July 2017
  • Day0

    Vancouver Canada

    July 7, 2017 in Canada ⋅ ⛅ 20 °C

    So it's been 4 days since we arrived in Vancouver! How amazing is this place!?! Flight was good, flew direct from Brisbane and landed early in the morning Friday and went straight to Jays Nanna's place to have some beers and catch up with relatives. Slept 14 hours that night so we were fresh and awake for the family wedding the next day! After partying on until the sun came up with all of the cousins and friends we then slept all day Sunday.. oops back in Australia sleep mode. Today was Jay's birthday!! We celebrated by going for a river cruise up the Indian arm with the family and had to try really hard to stay awake. Jays Nanna got to hand delivery Jays birthday card for the first time ever! 💕 So special to be here with all the family and feeling blessed to be so welcomed and feeling at home on the other side of the world! 🌎Read more

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  • Day10

    Exploring Vancouver

    July 17, 2017 in Canada ⋅ 🌙 13 °C

    Our first week of our 7 week adventure has been full of catching up with family and exploring the wonderful city of Vancouver. We have been lucky enough to stay at Jay's cousins house where you can walk out the door to find some beautiful walking and hiking tracks. We have walked to Buntzen Lake and hiked the Diaz Vista Trail. 👌We are also very excited to have ticked some wildlife off our list to see, a black bear has woken us up in the night trying to get into the garage bin, we also followed a squirrel through a park, and earlier in the week saw a mummy and baby seal. We have also ticked off visiting the city for fresh salmon and biking around Stanley Park. We had a wonderful experience when a local told us about a best kept secret in Stanley Park, leaving the bikes behind and walking off the track and in through the thick bushes was an ancient carving in a big tree stump! Amazing!Read more

  • Day10

    Penticton

    July 17, 2017 in Canada ⋅ ⛅ 15 °C

    After catching up with family in Vancouver it's time for us to start further exploring Canada. We hired a car and travelled to Penticton for the weekend, staying in Jays Aunty's holiday home here. What a beautiful little town - in summer the town goes from a population of approx 30k to 120k with two beautiful lakes and rivers luring people here. The temperature is a lot warmer here then in Vancouver and very dry but being from Cairns we don't mind. Jays cousin lived here for a few years so we went and visited some of his friends who took us out on their boat to teach us how to skurf, surfing in the wake of a boat. It was amazing and the Lake is glacier fed so very clear and refreshing water. With farmers markets and river floating still on the agenda we are loving this little town.Read more

  • Day11

    Banff

    July 18, 2017 in Canada ⋅ ☀️ 14 °C

    After about a 5 hour drive we arrived in Banff. The drive is normally very scenic however there were some very bad forest fires in the area so the sky was filled with smoke however luckily it cleared up for the next 2 days so we got to see the amazing rocky mountains. We stayed in Canmore which is short drive from the town of Banff. We visited the birth place of Banff National Parks, a cave that had been discovered many many years ago with hot sulphur water flowing from the ground and rocks. We then did some exploring through the forests and bright blue lakes in the area trying to see some of the wildlife.Read more

  • Day11

    Kelowna

    July 18, 2017 in Canada ⋅ ☀️ 22 °C

    A short drive from Penticton we stopped in the small town of Kelowna for a night before our big drive to the Rocky Mountains. Kelowna is the main town in the Okanagan Valley known for its wineries and fruit orchards and is on the shore of Okanagan Lake. We visited 4 different wineries tasting all the local wines and after having some cheese and wine for lunch we brought a few bottles to take with us on our journey up the mountain.Read more

  • Day12

    Lake Louise

    July 19, 2017 in Canada ⋅ ☀️ 7 °C

    One thing on my bucket list was to visit Lake Louise and it did not disappoint. A beautiful bright blue lake surrounded by mountains. The lake itself was freezing cold and very busy with tourists everywhere so we decided to do a 4 hour hike the 'Plain of 6 Glaciers' up behind the lake passing glaciers and arriving at a Tea House on the top of the mountain. Wow this was amazing and I would highly recommend it to everyone! It was the most amazing hike with absolutely amazing views! We walked over a glacier, played in some snow and then had tea and snacks in the cute tea house on the top. The tea house is so remote that they don't have a fridge so there is no dairy or cold food. The shelf food and tea is dropped off by a helicopter and the staff hike up on Monday and stay in the little huts built around the tea house for the week. We saw some beautiful wildlife and also witnessed 2 little avalanches of snow falling from the mountains above.Read more

