Menu

Getting here

The West Coast of Vancouver Island can be easily accessed by land, sea, and air. Regardless of your route, you are sure to be captivated by the breathtakingly scenic landscape.

Once here, the south end of the peninsula provides access to the communities of Ucluelet, Yuułuʔiłʔatḥ First Nation and Toquaht Nation, as well as easy water access to Barkley Sound. The communities to the north, in Clayoquot Sound, can be accessed by boat or seaplane once you reach Tofino and include the Hesquiaht First Nation, Ahousaht First Nation, and Tla-o-qui-aht First Nations.

For detailed information about local transportation options including bus service, rental cars, taxis, and bike rentals, please visit Tourism Tofino and Tourism Uclulelet websites.

By land

Highway 4 is the main east-west connector route across Vancouver Island. This scenic highway winds over rugged mountains past magnificent old-growth forests and pristine lakes to the west coast of the Island.

From Highway 19 take Exit 60 (Qualicum Beach - Port Alberni & Pacific Rim Park) and continue on Highway 4 West. Follow the signs through Port Alberni to Ucluelet and Tofino until you reach the Pacific Rim Visitors Centre, which is the junction between the different communities on the west coast. From the junction, the Pacific Rim stretch of highway spans 26 kilometres along the coast from Ucluelet in the south through the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve to Tofino in the north.

*Unless you are trying to reach the Toquaht Nation, in which case you can turn off when you reach Kennedy Lake and take the Toquaht Bay gravel road for 13 kilometres until you reach the community of Macoah.

Please note that both the Port Alberni Summit and Sutton Pass require winter tires or chains from October 1 to March 31. Visit Drive BC for highway conditions and cameras.

Total driving time from Nanaimo is approximately 2.5 hours
Total driving time from Victoria is approximately 4.5 hours
Total driving time from Comox is approximately 3.5 hours

Prefer to let someone else do the driving?
There are daily scheduled trips with Tofino Bus or use a custom shuttle service with Pacific Rim Navigators.

Coming from further afield? Unless you have unfathomable swimming capabilities, the best ways to get across the body of water between Vancouver Island and the mainland coast of British Columbia are by boat or plane.

By sea

One of the most popular and cost effective ways of travelling to Vancouver Island is by ferry from either Vancouver or Washington State.

FERRY INFORMATION BETWEEN VANCOUVER AND VANCOUVER ISLAND
•  Horseshoe Bay / Departure Bay: The Horseshoe Bay terminal is north of Vancouver and this ferry route takes just under 2 hours, arriving at Nanaimo’s Departure Bay.
•  Tsawwassen / Duke Point: The Tsawwassen terminal is south of the city, closer to the USA border. This ferry route takes approximately 2.5 hours, arriving at the Duke Point terminal, about 15 minutes south of Nanaimo.
•  Tsawwassen / Swartz Bay: The Tsawwassen terminal is south of the city, closer to the USA border. This ferry route takes approximately 2 hours, arriving at the Swartz Bay terminal, about 30 minutes from Victoria.

For more information please visit BC Ferries.
Please note advance ferry reservations are highly recommended on all routes during weekends, holiday periods and summer months.

FERRY INFORMATION BETWEEN WASHINGTON STATE AND VANCOUVER ISLAND
Victoria Clipper: Year-round, daily passenger ferry service between Seattle and Victoria.
Coho Ferry / Black Ball Transport: Year-round, daily ferry service between Victoria and Port Angeles, WA on the COHO Ferry.
Washington State Ferries: Seasonal, daily ferry service between Sidney (33 kms outside of Victoria) and Anacortes Washington or the San Juan Islands.

By air

Another convenient option for getting to the West Coast is by air, and usually in half the time.

For information about scheduled and chartered flights, please contact the following airlines: Orca Airways, Tofino Air, KD Air, Atleo Air, Island Express Air, Canadian Air Charters.