferry Departures from:

  • Vancouver North (Horseshoe Bay Terminal)
  • Vancouver South, near Richmond (Tsawwassen Terminal)
  • Nanaimo Downtown (Departure Bay Terminal)
  • Nanaimo South (Duke Point Terminal)
  • Victoria North, technically Sidney, BC (Schwartz Bay Terminal)

There are three efficient ways to get to Vancouver Island from Vancouver with BC Ferries. The best way depends on where, in Vancouver, you are closest to, and whether or not you wish to visit Victoria, BC on your way to Tofino.

  • Travelling direct to Tofino from the Vancouver Airport, Seattle or other places south
    Take the Tsawwassen ferry (south of Vancouver) to Duke Point (south of Nanaimo)
  • Travelling direct to Tofino from downtown Vancouver
    Take the Horseshoe Bay ferry (north or west Vancouver) to Departure Bay (downtown Nanaimo)
  • Visiting Victoria, BC on your way to Tofino
    Take the Tsawwassen ferry (south of Vancouver) to Schwartz Bay (north of Victoria)

Other Ferry Services to Vancouver Island

These are not the official BC Ferries, but the service is great. These routes are scenic and only efficient if you are travelling from points other than Seattle or Vancouver.

Victoria Clipper: Downtown Seattle <==> Victoria

If you do not have a car and would like to explore downtown Seattle and/or downtown Victoria this might be an option for your trip to Tofino.

  • 1-250-382-8100 || website
  • Passenger service only (no vehicles) between downtown Victoria and Seattle
  • 2.5 hour crossing
  • Generally two departures in each direction daily
  • There may be winter closures for maintenance, so double check the schedule

M.V. Coho/Blackball Express: Downtown Victoria <==> Port Angeles, WA

This is a great ferry run if you plan on being in the Port Angeles area or if you'd like to explore Puget Sound and skip downtown Seattle and the busy Interstate #5. It's about half an hour slower than driving I5 through Seattle, but it's much more scenic.

  • 1-250-386-2202 || website
  • Passenger and vehicle service between downtown Victoria and Port Angeles, WA
  • 1 hour 35 minutes crossing
  • Generally 2 runs daily
  • There are winter closures for maintenance, so double check the schedule

Washington State Ferries: Sidney (near Victoria) <==> Anacortes, WA

A beautiful (but slow) trip through the San Juan Islands. If you would like to see this area of the world, it's a great trip.

  • 1-206-464-6400 || website
  • Passenger and vehicle service between Sidney, BC (just outside Victoria) and Anacortes, WA (just outside Bellingham)
  • Very scenic
  • Approx. 3 hour crossing time
  • Departures daily

Driving Times

Victoria to Tofino

About 5 hours including a few stops and a quick bite to eat.

It can be done in 4 hours, but this is a best case scenario. Traffic can be thick just north of Victoria.


Nanaimo to Tofino

About 3 hours including a brief pee stop in Port Alberni and quick scenic stop at the Kennedy River


Port Alberni to Tofino

About 2 hours including a brief stop. It can be done in 1.5 hours without stops.


Click any of the below maps to enlarge on our Maps Page

Getting Here

Driving map to Tofino

Downtown Tofino

Map of downtown Tofino

Tofino's Beaches

Map of Tofinos Beaches

Tofino, Ucluelet & Long Beach

Map showing Tofino, Ucluelet & Long Beach

Click any of the above maps to enlarge on our Maps Page

Vancouver Island is Huge!

Many folks arrive on Vancouver Island without a sense of the massive size of the island. It's common for folks to think that it will be possible to visit Victoria, Tofino and Port Hardy during their weekend getaway. Well it's not as small as you may think. A drive up the (gorgeous!) east coast of the island is a 6-hour trip without stops along the way

If you're planning on visiting Vancouver Island, we suggest you get familiar with the island's size and all of the amazing activities available here. Discover Vancouver Island has great information about the amazing adventures that await here: fishing, whale watching, hiking, bird watching and more. You can also book charters and tours right from their website.