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  • World Travellers

A holiday in Canada

Updated: Mar 13, 2023

Canada is a fantastic vacation destination for New Zealanders looking for a diverse and exciting travel experience. Many of our World Traveller team have fallen in love with this destination and know the very best it has to offer. Whether you're interested in outdoor adventures, cultural experiences, or cosmopolitan city life, Canada has something to offer for everyone.

Canada is home to some of the world's most spectacular natural landscapes, including the Rocky Mountains, Niagara Falls, and the Canadian Shield. You can go hiking, skiing, camping, or wildlife watching in one of Canada's many national parks, such as Banff, Jasper, or Algonquin.

For those interested in urban adventures, Canada's major cities offer a range of cultural experiences, world-class dining, and vibrant nightlife. Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal are all cosmopolitan hubs with unique cultural identities and plenty of sights to see. Toronto is known for its diverse population, iconic landmarks like the CN Tower and the Royal Ontario Museum, and the vibrant arts and music scene. Vancouver offers a mix of outdoor activities and city living, with attractions like Stanley Park and the Granville Island Public Market. Montreal is known for its European-style architecture, rich history, and world-renowned cuisine.

One date that you may wish to plan your travel around whether it’s to join in on the festivities or avoided due to the crowds, is the celebration of Canada Day on July 1st. Canadians come together to celebrate their pride in their country's history, culture, and achievements. The holiday is marked by a range of festivities, from parades and fireworks to concerts and outdoor activities. One of the top places to experience Canada Day is in the country's capital city, Ottawa. The city hosts a massive celebration on Parliament Hill, where locals and tourists gather to watch live performances, and enjoy a spectacular fireworks display.

Besides the festivities in Ottawa, many other cities and towns across the country also hold their own Canada Day celebrations, each with its unique flavour and charm. You may decide to visit Vancouver and join in on the massive waterfront festival featuring live music, street performers, and food trucks. Toronto's festivities include a massive parade that attracts thousands of people. A colourful procession of floats, marching bands, and performers, showcasing the diversity and vibrancy of Toronto's communities. The parade starts at Bloor Street and Parliament Street and ends at Queen's Park.

To make the most of your Canadian vacation, consider taking a road trip or traveling by train to see the country's vast and diverse landscapes. The Trans-Canada Highway is a scenic route that crosses the country from coast to coast, while the Rocky Mountaineer train offers a luxury experience through the mountains. This simply stunning train journey takes passengers through some of the most spectacular landscapes in Western Canada.

The train travels through the Rocky Mountains, passing by glaciers, canyons, and forests, and providing passengers with outstanding views of the Canadian wilderness. Offing several different routes, each with its unique attractions and experiences. The most popular route is the First Passage to the West, which travels from Vancouver to Banff or Lake Louise, passing through historic towns like Kamloops and Field. The journey takes two days, with an overnight stay in Kamloops, and includes meals, snacks, and beverages.

Passengers on the Rocky Mountaineer enjoy luxurious amenities, including spacious seats, large windows for panoramic views, and an outdoor viewing platform for an up-close experience of the scenery. The train also features a dining car, where passengers can enjoy gourmet meals made from locally sourced ingredients and served by attentive staff.

Along the way, you will pass through several points of interest, including the Fraser River Canyon, the Spiral Tunnels in Yoho National Park, and the Kicking Horse Pass. The train also offers commentary from knowledgeable guides who share the history, geology, and culture of the region.

Aside from the stunning scenery, the Rocky Mountaineer train journey offers a unique opportunity to relax, unwind, and is truly a journey that you will never forget. Sit back, enjoy the views, and indulge, without having to worry about driving or navigating along the way.

Canada is also of course a bucket list destination for New Zealanders looking for an incredible ski holiday experience. With its stunning natural landscapes, world-class ski resorts, and excellent snow conditions, Canada offers some of the best skiing and snowboarding opportunities in the world.

Canada's ski resorts are known for their excellent facilities and amenities, making them ideal for families, couples, and groups of friends. From luxury hotels and chalets to budget-friendly lodges and apartments, there are accommodation options to suit all budgets and preferences. Many ski resorts also offer on-site restaurants, spas, and activities like ice skating, tubing, and snowshoeing, ensuring there is always something to do, even off the slopes.

Canada's ski resorts are known for their stunning natural beauty. Resorts like Whistler Blackcomb, Banff, and Lake Louise are located in some of the most beautiful areas in Canada, with towering mountains, snow-covered forests, and crystal-clear lakes. Skiing or snowboarding down the slopes while surrounded by this breathtaking scenery is an experience that is hard to beat.

The ski resorts are renowned for their incredible snow conditions, with many resorts boasting long seasons and abundant snowfall. Skiing in Canada typically starts in November and can last until late April or early May, providing plenty of opportunities for a winter getaway.

Guided tours are very popular and will make sure that you see the best of Canada from natural beauty of the Rocky Mountains to the cultural richness of its cities. There are numerous guided tour options available, catering to a range of interests, budgets, and group sizes.

One of the main advantages of guided tours is the convenience and ease they provide. Knowledgeable guides will offer insights and stories about the history, culture, and natural wonders of the areas visited. You will gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of the places visited. In addition, guided tours often have access to exclusive experiences and attractions that are not available to independent travellers, providing a unique and unforgettable experience.

There are many types of guided tours available in Canada, catering to a range of interests and budgets. Nature lovers can explore the country's national parks, like Banff or Jasper, on guided hiking or wildlife tours. History buffs can delve into Canada's rich cultural heritage with guided tours of historic sites and museums, like the Canadian Museum of History or the Halifax Citadel. Foodies can indulge in culinary tours, visiting local markets and sampling regional specialties, while adventure seekers can experience thrilling activities like white-water rafting or zip-lining.

Guided tours are also an excellent way to meet new people and make lasting connections. Travelers on guided tours are often like-minded individuals with shared interests and passions, providing an opportunity to make new friends and create unforgettable memories together.

If you're planning a vacation in Canada, there are several travel tips that can help you make the most of your trip. Here are some key tips to keep in mind:

  1. Pack for the weather: Canada has a varied climate, with cold winters and hot summers depending on the region. Make sure to pack appropriate clothing and gear for the weather, especially if you plan to explore the great outdoors.

  2. Get travel insurance: It's always a good idea to have travel insurance when visiting a foreign country. This can cover unexpected medical expenses, lost or stolen items, and travel disruptions.

  3. Plan ahead: Canada is a vast country with many attractions, so it's a good idea to plan your itinerary in advance and of course using a travel agent to do this will make sure you are getting the best experience possible. We ensure you make the most of your time and don't miss any must-see sights.

  4. Use public transportation: Canada has an extensive public transportation system, including buses, subways, and trains. Using public transportation can be an affordable and convenient way to get around, especially in cities like Toronto and Vancouver.

  5. Try local cuisine: Canada has a rich culinary heritage, with many regional specialties to try. From poutine in Quebec to seafood in the Maritimes, make sure to sample some of the local cuisines during your trip.

  6. Respect local customs: Canada is a multicultural country with many different customs and traditions. Be respectful of these, especially when visiting indigenous communities or religious sites.

  7. Be mindful of wildlife: Canada is home to many species of wildlife, including bears, moose, and wolves. If you plan to explore the outdoors, make sure to follow safety guidelines and keep a safe distance from any wildlife you encounter.

  8. Have fun: Canada is a beautiful and welcoming country, with plenty to see and do. Enjoy your trip, and make the most of your time in this amazing destination!

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