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Canada is an amazing place with wildlife and is a naturalist wonderland.  Having visited East and West Coast of Canada my last visit in April was full of surprises and exciting moments.  

From natural beauty, tall standing mountains and glaciers to stunning lakes and forests, when it comes to charisma this country is unmatched.

Canada's allure is not limited to just outdoors and natural environment.  Canada has cosmopolitan cities which are multicultural, safe, clean and welcoming.  Being home to people belonging to every corner of the world, the diversity this country offers is exemplary.  Whether you wish to do river rafting, live theater or want to visit the desert safari, this country won't disappoint you.  If you are looking for a holiday experience that lets you enjoy nature and adventure altogether, then Canada is where you should head to.

Very few countries exist that offer jungle, deserts, tropical islands, and savannas all together. Canada offers everything, in abundance.  With rich wildlife and beautiful natural habitats, the natural bounty this country offers can be enjoyed all through the year.  For all the adventure seekers, Canada is their go to place.  Because of intense snow, Canada is home to some of the best ski resorts,  Skating, cross-country skiing, pond hockey, snowmobiling, etc are some of the activities that will pump up the adrenaline and feed your adventurous soul.  In summers, Canada offers its tourist best hiking, fishing, boating, biking, climbing, cold water diving, etc.  all hail to the versatility, you can eat foods of all kinds in Canada. The country possesses some of the biggest restaurants in metropolitan countries.  For cruise lovers, tourist cruise to the country to enjoy the beauty of this country in its full charm.

My adventure started with Air Canada.  Flying across the Pacific from Brisbane a direct flight to Vancouver.  The direct flight takes approx 13. 1/2 hours arriving early the morning your left.  Arriving early around 7 am means we have to meet our connection to Calgary.  Checked our bags all the way we make our way to our connection and arrive in Calgary around midday.  As we were flying in to Calgary the air was cooler and the view outside was white.  It was Spring.  The Snow season had finished 2 weeks earlier and everything had started to melt.  As we landed and looked back this wall of white was fast approaching.  We made our way through the airport to pick up our luggage and clear customs to find as we opened the door to fresh air the snow hit us. OMG!  This massive cold front had rolled in and shut the airport down.  We were the last flight in and every flight was cancelled.  This snow storm came down hard.  We finally covered up with our thermals and jackets.  I did take them just in case.  Glad I did.  We bordered our bus and headed for Lake Louise.  This transfer should take 4 hours arriving around 4pm at the hotel.  We didn't arrived till around 7pm.  The snow was falling so heavy as we drove along that famous view of the Alps everything turned white and was covered in SNOW.  Amazing views and stunning landscapes WOW us from the start.  

That evening we enjoyed a lovely dinner and walked around the hotel.  Fairmont Lake Louise sits on the Lake with Front Lake view rooms or Garden view rooms to the back.  It is well worth paying a little more to have the view of the Lake when you wake up.  Picture moment. Stunning!  The Lake was still frozen over with a few soft patches and signs up to say - be careful soft ice.  We enjoyed our wonderful breakfast in the restaurant over looking the glacier and lake.  Stunning moments watching the sun rise and shine on the ice.  We met up with our Guide for the day and he was an Australian.  Married a Canadian and lives between both countries.  Full of information and jokes we walked the lake and explored it's wonders.  The cold air that morning was freezing and the wind had picked up.  The temp over night had reached minus 41.   Too COLD.   I did catch a chill in the chest and became very ill.  Didn't know this until I was actually back home.  I kept on each day more exciting moment presented itself.  We waved good bye to Lake Louise to travel onto Banff.  After touring around the area in our bus our guide stopped us in Banff downtown.  Stretching our legs we found some nice restaurants for lunch.  Exploring the town there's a bus you can catch back to the hotel.  The afternoon was ours.  That evening we were split up in to groups of 4 and placed around at different Restaurants.   At the hotel they have the Vermillion Room, Castello Italian, 1888 Chop house.  The food in all the restaurants were served with the fine elegance that is known at Fairmonts.  

Our days were filled with activities.  Today we took a helicopter ride over the Alps.  Stunning Amazing.  The Alps covered in white snow the landscape was breathtaking.  I have found every time I visit Canada the landscapes just take my breath away.  

After a morning tea break at Horton's we continued on our journey.  This afternoon we had a choice of Harley ride in the snow or a walk around the National Park.  Well you can guess what we did.  Harleys here we come!!!.  Doubled up we hit the road.  What an afternoon.  Great way to see the Alps and surrounding area.  Arriving back at our hotel our evening was ours.  Some ventured into town to hit the night life and some of stayed in doors with a brandy / drink around the fire.  

Our next day before heading onto Jasper we met up with a Ice Hockey team.   Dressing up in all the gear we hit the ice.  More hit the ice than some.  Our butts the next day - OUCH.   Banff is a resort town in the province of Alberta, and located inside the Banff National Park.  It is part of the Rocky Mountains and has many wildlife roaming around including elk and grizzly bears.  

