Thursday, July 02, 2015

Camping in Tofino

Every year we head out to Ucluelet and Tofino; I believe this was our 7th year!  Usually we go over Spring Break but this year we decided to go in the summer.  We were going to Parksville later on in the week for a family reunion so it worked out well.

We always stop at Cathedral Grove; it's located just 20 minutes before Port Alberni and the perfect rest stop.  The trees are amazing and the kids have a great time running around.

We arrived at our campground in Tofino around 2 pm.  The road there is quite windy for an hour so be prepared!  We stayed at Bella Pacifica Campground because it had good ratings and we were able to get a beachfront spot (#7).   If you go, I highly recommend getting a beach spot.  It's not cheap at $54/night during peak season, but it's probably one of the most affordable lodging options in Tofino.    It is located on Mackenzie Beach which is just a 5 minute drive from town.  If you are looking for a little more privacy in the beachfront sites then #1-8 are best. 

I did not pack appropriate clothing.  We had left home when it was about 35C so I packed that way – it was a cool and windy and even rained the whole first night! 

We have a 5 man tent that we've been using the past few years.  It fits us well but I don't think we could fit any more bodies in there!  Every time I spend a night on that inflatable mattress I do wonder how many more years I can do it; my hips really feel it!

This is the view from our tent – nice, right?

Well, at least we didn't need to worry about sunscreen?! 

A major plus about this beach is it has an area that is contributed to by a stream.  The water is warm and the kids played in there for hours.  

The sites were quite small but it worked for us and our tent.

After waking up to rain on Tuesday morning, I was not a happy camper.  The kids loved their "camping breakfast" (cereal in a recyclable bowl from Costco.)  

It was too cold for the beach so we decided to go hiking.  We hiked about 14 km total over the day!  We did the Rainforest Trail which we really enjoyed and would do over again.  Koen said that was the highlight of our trip there. Notice Kai wearing Gary's shirt.  Note to self: always pack each person a hoodie. Always. 

We also drove into Ucluelet to the lighthouse because we really enjoy that view and it's tradition to get our photo at this sign. We did some more climbing and exploring there.  Nya doesn't seem so impressed with that tradition.

{Below is the picture from 2014}

{And 2013...I'll stop now}

We went back to Tofino (Ucluelet and Tofino are about 30 minutes apart) and went out for pizza.  I wasn't ready to go back to the campsite until it warmed up!  The playground in Tofino is always a hit and we went there each day. My sister Maria and her family were staying in Tofino as well so we met up several times which the kids loved.

The sun came out so we went back to the campsite and got ready for a day at the beach!

Having a kite was also a major hit for the kids.  They loved it; Kai was a little more successful than Nya with it.

We had the whole beach to ourselves!

The kids have been racing these animals for the past 6 years; there were 4 of them but now there are only 2.

By the afternoon the sun was out in full force--yay!  By the way, this is our Costco hammock and we love it.

The cousins came over to play at our beach and this was Kai's higlight; jumping in the waves with the girls.

Then we had "smorepedoes" back at the campsite (waffle cone with mini marshmallows and chocolate chips wrapped in aluminum foil and placed in  pot on the stove.)  There is a fire ban put people were having fires on the beach at night. 

Once the kids were in bed, we had a little time to relax.  

I was definitely happy that our second night would be warmer!

Wednesday morning was beautiful – I didn't want to leave!  

We stopped by Long Beach on our way out.   You can't go to Tofino and not go to Long Beach!

Bye bye, Tofino.  Now we need to figure out if we'll come back at Spring Break or the summer in 2016!  Whatever we decide, we're definitely keeping the tradition alive.

Have you been to Tofino? What was your highlight?



  1. LOVE Tofino! Had hoped to go this year with our family, but the kids get carsick, so we are sticking with Parksville. :) I love the beaches. And the food. Seriously gorgeous there.
    Thanks for sharing!

    1. Yes--not ideal if your kids get carsick! We tried out those bands that you wear on your wrist with our oldest son Kai and it seemed to help! And yes, Parksvile is great! We're there right now!

  2. Glad the weather improved for you - what a beautiful setting! I was to Tofino about 24 years ago, so I think it is about time to return!

    1. 24 years ago, wow! I bet it hasn't changed that much since but the trails are a lot nicer! Maybe next time you visit?