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Getting There

By Plane -- The Campbell River and District Regional Airport, located south of Campbell River off Jubilee Parkway, has regularly scheduled flights on commuter planes to and from Vancouver on Pacific Coastal Airlines (tel. 800/663-2872; www.pacific-coastal.com). Pacific Coastal Airlines is the only scheduled air carrier with flights to/from Port Hardy and Vancouver.

By Ferry -- BC Ferries (tel. 888/BC-FERRY [223-2779] or 250/386-3431; www.bcferries.com) operates a route linking Powell River to Comox, not too far south of Campbell River, but reaching Powell River from other points on the mainland requires taking two other ferries -- a daunting and costly prospect if your destination is Campbell River and points north. Nanaimo's Duke Point and Departure Bay are the closest terminals with connections to the Vancouver area. Port Hardy also connects with Prince Rupert via a 15-hour journey that winds through the Inland Passage. Sample fares are included in the regional sections that follow.

By Bus -- Greyhound Canada (tel. 800/661-8747 or 604/482-8747; www.greyhound.ca) offers three daily trips between Nanaimo and Campbell River (C$32 one-way) Only one bus daily goes all the way to Port Hardy. These buses are operated by Vancouver Island Coach Lines (tel. 250/388-5248), but you can book through Greyhound.

Visitor Information

For general information on Vancouver Island, contact Tourism Vancouver Island, Ste. 501, 65 Front St., Nanaimo (tel. 250/754-3500; fax 250/754-3599; www.vancouverisland.travel). Also check out www.vancouverisland.com.

Getting Around

While Vancouver Island has an admirable system of public transport, getting to remote sights and destinations is difficult without your own vehicle.

By Ferry -- BC Ferries (tel. 888/BC-FERRY [223-3779] in B.C., or 250/386-3431; www.bcferries.com) links Vancouver Island ports to many offshore islands, including Quadra, Alert Bay, and Sointula. None of these islands has public transport, so once there you'll need to hoof it, hitch it, hire a taxi, or arrange for bike rentals. Most innkeepers will pick you up if you've reserved in advance.

By Bus -- See "Getting There," above, for information on Vancouver Island Coach Lines.

By Car -- North of Nanaimo, the major road on Vancouver Island is Hwy. 19, a particular improvement being the new 128km (80-mile) four-lane expressway between Parksville and Campbell River. The older sections of 19, all closer to the island's east coast, are now labeled 19A. North of Campbell River, a long, two-lane section of Hwy. 19 continues all the way to Port Hardy. Access to gasoline is no problem, even in more remote northern areas, but don't head out on a long stretch of unpaved road without filling up.

Rental cars are readily available. Agencies include Avis (tel. 800/879-2847 in Canada, 800/331-1212 in the U.S.; www.avis.com), Budget (tel. 800/268-8900 in Canada, 800/527-0700 in the U.S.; www.budget.com), and National (tel. 877/222-9058 in Canada and the U.S.; www.nationalcar.com).

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.