Photo Ops on Vancouver Island & the Gulf Islands
This photo ops Blog will grow as time permits. I will accept great photos from anyone and give credit where it has been identified. This is intended to be a resource for visitors and tourists who come to our Island and would like to explore and find many of these gems for themselves. So if you are inclined, send in your photo ops! For me it is all about sharing what we have with our island guests. Come back often to watch it grow.
The Upana Caves are located 17 km northwest of Gold River on the Head Bay Forest Road (to Tahsis). Driving time is 25 minutes. Vancouver Island has the largest concentration of caves in North America
Fairy Lake Hemlock
This tiny hemlock tree which is over 30 years old is growing from a deadhead log in Fairy Lake which is not far outside of Port Renfrew. Port Renfrew is roughly 2 hours west of Victoria. As it does not get the resources it needs to grow it remains small. It is likely one of the most photographed trees on Vancouver Island.
Located just a few kilometers from Port Renfrew, this beach is one of my second favourite place on Vancouver Island. It is quite mystical. You can look over Juan de Fuca Strait and see the last bit of land before the open ocean, or watch whales swim by in search of food, or explore the amazing tide pools (low spring tides expose a shelf of the ocean to explore), or the beautiful rock formations along the shoreline….pic ops everywhere you turn! I love watching the waves crash on the shoreline (but be careful you don’t get to close.
The San Juan Spruce – Port Renfrew Area
The Harris Creek Fir – on highway from Poet Renfrew to Duncan (below)
Not far from Sooke is a wonderful beach called Sandcut. It generally is very quiet and does not have very many visitors. One of the unique features is a waterfall that spills out onto the beach. It is a short but arduous 10 minute walk from the road to the beach.
Chemainus, the “Little Town That Did” converted a mill town into a tourist destination by covering the sides of buildings with cool murals. This is probably the most famous mural in the town as it is quite dramatic.
Beacon Hill Park is the crown jewel of the City of Victoria. This waterfront park just north of Dallas Road has a lot of great photo opportunities. Some of them are the Mile Zero sign, The Terry Fox memorial, Goodacre Lake, and the giant, ancient sequoia tree across the street from the Beacon Hill Children’s Farm.
Mount Baker provides Victoria with a magnificent eastern backdrop which is best viewed from Cattle Point in the Uplands district of Oak Bay Municipality in Greater Victoria.
The Royal British Columbia Museum has many picture opportunities and you can take all the pictures you want indoors as long as you do not use a flash. The “Wolly Mamoth” is a good place to start. Outside visit Totem Park for some good totem pole pics!
Victoria’s Scenic Drive-for some of the best pic opportunities available in Victoria follow Victoria’s Scenic Marine Drive down Dallas road and on into Oak Bay.
The Chinese Cemetery along the scenic drive (just off the drive…take Crescent Road where it turns towards the ocean)
Greater Victoria – Oak Bay – this house at the corner of Dalhousie and Beach Drive has probably the most beautiful flower gardens in all of greater Victoria. While there visit Willows Beach, arguably the most popular beach in Greater Victoria.
Butchart Gardens is a “no brainer” for photo ops, they are everywhere, starting with the spectacular Sunken Garden.
Langford in Greater Victoria
Bear Mountain Golf Course in Langford: In addition to two 18 hole golf courses, Bear Mountain has incredible views of the south end of Vancouver Island as seen below.
Mile Zero – Trans Canada Highway – at the south end of Douglas Street at the waterfront on Dallas Road. This is probably the most photographed spot on Vancouver Island. Nearby is Canadian Hero Terry Fox’s statue.
Market Square Lower Johnson Street – great spot to photo op some of the architecture of old towne Victoria!
Abkhazi Garden Victoria BC
Vancouver Island has the potential to give you very exciting animal encounters whether on land or at sea. Many types of whales, seals and sea lions, wolves, black bear and the occasional grizzly, roosevelt elk, and more deer than we want-most walking the streets of Victoria. The ugly one is a wolf eel, part of the underwater animal population. To fully enjoy our island you need to get out on the water. Starting top left…cougar dragging dinner, a wolf eel, orca lunging, elephant seal molting, sea lions at race rocks, Rossevelt Elk, Deer, black bear, and a wolf!
Campbell River – Approximately 3 hours north of Victoria and about 1.5 hours north of Nanaimo, this beautiful town has much to offer visitors and tourists. If you take the short Ferry ride over to Quadra Island or go boating off shore you will see the amazing backdrop of snow covered coastal mountains.
Saturna Island in the Southern Gulf Islands near Victoria
Saltspring Island -one of the Southern Gulf Islands near Victoria
Galiano Island Shoreline Cave -Look for a gate at the top of the hill just above the end of the road to Retreat Cove
The Coombs Old Country Market, known as “goats on the roof” is the best little tourist trap in the world. It has put the small town of Coombs on the map! I will bet you cannot visit there without spending some money, even it is only having an ice cream cone in the 40 foot ice cream bar. It is amazing and a great pic