Botanical Beach to Botany Bay loop trail

Wild Pacific

Having woken early in our lodge at Wild Renfrew, we packed up, gave a quick look out the window to make sure we weren't greeted by any wildlife and headed back out to explore the island.

We parked up at the trailhead and I spent about 15 minutes in the car having a mini meltdown, convinced this is where I'd meet my end. I did this a few times on our trip. The trails are heavily wooded, incredibly quiet and often brimming with wildlife and bears.

After a while of Mr B talking me down, I spotted a group of ladies with high vis jackets and bear bells heading onto the trail - I figured best we hop out now or never and join behind as a deterrent to bears.

Hilariously, they stopped 5 minutes into the trail and we ended up having to continue on our own anyway! Sod's law.

The trail itself is absolutely breathtaking if you can get over the tourist nerves. Locals never have this problem. The trail loops past Botany Bay and then Botanical Beach before returning to the trailhead and car park.

As you approach Botany Bay, you can see how untouched it really is. A little cove of washed up driftwood and lush green trees decorate the area.

It is brimming with tidal pools and wildlife, with an abundance of intertidal life.

If I didn't fear cutting our trip short due to silly injuries, I was really tempted to recreate the Dirty Dancing log scene here haha.

We gave the bay a good old scout, spotting curious little creatures in the pools as we went.

The bay itself is so deserted, it is incredibly peaceful. An amazing place to just get away from the world.

The water was sparkling turquoise and crystal clear.

We kept our eyes peeled in the kelp for otters, but to no prevail.

I just love how these trees are growing at the edge of the bay.

A quick selfie for the memory box and we continued on.

Between Botany Bay and Botanical Beach, we came across a rather large, very fresh pile of bear poop. With a reluctant poke of a stick (glamorous I know), we knew it was fresh because it was still wet! Mr B, having spent the entire time telling me we'll never come close to bear, certainly got his skates on then too. And I... well let's just say, it would have been entertaining to witness.

We moved pretty damn quickly to the Botanical Beach and right out into the open. Again, not another person in sight, much to my dismay on this occasion.

Botanical Beach was stunning. Dark black rocks spanning the coast lined with thick lush trees and tempting waters. It felt very volcanic. Botanical beach is a wilderness area and black bear and cougars can often be present. It is recommended to pack up any rubbish tightly and ensure you remove it from the park with you. The wildlife here haven't yet become dependant on human garbage and therefore this action will help keep wildlife at a safe distance if we all continue to follow these rules.

Another little tip; it is recommended to leave pets at home and do not allow small children to wander near the bushes. All that said, I promise it is stunning and worth the hike. Despite poo-gate, we DID NOT encounter any scary bears on the beach or trail.

It's great fun climbing over the rocks and exploring the tidal pools here. Be sure to wear good footwear.

The coastline is unspoilt, with no evidence that it has ever been discovered by man. The views of the rock formations from the sky are incredible.

Having explored the coast for some time, we headed back into the woods and onto the trail, moving at a pace I didn't quite realise we were capable of. We made it back to the car in record time, sweaty, amazed and grateful not to meet any unwelcome guests.

Continuing on our travels, we headed across the island to the east. Due to the formation of the provincial parks, in order to head north of Renfrew by car, you must drive east and back west, around the vast expanse of forest.

This seems counter productive but wow the journey is stunning.

Leaving behind some incredible beaches, we headed east, waving goodbye to theses views.

The journey is relaxing and wild. There aren't a lot of stops or people on the route so be sure to fill up and take some water etc with you before you head out.

Part way across the island, we made a stop and the infamous Fairy Island. Located on the very pretty Fairy lake, very near a campsite for RV's. It is home to a tiny little tree, defying all odds, growing on a log on the lake.

The lake is remote and unspoiled and the tiny douglas fir tree has inspired the visit of a lot of hikers who come to witness the little trees determination to flourish.

It's beautiful Bonsai formation makes it quite the spectacle.

All around Canada, we spotted these awesome birds. Common, almost like our crows, their blue backs are just beautiful. In Hawaii they had a similar bird where the blue is replaced with vibrant red. 

Why can't our pigeons be a bit more fabulous?!

Back on the road, we continued on.

As we approached a midway pitt stop at Lake Cowichan, we began to be joined by numerous logger trucks. A little "Final Destination" vibe shot through me here!

Spotting a Subway, we jumped out desperate for nourishment and frankly, for a wee that didn't involve watching over your shoulder whilst trying not to pee on your shoes!

Pretty sure I ate between 10 - 15 ft of sub on our roadtrip. Subway tastes amazing in Canada! Not a bad view with your sandwich either.

Having explored all day, our destination for the night was Qualicum Beach. A bit of a nothing town, mainly locals with the occasional gift shop - having had a long day of exploring, we thought it best to rest our head for the night.

Our Airbnb here was very basic and a bargain price. Nothing fancy at all, it was built to the conservatory of a quaint little bungalow belonging to some very nice Canadian folk. We chose this location purely for it's incredible view of the Strait of Georgia.

Having collected our keys, we headed in search of dinner and a stroll of the local area. I love that our little nest was bright turquoise. So much character.

Finishing up for the day, we headed along Qualicum Beach as the sun began to set.

We discussed all of the beautiful sights of the incredibly long day as the world around us turned orange. We laughed in hindsight at the silliness of our 'near death' experience and that wild poo encounter.

We wandered back indoors to watch darkness descend - our toes practically brushing the water from our cosy nest.

Nestled in our duvet, we chatted until our minds drifted away with the sun. Slumber taking us into a land of sleepy adventures, reliving the day and creating what magic might still be to come.

I hope you've enjoyed the journey so far. Tomorrow we're heading off on a family trip to Dorset followed by a little babymoon, just the two of us. I'm taking a short break from blogging Canada and I'll be returning after the bank holiday with some posts sure to inspire. They'll cover my favourite part of our entire road trip, a place that captured a little piece of my heart and one I hope to return to one day. 

In the meantime, follow along on my Instagram to see what we get up to over the next week. I'll post when I have a moment.

Until next time, have a glorious, sun filled week xxx


- MTWP xxx

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