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where to go in BC?

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Melbourne
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where to go in BC?

My husband and I are doing some flying training in British Columbia in May. We have the option of spending the training week in either the Fraser Rive area or Kelowna. Given the choice, which of the two would be the more scenic, pretty, nicer area to stay? We are from Australia and love great scenery, food, wine, walks - not a fan of the big cities if that helps narrow the choice?! However, we have heard that Vancouver is a beautiful city to visit....

Port Moody, Canada
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1. Re: where to go in BC?

I'd pick Kelowna area simply because in May the orchards will all be in bloom, the wineries are excellent, there are great hikes...yes Vancouver is a beautiful city but given your interests I'd do the Okanagan

Vancouver, Canada
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2. Re: where to go in BC?

+1 for the Okanagan. However, it would also help if you could give us a little more information about where along the Fraser River the training is to take place.

There is an area of the "Lower Mainland" called the Fraser Valley (i.e., the delta along the Fraser River). Vancouver anchors one end of it and Hope, about 1 1/2 - 2 hours away, is at the other end. Depending upon where you are training, out of Chilliwack airport for example, you may not be close enough to Vancouver to see the city in any meaningful way in any event.

Vancouver, Canada
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3. Re: where to go in BC?

Hmm, the Fraser River is 1400 km or so long. If you are doing training near the source, you would be very very close to the Rocky Mountains ..... so let us know what that means..

Actually, I'm wondering if you don't mean the Fraser VALLEY. That's close to Vancouver and would make more sense.

Edited: 28 February 2012, 01:01
Port Moody, Canada
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4. Re: where to go in BC?

I'm thinking they may be meaning either Pitt Meadows where there's a smaller airport that can be used for training or Abbotsford. Either one would be at least an hours drive into Vancouver.

Greater Sydney...
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5. Re: where to go in BC?

I would think that the Okanagan from the air would be very nice. Oscar, the lakes in that region are HUGE and very lovely. Have a look at the regions on Google maps/satellite view.

Melbourne
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6. Re: where to go in BC?

Thanks everyone. What a speedy reply! Pitt Meadows is,the area I believe, but I think I've been won over with the promise of good wineries and stunning scenery at Kelowna. It is not too touristy? Busy? I take it the lake itself is quite stunning?

Greater Sydney...
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7. Re: where to go in BC?

I don't know about stunning, Oscar, just something that we do not get to see in Oz. We drove the route from Vernon to Penticton en route from the Rockies to Vancouver, and that stretch of road travelled along the banks of Lake Okanagan for over 100 kms.

Pitt Meadows seems to be about 40km from Vancouver, and I cannot remember much about that area as we drove though on the Trans Canada Hwy, but there is certainly a lot of built up area there, while Kelowna is about 400kms from Vancouver with more open areas surrounding it. I might also mention that Kelowna is only about 500km from Banff, Alberta in the Rockies and I would highly recommend visiting the Rockies if you have time before/after the week of flight training.

We found Kelowna to be a very clean, modern and sprawling city, and quite busy when we were there on a Saturday. Wiki tells me it has a population of about 120,000, a bit bigger than Albury and Wodonga combined by about 30,000, and about 40,000 less than Geelong.

Mate, Google maps/satellite view is great for looking at things like this from where you will be, in the air over them. I note NearMap.com, the aerial photography website we see here, does not have a presence in Canada which is a pity as their online aerial photographic mapping is superior to Google satellite. Another thing you could look at doing, which I use from time-to-time is take the little orange man for a run in Streetview on Google maps. I have used that tool to select accommodation, combined with other utilities, before.

Further, have a look at the different weather averages for the regions, Pitt Meadows:

www.weatherbase.com/weather/weather.php3…

and Kelowna:

www.weatherbase.com/weather/weather.php3…

A possible factor for me with this would the the average precipitation levels with PM recording 100mm for May and K 20mm. Admittedly that is not a lot for either place, considering the weather that we have been having this summer in the Sydney region has been so rotten, and we look like we could get up to 300mm over the next two days.

Like you I am not a fan of big cities. Before our trip in early June 2008 I was advised by a very good poster on this forum that Vancouver was a lot like Sydney, which I avoid at all cost unless offered a harbour cruise, and I found that to be the case. We also copped rotten weather in Vancouver (much like here now) which did not help.

So, perhaps the above may be of some assistance I hope. Just my AU$0.02c worth. Oh, and the people of Canada are lovely as well.

8. Re: where to go in BC?

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Greater Sydney...
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9. Re: where to go in BC?

I tried to link a photo of mine from Photobucket but cannot seem to get the links working. I never had this problem in the past. Oh well, you will just have to see for yourself. :)))))

Port Moody, Canada
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10. Re: where to go in BC?

Oscar,

Pitt Meadows is a semi rural ( fast growing) suburb east of Vancouver. In non rush hour traffic you could drive into Vancouver itself in just under an hour ( possibly 45 minutes at the very best). there are some nice parks and hiking areas as well as Pitt Lake which has some stunning scenery and remote areas.

While Kelowna can be busy ( and touristy) the season doesn't really start until after school is out here which is end of June. In May you'll not find crowds and while the lakes may still be too cold for swimming the abundant opportunities for hiking, cycling ( Kettle valley trestle system) wine touring would make it my first choice. Possibly you'll fly into Vancouver and spend a day or two. If you're flying to Kelowna there are a couple of ariline choices. Air Canada and Westjet. If you fly into the west coast of the US then look at Alaska airlines to fly direct to Kelowna. If you drive from Vancouver it's about a 5 hour drive ( we do it in 4+ if necessary)

go to the website www.hellobc.com and click on the Okanagan to see what the area has to offer.