The drive from Banff to Jasper takes about 3 hours.  Jasper Fairmont lodges are located in Jasper National Park Alberta, and sits on a gorgeous lake.  The lodges are cabins with tea and coffee machine, mini fridge.  This afternoon we were on foot.  Exploring the National Park.  The snow had stayed with us for the first six days.  Today it had finally stopped.  Still wet outside and very cold, we put on our boots and walked the Park.   The fireplace was a welcoming site on our return.  Huge fireplace was being stacked with the wood and we sat down ordered a drink and took in the ambience.   Jasper is known as the 

Tonight's dinner was a gala affair where we thanked our leaders and APT for their amazing package.   Were we had dinner was eye opening.  We drove out through the Snow.  Yes it was pouring down.  We parked next to a aerial tramway, the longest and highest,  we headed up into the Alps.  We could see a small building sitting on the edge of the mountains way off in the distance.  This is where we were having our dinner.  The ride took us 8 mins to climb the Alps. As we went higher and higher we finally passed the tree line.  Reaching 2,263 metres above sea level.  Enjoying our dinner and speeches we watched the snow storm pick up.  The crew from the aerial tramway were concerned.  Outside the glass walls we watched ice form as static-tights.  Waving in the breeze they were getting bigger and swinging.  The storm had hit us.  Now the worry was how do we all get down to the ground.   There was talk of us all spending the night up in the snow.  The tramway guides told us it is going to be a rough ride down.  They could only take half of us on the first run.  I waited and watched the first load head down the mountain.  As they disappeared into the snow never to be seen again.  Our time finally came and we bordered the tram.  Heading down the snow was coming in the windows.  So cold rocking and scary.  Our hearts were pounding as we all hung on together.  After that excitement we found ourselves back on the bus and heading back to the lodges.   Retiring to bed early we had to be up at crack of dawn.   Jasper has a dome where you can view the northern lights.  Jasper is known as the Darkest place in Canada with no smog or unnatural environment it is one of the most amazing views of the northern skiies.   Due to having so much snow that day and evening we missed out on seeing this natural wonder.

We packed our bags enjoying an early breakfast we hit the road.  Rocky Mountaineer was waiting for us in Jasper.  Most take this train ride Banff to Vancouver.  I would recommend taking it from Jasper.  The amazing National Park and wildlife takes you through an amazing park of Alberta.  The Rocky Mountaineer is a Canadian rail tour company that operates trains on three rail routes through British Columbia and Alberta.

Sitting under the Glass dome on the top level watching the landscapes roll by was next to nothing.  We explored the train and found the Silver class a little smaller in size.  The dome didn't go right across, the seats weren't as big and you had to sit at your seat to eat.   Gold class is well worth the try.   The Rocky Mountaineer travels around a 7 day loop from Vancouver.  You can take in 2 to 3 days , 4 to 5 days or do the 7 day full loop.  Which ever one you decide to take your views of the landscapes & wildlife are always changing.   

On the journey we have to stay at Kamloops for the night.  Kamloops is a Canadian city in British Columbia, where the North and South Thompson rivers meet.  Sun Peaks Resort has hiking trails, bike park and numerous ski runs which lie to the northeast.  Cougars and bears inhabit the British Columbia Wildlife Park east of the town.   Enjoying this small town we hit the showers our dinner and bed.  

The next day was again full of sites as we headed down the Alps to Vancouver.  Our bus waiting for us we bordered and head up to Whistler.  Visiting many sites along the way.   The high Capilano Suspension Bridge is worth your walk.  Crossing over the Capilano River in the District of North Vancouver is 140 metres long and 70 metres above the river.  You do receive a certificate to say you crossed it.  Once account this bridge the rainforest has cliff walk you can explore. Amazing views and finish off back on the ground in the Story central.  Plenty of lovely items to enjoy a good shopping spree.   Picked up some lovely gifts for everyone back home.    

We headed up further into British Columbia where the Lil'wat First Nation People live.  Here we were shown around their cultural centre and joined in a dance while the drums echoed.  

Our stay in Whistler was one to enjoy.  A free day we shopped and explored.  

The next day we were heading to Victoria.  We had to take the ferry.  The bus pulled up in line and entered this wonderful cruise.  Up to there was plenty of seating around the windows front and back.  A restaurant to enjoy some lunch.  This transfer took just over 4 hours.  Along the way we sighted of course whales.  Orcas and humpbacks were around at this time of the year.  The island is 107 kilometres southwest of Vancouver and takes approximately 4 hours each way.  

Butchart Gardens is a group of floral display gardens in Brentwood Bay British Columbia located on Victoria Island.  Well worth the visit.  With APT we were taken in early in the morning before anyone else arrived to enjoy our breakfast the next morning.  Once finished we had the morning to walk through the gardens and enjoy the sweet aroma.  The gates opened a couple of hours later as we were walking out.   I did bring back some seeds.  They say you can't but I found out that there are 4 packets of seeds you can't bring back.  The rest are ok.  Anything with a mix in it, just dont touch.  If you like to bring home some lovely floral seeds pick out your taste and declare them when your arrive back in Australia.  They will check them and let you pass.

