Canada’s best on-the-beaten-track adventures

By Jennifer Ennion 28 February 2023
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With world-class cultural institutions, mind-blowing natural landscapes and a plethora of wildlife that demands your attention, Canada captivates Australians like few other countries do. Authentic travel experiences can be found in even the most popular destinations. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a lover of Canada’s classic attractions, here are the country’s very best on-the-beaten-track adventures to enjoy in summer.


Touted as one of the prettiest cities in the world, Vancouver is the gateway for Australians. This harbour metropolis effortlessly blends sophisticated city living with an active outdoors lifestyle thanks to its dazzling harbour and surrounding mountains. Nature is literally on your doorstep and travellers are encouraged to get amongst it with Adventure World. Before hitting the rails on the famous Rocky Mountaineer, skirt the harbour on a cycle tour of beautiful Stanley Park. Mingle with local producers while trying a beef pot pie at Granville Island Public Market (be sure to pop into Granville Island Tea Company) and be awed by the country’s soaring mountains on a virtual flight at FlyOver Canada.

Vancouver Island and Victoria

Canada’s West Coast is the ultimate outdoor playground, with amazing kayaking, hiking and wildlife experiences at your fingertips, and one of the best places to enjoy it all is Vancouver Island. Get your bearings in Victoria, the easy-going capital of British Columbia and the first destination in North America to be carbon neutral certified. In Victoria you’ll find a yacht-lined harbour, elegant parliament buildings and the floral wonderland that is Butchart Gardens. Bohemian Aussies then make a beeline for Tofino, likened to Byron Bay without the crowds, but before you do, Adventure World will introduce you to the stunning new Malahat Skywalk, where visitors can reconnect with nature from a breathtaking 10-storey-high lookout that soars above a forest of Douglas Firs, and also learn about the Indigenous people of Malahat Nation. Then it’s time to head farther north to kayak in Tofino, immerse yourself in First Nations culture at Campbell River, look for grizzly bears in Port Hardy and go whale watching at Telegraph Cove.

Forest bathing on ancient Cedars Trail. Image credit: Tourism Whistler/Justa Jeskova


No trip to Canada is complete without heading up the Sea to Sky Highway to the mountain town of Whistler. Bustling with outdoor enthusiasts in summer, Whistler is a multi-award-winning destination, thanks to numerous hiking trails, luxurious wellness offerings, and a dining and nightlife scene that rivals the best in the city. On your way, stop at the Sea to Sky Gondola for stunning views of Howe Sound; it’s the entree to the longest and highest lift in the world, the Peak 2 Peak Gondola, spanning 4.4 kilometres between Whistler and Blackcomb mountains. If you’re travelling on the Rocky Mountaineer, it’s worth calling into Whistler for a few days beforehand to sample its culinary offerings. Take a seaplane from Victoria with Adventure World and spend the day dining on maple-glazed wild BC salmon from the top of a mountain or taste-test your way around the village on a restaurant tour.

Waterfall. Image credit: Tourism Whistler/Mike Crane

Canadian Rockies

One of the best summer bucket-list experiences is exploring the lively mountain towns of Banff, Lake Louise and Jasper in the Canadian Rockies, Alberta. Just as popular in summer as they are in winter, this is the place to come for big vistas, great hiking and bucket-list wildlife encounters. In Jasper, lace up your boots and head off on a guided hike before looking for elk and deer in Jasper National Park. Continuing to Lake Louise, journey along one of the world’s most picturesque driving routes, the Icefields Parkway, slicing through a lush valley of glaciers, waterfalls and aqua lakes (keep your eyes peeled for moose and grizzly bears). Wander the streets of Banff, home to outdoor adventure retailers and cowboy-themed bars, and then head up Banff Gondola to the top of Sulphur Mountain for more awe-inspiring views.

A hiker overlooking alpine lake in the Northern Rocky Mountains Provincial Park. Image credit: Destination BC/Brayden Hall

Quebec City

Leaving the Rocky Mountains behind, travel to charming Québec City, where you’ll fall under the spell of the Quebecois and their French ways. As the capital of the province of Québec, the city is brimming with art galleries, boutiques and stylish restaurants. Walk the cobblestone lanes of Old Québec, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where you’ll discover a little magic around every corner – don’t miss quaint Rue du Petit-Champlain. Watching over this walled city is the imposing Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac, while not far away is Montmorency Falls, higher than nearby Niagara. You’ll also want to make time for the Citadel, a 19th-Century fortress, and Notre Dame Basilica, both of which are National Historic Sites.

Toronto and Niagara Falls

From charismatic Québec to bustling Toronto, a visit to Canada’s East Coast isn’t complete without spending a day or two in the Ontario capital. Although it’s hot on the tourist trail, you can get happily lost wandering the streets of the city’s Old Town and sampling the wares of St Lawrence Market, one of the oldest markets in the country. Or you can spend your morning popping in and out of art galleries and cafes in the pedestrian-only Distillery Historic District, a premier cultural hub. Of course, once you’re in Toronto, you can’t deny the allure of one of Canada’s must-see sights, thundering Niagara Falls, which are about 130km from the city and make for a great day trip. Be awed by the world’s most powerful waterfall on an up-close boat tour with Adventure World. An Adventure Pass also gives you access to popular attractions such as a whitewater rapid walk and sight-and-sound show, minus the long queues. The Niagara experience makes for an enthralling end to an on-the-beaten-track holiday in Canada, and certainly whets your appetite for more.

This article is brought to you by Adventure World – the best place to book your Canada summer experience. Travel with Purpose.