  • Day13

    Johnston Canyon Falls

    July 20, 2017 in Canada ⋅ ☀️ 19 °C

    After our first very busy day in Banff our second day was much more relaxed having breakfast and coffee in town and strolling along the markets. We then ventured out to see the Johnston Canyon Falls! This was a 2 hour trail along the Bow Valley river and was much easier then the hike the day before. The trail went along rock walls above beautiful blue water! If it wasn't so cold we would have loved to go for a swim. At the top of the trail was the Falls and we were close enough to feel the cold mist coming from the Falls. After a quick outfit change we headed into the town of Banff to have a few beers at the local distillery, best beers we have found in Canada so far! We then changed again and went to the hot springs to warm up before heading back to Canmore to make a home made dinner in our beautiful air BnB apartment.Read more

  • Day16

    Jasper

    July 23, 2017 in Canada ⋅ ☀️ 19 °C

    From Banff we drove 3.5hrs to Jasper for 2 nights. Jasper is a much smaller town then Banff but beautiful for wildlife and scenery. We stayed right in town and loved just driving around and exploring the town! On the trip in we saw some elk on the side of the road and also a massive glacier which we walked up to, it was so cold! We then took a gondola up to the summit in jasper which was 2400m high, very cold for us! While hiking up the summit we noticed how thin the air got. Up the top we saw a marmot, a very cute animal that wasn't afraid to hang around us. After 2 nights we then took a very long drive home back to Vancouver.Read more

  • Day18

    Whistler

    July 25, 2017 in Canada ⋅ ☀️ 24 °C

    After adventuring around Banff and Jasper we drove back to our base home in Vancouver. Time to spend some more time with the Canadian family. Jays Aunty has a good friend how owns a holiday apartment in Whistler so we packed our bags again and headed off with all of the family. We squeezed 11 people into this apartment so it was bound to be a big sleepover party. We stayed two nights here and had an absolute blast, it was great getting to know the family in a relaxed atmosphere and enjoying the sun while having many drinks. We walked around whistler town, enjoyed a beautiful refreshing swim in the lake, and also did the amazing 'peak to peak' gondola ride up the whistler mountain and across to another mountain. This was amazing! It still blows me away how it can be so sunny and warm and then once you go up the mountain its cold and snow everywhere! Of course us Aussies had a snow ball fight! ❄️ We also experienced some traditional Canadian drinking games that the cousins encouraged. First of all shot gunning a beer is huge in Canada, after 3 weeks Jay has finally been able to successfully do this. The cousin also brought out a snow ski which has been turned into a shot glass ski, the ski has 4 shot glasses glued to it. We then introduced the family to some Australian drinking games and all had a ball!Read more

  • Day23

    Ucluelet Vancouver Island

    July 30, 2017 in Canada ⋅ ☀️ 16 °C

    Vancouver Island, wow I think this has been my favourite place yet! From Vancouver we caught a ferry with our rental car over to Vancouver island and drove across the island to ucuelet to stay for the week in our air BnB. This place is seriously amazing, chilled laid back and very much like Kuranda back home. A short 30 min drive took us into Tofino the main tourist attraction town. The beauty of having an air BnB apartment meant that we could go food shopping and made breakfasts, lunches and a few home made dinners at home which after almost 4 weeks travelling we were very happy about!

    We spent a day surfing down at Long Beach, we had to hire wet suits because the water was so cold. We also decided to splash out for a day doing some tourist tours - we chartered a sea plane for us 4 to take us to Hot Springs Cove!! Wow this was a highlight and would recommend to everyone - we booked the sea plane for 5.30pm which meant everyone on the tourist boats was leaving the island as we got there so we had the amazing natural hot springs to ourselves! The hot springs ran down a natural rock formation with little pools of water that you could sit in. The water was very hot but luckily the rocky pools ran down into the ocean so as high tide came in the lower pools received some cold water from the ocean. We could tell the strength of the water as it stripped the silver from Katie's anklet but our skin felt amazing after!

    We also went on a whale watching tour in an open zodiac boat. Wow how lucky are we - the boaties said this was one of the best days this year! We saw a killer whale which was very rare for the area. 2 gray whales, sea lions, Inlet porpoise, bald eagle, sea otters!! Amazing!

    We then also experienced some of the very old big trees and rain forests in the area. We took a water taxi over to the Big Tree Trail on Meares Island, this trail was beautiful and had so much history. Vancouver went through a very big tree lopping stage many years ago and this island forest ended up being saved by the local protesters so some of the trees were over 1200 years old! It was such a beautiful thing to experience this kind of forest and history - absolutely loved it!

    Wish I could post more photos because I took about 500!
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