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2 half days, one full day around Victoria

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Perth, Australia
Level Contributor
338 posts
53 reviews
2 half days, one full day around Victoria

After an Inside Passage cruise, 2 weeks driving in Alaska, 10 days driving in the Rockies we will then fly from Calgary to VI for a short time before returning home. We arrive around 1pm on Sept 10, have a hire car booked at the airport and 2 nights accommodation at the Surf Motel.

My first thought was to pick up the car then head to Butchart Gardens for the afternoon then take the scenic drive down to Victoria. However rethinking this, we will have had a very early morning drive from Canmore to the drop the hire car and get our flight so I thought it might be more enjoyable to pick up the car and head to somewhere along the coast for a relaxing lunch then drive the scenic route. We will then have time to wander around the Inner Harbour and enjoy some of the sites.

With our full day I would love some suggestions for a round trip taking in Butchart, possibly the Brentwood Bay ferry, I did read about some wineries. . . . . . . . .open to ideas. We enjoy walking so would be happy to include that somewhere, not really into shopping just want a pleasant relaxing day. We then have another half day to do some more exploring around Victoria itself before handing in the car and returning to Vancouver by ferry for our final night.

I look forward to your ideas and thank you in advance.

Victoria, BC Canada
Destination Expert
for Victoria
Level Contributor
1,115 posts
13 reviews
11. Re: 2 half days, one full day around Victoria

Lots of options for you! I'm a wing-it kind of vacationer myself but I like knowing the options. As for weather, early September is usually nice and sunny. Our summers have been starting and ending later and later every year so I wouldn't worry about rain. Besides, that's part of being in the scenic west coast rain forest. It wouldn't be scenic without some liquid sunshine!

If you decide on the Brentwood Bay/ Mill Bay ferry, you need Canadian cash or travellers cheques as it's one of our smallest ferries so there is no terminal. The guys loading the ferry take your cash as they load you. The ferry also only runs from 7:30 am to 6:30 pm. One boat goes back and forth.


At the link is a link to the current fares so you'll know how much $ you'll need. I don't think the current rates will be valid since you are travelling in September, but will give you an idea of the cost. Thankfully you don't need exact change, just get close.

One last thing to note, the time it takes to take the ferry is equal to the time it takes to drive around. You could ferry over in the morning/afternoon and explore Cobble Hill/Cowichan area and drive back. That way you aren't rushing your day to make that last 6:30 pm ferry.

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for Vancouver
Level Contributor
49,012 posts
57 reviews
12. Re: 2 half days, one full day around Victoria

I believe Thrifty Foods sell ferry tickets at the Thrifty location nearest Brentwood Bay and Mill Bay. I've bought them there before. I think there is a cost saving there, can't remember. You just go in to the customer service desk and buy your tix from them. Consider getting your return tix at the same time.

Here is a map and address of the Thrifty nearest Butchart and the ferry dock (dotted blue line in the water.)


Victoria, Canada
4 posts
2 reviews
13. Re: 2 half days, one full day around Victoria

As far as the ferry tickets are concerned you are partially correct. They are a very good deal, 30% off. We took the ferry last weekend and for the car and two people it was $31 one way.(without the tix) The link to the map is not correct, although it says Thrifty's that is their corporate offices and customer care centre. The tickets are available at the following stores, Mill Bay, Central Saanich, Sidney and Broadmead. You purchase them through the customer service desk. (this is a local grocery store)

Edited: 6:26 pm, April 10, 2013
Perth, Australia
Level Contributor
338 posts
53 reviews
14. Re: 2 half days, one full day around Victoria

Thank you all so much, you have given us some great options and advice. We talked over all the scenarios and I think it will be a "wait and see" approach, just depends how tired we are when we get there.

I received a reply regarding my request for a map, I was told we could get one at the tourism office or buy one at a gas station - how helpful!!! But she is going to send me some pamphlets. At least I have all your google maps and I can then transfer them when I find a paper map to plot our course.

Thank you again for all your help, it makes life so much easier to plan a wonderful vacation when there are such generous people on this forum.

15. Re: 2 half days, one full day around Victoria

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