Waves and winter sun at South Beach

West Coast Visit

The final week of November seemed like a good time for a quick visit to the west coast of Vancouver Island, a magical realm that includes the villages of Tofino and Ucluelet, and between them the Pacific National Park Reserve. I had hoped to go last July, but that didn’t work out.

Late November isn’t as warm as July, but it was just as bright and sunny, with nippy nights and daytime temperatures reaching 8 C (46 F). Amazingly, there wasn’t much wind, which meant no wind chill.

Nelly the Newfoundland dog
Our dog Nelly, ready for a walk on the beach
Totem pole near the Kwisitis Visitor Centre
Totem pole near the Kwisitis Visitor Centre and trails to South Beach and Florencia Bay.
On the boardwalk, Nuu-chah-nulth Trail to Florencia Bay
The Nuu-chah-nulth Trail to Florencia Bay is 2 km of boardwalk, with lots of stairs and a few places where boards are missing or shaky. Much better than slogging through mud, though!
Deer fern (Blechnum spicant)
Deer fern (Blechnum spicant)
A tapestry of plants near the boardwalk: lichen (?), salal, cedar seedlings, etc.
A tapestry of plants seen from the boardwalk.
South Beach, Pacific Rim National Park Reserve
South Beach, which has fine gravel (or coarse sand) and is one of the best places for wave-watching.
Breaking waves at South Beach
Waves like these.
Waves and rippled sand at Cox Bay, near Tofino
Waves at Cox Bay near Tofino. This is a popular beach with surfers, year round. There were quite a few people out surfing while we were there. The horizon right here is a breaking wave!
Rocks, trees, and sand, south end Cox Bay
Rocks, trees, and sand at the north end of Cox Bay. At high tide, waves roar through that gap!
Nelly the beach dog at Florencia Bay
Nelly at Florencia Bay, intent on picnic food.
Path to sunset at Pettinger Point near Tofino
Path to the perfect sunset viewing spot at Pettinger Point near Cox Bay.
Sunset seen from Pettinger Point, Nov. 27, 2019.
Tropical colours, but the temperature was about 5 C (41 F)
Afterglow through trees
Wintry afterglow through the trees.

For professional quality photos of the Tofino area, including lots of wildlife, especially eagles and bears, visit Wayne Barnes’s blog at: https://tofinophotography.wordpress.com/


  1. Hi Audrey, Thank you for the tranquil photographs. I loved Vancouver when we visited at the time of the wonderful Expo exhibition (1986 I believe.) And Vancouver Island was an extra treat. Fabulous scenery and memories Hugs x. (Your dog looks a sweetie!)

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  2. Thanks for sharing your trip with us, Audrey. It took me sixty years to get to Vancouver Island, but my wife and I finally got there earlier this year. Quite a beautiful place!

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  3. Looks beautiful. When we spent a few days in the city of Vancouver a couple of years ago, I was disappointed that we never got out into nature. Would have been nice to spend a day wandering Vancouver Island.

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        1. About 25 lb of good quality dry food per month, plus fruit and vegetable bits, peanuts, etc. as snacks. I’m not sure how that compares to other dogs, since this is the only one we’ve had. (I’m actually a cat person). 😺

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    1. Thanks, Debra. Nelly enjoyed Tofino and found more admirers there. It really is a great place to visit, quite cosmopolitan now, compared to when I first visited decades ago — accommodation from rustic to luxurious, lots of restaurants, etc. And of course west coast nature!

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  4. when you go out on South beach Audrey,you will see a hill off to your right. If its low tide you can go out and climb up onto the top.
    That hill was used as a “Hotel” for travelling Natives. It was defendable.
    There is a surge channel on the other side that is fascinating. A great spot to have a lunch but be careful as 5 people drowned very close to that spot. A tourist venture gone wrong.

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