Before moving back to Canada from our 1 1/2-year stay in Ecuador, we decided we’d like to live on Vancouver Island in beautiful British Columbia – where the winters are much shorter and milder than in our home province of Nova Scotia.
We chose to drive and visit all 10 provinces along the way, avoiding main highways where possible. So we packed up our old campervan and began our journey from Nova Scotia with a visit to Newfoundland and Prince Edward Island.
After over a month on the road, enjoying so much fantastic scenery, we made it to Vancouver Island.
*This is going to be a long post…we’ll work on it as we find the time, so check back for updates periodically.
*Check out the photo albums at the end of this post – one for each province.
*You can trace our route with the interactive map at the end of this post. (coming soon…)
We took a ferry from North Sydney in Nova Scotia, making a 7-hour crossing to Port-aux-Basque. The ferry was the “Blue Puttees”, 200 metres/650 feet long, and equipped with cabins, lounge areas (including an outdoor viewing area on the top deck), restaurants, a bar, and souvenir shop – more like a cruise ship than a ferry. We totally enjoyed the trip, spending most of the time outside on the sun deck.
We didn’t stay long enough to explore all of Newfoundland, but what we saw was fantastic. If you visit this province, plan to stay for a month or more – you’ll need a week in Gros Morne Park alone!
Our 1st day in Newfoundland included a visit to an alpaca farm, driving to Rose Blanche to see the granite lighthouse, and hiking to Barachois Falls. We were amazed at the hundreds of small lakes, rivers, and streams everywhere we went. Also amazing was seeing snow in the small mountains – this was in July – but the weather was very pleasant and warm for our entire visit.
Gros Morne National Park was the highlight of our visit and has been on our bucket list for a long time. We weren’t disappointed. Our only regret – not having enough time to explore the whole park and hike all the trails.
We did walk a few trails, one of them behind the Discovery Centre in Woody Point. It took us about an hour and a half to get to the top – we were rewarded with a fantastic 360 degree view.
We highly recommend the 2-hour boat tour of the 16-km-long, landlocked fjord, Western Brook Pond – it’s impressive to be surrounded by 600-metre-high, billion-year-old cliffs. You have to walk a path for about 3 km to get to the wharf to board the tour boat. You’ll walk through a peat bog on a boardwalk, and through forested areas. We even got to see a young moose on the trail!
We took the ferry back to Nova Scotia and headed for Prince Edward Island. We camped at Caribou-Munroes Island Provincial Park – close to Pictou – and boarded another ferry to PEI in the morning.
It’s a free ride over to PEI, you pay only when you leave the island – either on the ferry or the Confederation bridge, which links PEI with New Brunswick. We came back on the bridge, which is 12.9 kilometres (8 miles) long, and is the longest in the world crossing ice-covered waters.
PEI is a great place for a family adventures, with many theme parks and about 800 kms of beaches with the warmest ocean water north of the Carolinas.
It’s also the home of Anne of Green Gables and Stompin’ Tom Conners – everyone remembers the song “Bud the Spud” – right? Did you know that Charlottetown, PEI is the birthplace of the confederation of this great country?
Our home province of Nova Scotia – and yes, we are kind of biased here – has lots to offer. We’ve traveled the whole province from Cape Breton Island to Cape Sable Island; from the fantastic drive around the Cabot Trail in the north, to the Acadian villages with their huge churches of the southern region; from the beautiful beaches of the South Shore (ahem – where we’re from), to the orchards of the Annapolis Valley.
*You can read more about Nova Scotia in some of our other posts…
We started our journey to British Columbia on August 24th, 2017. We drove from the South Shore to Kouchibouguac National Park in New Brunswick on the first day. New Brunswick also has many Acadian villages.
Prince Edward Island