Discover one of Canada's coolest cities and one of the world's great natural adventure playgrounds beyond. Qantas flies direct from Australia during the peak Canadian winter season.
No matter the season, the close proximity of Vancouver's imposing mountains, glistening harbour and ancient forests make it one of the most desirable destinations for outdoor enthusiasts. You'll find more than a dozen different enclaves in Vancouver where you can stroll colourful sidewalks, enjoy spectacular settings and soak up a range of urban vibes.
Vancouver has enough to keep you busy within its city boundaries, but venture further afield and you'll soon see why the region makes the perfect holiday destination.
Vancouver is the gateway to the beautiful Whistler Resort, the Canadian Rockies, Victoria and Vancouver Island - find your personal adventure here.
West End and Stanley Park
Primarily residential, this is one of the most densely populated areas in all of Canada, with 40,000 people living in high-rise condominiums and apartments. Coffee shops, fine dining restaurants and plenty of shopping will keep you entertained in this area, with several beautiful parks and beaches perfect for taking a leisurely stroll after an evening meal.
Stanley Park is one of those rare public spaces that's remained relatively untouched by urban encroachment. Being surrounded by the waters of Vancouver Harbour and English Bay on most sides no doubt helps.
And while modern amenities and attractions naturally exist (aquarium, exhibitions, playgrounds, walking trails, miniature railway), much of its 400 hectares is as densely forested today with fir, cedar and hemlock trees as it was when first established in the late 19th century. It's this serenity and accessibility (being only a short walk from downtown Vancouver) that makes it a hugely popular destination for locals and tourists alike. Take a bike tour of the park and see it for yourself.
An absolute foodie’s paradise. Centred around the Granville Island Public Market, there’s a bevy of merchants selling seafood, fresh produce, cheese and breads. Check out the two local breweries including the waterfront Dockside Restaurant and Brewing Co. where you can grab a Marina Light Lager and watch the boats pass by. The island also features a prominent theatre and entertainment scene with the 450 seat Granville Island Stage.
Located in the heart of Vancouver, Granville Street is where you'll find Vancouver's main downtown entertainment district. The Pacific Centre shopping mall provides unique stores for those in search of the latest fashions, while the area between Robson and Drake streets offers a diverse collection of boutique shops where you can find the latest footwear, club gear, music or comic books.
Chinatown and Gastown
Chinatown has been humming busily for more than a century with vivid colours, exotic cuisine and a vibrant culture. Highlights of a Chinatown visit include the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden, the Sam Kee Building (world's narrowest commercial building) and the Chinese Cultural Centre.
As the birthplace of Vancouver, Gastown was initially a settlement that sprung up around a tavern founded in 1867 by sailor and gold prospector John 'Gassy Jack' Deighton. This historic district's cobblestone streets are lined with Victorian buildings that today house everything from souvenir shops and first nations galleries to stylish clothing boutiques.
Skiing in Canada
It's easy to see how skiing in Canada has earned its iconic status - world class resorts, bountiful snow and a laidback culture which matches the sport of skiing perfectly. They're also reasonably priced, easy to get to and offer a wealth of surrounding activities like hiking trails, great restaurants and top hotels. Discover some of the top ski destinations:
Discover raw, spectacular beauty and a sense of wilderness at resorts like Banff, Jasper, Lake Louise, Marmot Basin and Nakiska. Nakiska is only a 45 minute drive west of Calgary.
With long virgin powder runs, snowcat skiing, heliskiing and 'ski safari' road, it is easy to see how the resorts of Kicking Horse, Big White, Fernie, Revelstoke, Red, Whistler, Sun Peaks and Mount Washington have earned their iconic status.
Vancouver's major skiing resort offers deep powder on a mountain wedged between the Pacific Ocean and Strathcona Park, one of the oldest provincial parks in British Columbia.
Once known as 'Little Italy', the junction of various roads and cultures now referred to as 'The Drive' is the go-to place to soak up the diverse and urban milieu that is Vancouver. The buzzing neighbourhood is home to farmer's markets, parklands and alternative designer boutiques. Add in the eclectic mix of bohemian bars, ethnic restaurants and numerous craft breweries and you've got all the ingredients of a great day out.
The place to head for a day of shopping, strolling, dining and people watching. Stores line every inch of space along the sidewalk from Burrard Street to Jervis Street and there’s no short supply of coffee shops, ethnic restaurants, sports bars and grills, fine dining and other eateries.
Formerly a warehouse district, Yaletown has been transformed into one of Vancouver's hippest areas, filled with sidewalk cafes, trendy restaurants, a thriving nightlife scene and intimate boutique hotels.
As the cultural focal point of Vancouver's Indo-Canadian population, Punjabi Market is home to a unique collection of jewellery stores and fabric shops. This is place to pick up inexpensive silks, groceries and 22 karat gold jewellery.
Canada has gained the reputation of being a diminutive neighbour to the US – yet Canada’s three territories and 10 provinces are geographically larger than the fifty US states. Explore beautiful rugged terrain and cosmopolitan cities like Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver in this unique country.
For great outdoor action visit the Rocky Mountains and national parks including Banff, Jasper and Yoho, which are ideal for snow sports in winter and hiking in summer. History enthusiasts should include St John’s in Newfoundland on their itinerary – it’s the oldest city in North America. Culture vultures can wander through the French province of Quebec and experience its je ne sais quoi first-hand.
Canadian Dollar (CAD)
Thanks to ocean currents bringing warm(ish) air, winters are mild with averages of 6°C, but it does get wet so be prepared. Spring brings averages of 17°C but you'll need a sweater for chillier moments. Summer, from late June to August, is warm and pleasant while autumn sees the temperature fall back to averages of 10°C.
From the airport
There are several options to go between Vancouver International and downtown Vancouver, including scheduled coach transfers, limousine, taxi, car rentals and transit.
In addition to providing you with a safe and reliable ride, Vancouver taxi companies ensure all drivers receive extensive training through the award-winning TaxiHost training program. You'll find many at the airport.
Canada Line provides rapid rail service linking Downtown, Richmond and the Vancouver International Airport (YVR). Trains leave every four minutes from Vancouver, and every seven minutes from Richmond and YVR. A one-way trip from YVR to Downtown Vancouver takes only 25 minutes. Check maps, schedules and all zone fares here.
TransLink (Public) Bus
Buses can link you with central Vancouver. Check schedules for times and fares. Approximate travel time is 60 minutes.
In and around the city
The Vancouver transit system, TransLink, is made up of a network of buses and unique services such as the SeaBus and SkyTrain. TransLink provides transit services covering over 1800 square kilometres of the Greater Mainland of Vancouver - getting around the city is convenient, easily accessible and often provides beautiful views of the city.
Visit their website to find out more about what options are available. These include: buses, SkyTrain, Canada Line, SeaBus, West Coast Express, AquaBus andFalse Creek Ferries.
Disclaimer: ^ You must be a member of the Qantas Frequent Flyer program to earn and redeem Qantas Points. A joining fee may apply. Membership and Qantas Points are subject to the Qantas Frequent Flyer program terms and conditions.
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