Taking a trip to ‘the Island’ is essentially a rite of passage for most Vancouverites. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll see that a few weeks ago, I took a trip to Ucluelet on Vancouver Island. Feeling probably the coldest I’ve felt since arriving in Vancouver, Jordan and I set off over Lionsgate Bridge and on to our adventure. We were hoping for a weekend of storm watching on Vancouver Island, staying at a lovely resort in Ucluelet.
Travelling to Vancouver Island
To get across to Vancouver island, you need to catch a ferry from either the port of Tsawwassen or Horseshoe Bay in West Vancouver. We chose the latter, and left early in the morning with a quick stop at JJ Bean for coffee. I’m glad we did as the first snow on the mountains looked magical as we crossed Lionsgate Bridge.
The ferry is a very comfortable way to travel, with a cafe on board and plenty of comfy seats. Within two hours, we were stocked up on tea and had arrived at Nanaimo on Vancouver Island.
Driving to Ucluelet, Vancouver Island
I couldn’t believe it – despite Vancouver being cold, the Island had a thick layer of snow in some places! Our first port of call on Vancouver Island was the aptly named Goats on the Roof near Coombs. It’s a gorgeous country market and cafe stocked with treats from all across the world. Sadly, due to the time of year, there weren’t any goats to be seen.
Despite being the furthest west in Canada I have ever been, I couldn’t believe the hefty stock of British goods. I’ve never found caramel digestives anywhere in the city, so they were a very welcome sight. We slid around over snow to reach the car before completing the rest of the drive over to Ucluelet, on the far west of the Island. Gorgeous wintery views greeted us on the way.
After some slightly scary hairpin bends and incredible views far across the Pacific, we arrived at the beautiful Black Rock Oceanfront Resort.
Black Rock Oceanfront Resort, Ucluelet
The luxurious Black Rock Oceanfront Resort is located on a headland on Ucluelet’s rocky west coast. Smack bang in the Wild Pacific Trail, it’s ideal for exploring the unique landscape of Vancouver Island.
The hotel’s interior itself mimics the landscape, with slates and wood sourced locally. There’s an indulgent rain shower and a deep bath that I’d certainly be taking advantage of.
Our room had its own balcony with ocean views. From here, you can heard the waves crashing against the black rocks. The hotel is perfectly set up for storm watching in the winter. Fires are in both rooms and the hotel lobby, and the views from window are breathtaking. The perfect place to stay if you love sitting indoors with a glass of wine and watching the rain.
We were determined to make the most of the beautiful balcony views once we’d seen outside in the light. Hopping outdoors, we grabbed a coffee from the lobby on the way out to go and see the hotel’s exterior.
The hotel seamlessly blends into its surroundings in among the majestic black rock and the ocean. We managed to catch the most beautiful sunset, before taking a quick dip in the hot tub on the way back to our room.
The Wild Pacific Trail, Ucluelet
Certainly worth a visit if you’re staying in Ucluelet or Tofino is the Wild Pacific Trail. It’s a hike that takes you through vegetation and along the ocean of the Ucluelet peninsula. We went to find the trail during the sunset before dinner, so drove just down the road.
Vancouver Island is famous as one of the best places in the world to go whale watching. We were, therefore, a little surprised to hear a loud echoing noise coming from the ocean. Turns out it’s an old buoy from over fifty years’ ago that still continues to make a noise as it bobs in the sea. It was pretty eerie in the cold November sunset.
We climbed the craggy rocks in search of a better view of the sunset, and watched the waves crash against the neighbouring islands.
It was very serene with barely another soul around. All we could hear was the choppy waves and the consistent moan of the creeky old buoy. We’d be back in a couple of days to complete the Wild Pacific Trail, so check back.
There aren’t a huge range of dining options in Ucluelet, but we grabbed a tasty pizza from the Cedar Grill. Check it out if you’re in Ucluelet. We then went back to our room to warm up with a long soak in the bath and a few glasses of red wine by the fire. A pretty glorious start to our visit to Vancouver Island. Check back for everything else we explored throughout Ucluelet on our trip.
What are your favourite things to do in Ucluelet? Have you stayed at Black Rock Oceanfront Resort? Let me know your recommendations below.