Our hotel that evening was across the bay.   Staying at the Delta Hotels Marriott Victoria Ocean Point we could see the famous Hotel Fairmont Empress from our ocean view windows.  The town at night was stunning.  If you walk out the back door of our hotel you can catch the water ferry.  $5 dollars and it will take you across the bay to the city, or for the fitness freaks you can walk across the bridge and take 10 mins to reach the town.  The next day we bordered a boat.  Today we had a couple of choices.  I chose to take the whale watching day.  We hit the water.  Spending 10 hours out on the water watching whales play and swim around us was amazing.  The Orcas were just laying there playing.  A pod of 3 seemed to like us watching.  Putting on a show they finally swam off to the distance.  We headed home seeing more as we hit the shores.  The seaplanes airport must give right away to the whales if they come in to the main bay.    Catching the water taxi he took us across the bay back to our hotel.   The evening our own we joined a drink partied on that night.   

Vancouver was to be our last stop before heading home.  Staying at the Fairmount Waterfront Vancouver we were right opposite the Cruise Terminal.  The Pan Pacific is on the terminal.  You can walk from the ship straight into the hotel.  Vancouver is a bustling west coast seaport.  A popular filming location, it's surrounded by mountains, and also has thriving art, theatre and music scenes. 

The Wharf is home to the Flyover Canada.  The Ultimate Flying Ride.   This is amazing.  Make sure your shoes are on tight as they take you over both the east and west coasts of Canada.  Worth every penny.

Today we viewed 4 ships in port.  The Holland American ships, OOSterdam & the Neiw Zuiderdam.  On the other side the Nowegian Bliss and Princess pulled in behind.   Parked so close to each other the following morning we hear they had an accident.  The two HAL ships hit each other as they tried to pull out.  Not sure how this happened but you couldn't put a hair between them.  What ship!!!!

Our trip was coming to an end and our flight home would take 14 hours and loose 2 days.  By now I was feeling very ill and upgraded to Business class.  I slept the whole way home and found myself in hospital once home.  I caught a Canadian flu and had to get well as I was off to Africa in a week. 





The following information may only apply once COVID 19 travel restrictions are lifted.

Visa Conditions

Australian passport holders must apply for an electronic travel authorisation ETA before travelling to Canada by Air.  If you arrive by car, bus, train, or boat you don't need an ETA or a visitor visa, but you do need to bring the right travel documents. If you overstay your visa, you may be detained or arrested.  If you have a criminal record, including a drink driving conviction, you may not be allowed into Canada.  Check Government of Canada for further details.  Entry and exit conditions can change.  Contact a Canadian embassy or consulate for details about visas, currency, customs and quarantine rules, Travel with Children.  If you're travelling with Children or pets or bringing goods into Canada, you may need documentation.  Check with the Canada Border Services Agency CBSA  Your child should carry a consent letter from non travelling parents or guardians if they're travelling:

  • Alone
  • with only one parent or guardian
  • with friends, relatives or a group
  • CBSA may question the child or accompanying adult about their status


Some countries won't let you enter unless your passport is valid for 6 months after you plan to leave that country.  This can apply even if you're just transiting or stopping over.  Some foreign governments and airlines apply the rule inconsistently.  Travellers can receive conflicting advice from different sources.  You can end up stranded if your passport is not valid for more than 6 months.  The Australian Government does not set these rules.  Check your passport's expiry date before you travel.   if you're not sure it'll be valid for long enough, consider getting a new passport.


Your passport is a valuable document.  I'ts attractive to people who may try to use your identity ti commit crimes.  Some people may try to trick you into giving them your passport.  Always keep it in a safe place.  If your passport is lost or stolen, tell the Australian Government as soon as possible.  

  • In Australia, contact the Australian Passport information service
  • If you're overseas, contact the nearest Australian embassy or consulate.


The local currency is the Canadian Dollar CAD

You can change Australian dollars at commercial banks and exchange bureaus.  Declare all amounts of $C10,000.  This covers all forms of currency, not only cash.  Credit and debit cards are widely accepted.



To drive in Canada, you'll need both

  • an international driving permit IDP
  • a valid Australian licence

Get an IDP before you leave Australia.  You can drive for up to 1 year with an IDP and your Australian licence. After that, you'll need a local driver's licence.


Heavy snowfalls, freezing rain and icy conditions make driving dangerous in winter.  Car accidents happen more frequently in these conditions.  


Taxis are a safe mode of transport. Ride sharing options are widely available.  Use the same safety precautions you would in Australia.


Many international cruise liners visit Canada.   Small, medium and large ships sail these waters in the Summer.  


The Artic is vast and remote.  Access to search and rescue, evacuation and medical facilities may be limited.  It can take several days for emergency help to arrive, especially in bad weather.  For your safety, before you book travel by ship: 

  • Access the on board medical facilities
  • Consider any preexisting medical conditions
  • talk to  cruise operators about medical arrangements
  • find travel insurance that cover evacuation, medical treatment and the cost of returning home.


Depending on what you need, contact your:

  • family and friends
  • travel agent
  • insurance provide
  • employer
  • airline

Fire and rescue services call 911

Medical emergencies call 911

Police call 911.  Always get a police report when you report a crime.  Your insurer should have a 24 hour emergency number.

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