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Vancouver to Tofino

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24 posts
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Vancouver to Tofino


We’re hoping to travel near the beginning of August from Vancouver Central Hi Hostel to Horseshoe Bay to Nanaimo to catch the 10.30 am Greyhound to Tofino. Is this feasible? We know the ferry takes about 1 ½ hour and costs about $15, but not how long it takes to get from Vancouver Central to the ferry terminus at Horseshoe Bay, or how long it takes from Nanaimo ferry terminus to where the Greyhound goes from. My partner says we should fly but I understand there’s luggage restrictions and I don’t want to have to leave our gear behind (had problems doing this before!).

I hear Tofino is as unmissable as Fraser Island in Aus and also that there are zodiac trips you can take to see bears – so I don’t mind a bit of hassle getting there!

All the best and I hope someone can help.


Calgary, Alberta...
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1. Re: Vancouver to Tofino

Hi minkypagger,

Tofino is a difficult place to stay in if you do not have a car. The bus coverage is such that it is difficult to get the most out of the area. Back in 2004, I wrote a trip report at Fodor's, based on the experience that my son and his girlfriend had at Tofino without a car:


They returned to Tofino in September 2006, this time WITH a car, and they reported that it made a H-U-G-E difference for the better.

Mind you, I think they still may have used public transportation to get from Vancouver to Nanaimo. As I recall, they picked up their rental car in Nanaimo, and drove to Tofino.

To figure out which bus to catch from Vancouver to Horseshoe Bay, you can use TransLink's Trip Planning feature:


As the starting point, type in the address of the Central HI Hostel. For the ending point, select TRANSPORTATION CENTRES from the menu. From the next menu, select HORSESHOE BAY FERRY TERMINAL. If TransLink's Trip Planning feature is not yet responding to August enquiries, use a February or March enquiry, but be careful to select a date that is the same day of the week as the day on which you want to travel. Obviously weed day schedules are different from Saturday and Sunday schedules.

Tofino Bus is an affiliate of Greyhound, and they do pick up passengers from the Departure Bay / Nanaimo ferry terminal.


Hope that helps.

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24 posts
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2. Re: Vancouver to Tofino

Thanks Judy, we've decided to take your advice and hire a car. Much appreciated! We're visiting family in Calgary and they will be very pleased to know a local has given us help with our planning! Thanks again,


Sheffield, United...
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3. Re: Vancouver to Tofino

I would never normally disagree with Judy, but my fiance and I stayed in Tofino in September 2005 without a car and are planning to do so again in June of this year.

In 2005 we did the Horseshoe Bay to Nanaimo then Tofino Bus out and the Tofino Bus, Harbor Lynx back to Vancouver. I know the Harbor Lynx service was discontinued but it may be starting up again and than you can travel from downtown Vancouver.

This time we have splashed out and are flying to Tofino from Vancouver.

In Tofino we got around either by foot or used the Beach Bus (Tofino to Uclulet) without any problems.

This summer it should be even easier as in addition to the Beach Bus there should be the Tofino Transit Bus running between Tofino and the beaches down to the Info Centre.

We never once wished we had a car.

4. Re: Vancouver to Tofino

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