Whether driving or taking a bus, the road from Nanaimo is one of the most spectacular in the world. You will pass through the towering old-growth forests of Cathedral Grove, the township of Port Alberni , majestic Sutton Pass, and through Pacific Rim National Park Reserve.

No matter what time of year you are travelling our way, keep up to date on road conditions, including events or delays that may affect your travel plans, by checking your route on DriveBC.

Vancouver Island – and Tofino – can be accessed by vehicle from the British Columbia mainland in three ways:

  1. By driving your own or a rented vehicle

  2. Custom shuttle with Pacific Rim Navigators

  3. Aboard daily scheduled trips with Tofino Bus.


Vancouver to Tofino: (via Nanaimo) 2 hours on BC Ferries and 3 hours by car

Victoria to Tofino: 5 - 6 hours by car, or by Tofino Bus

Ucluelet to Tofino: 40 minutes by car 

IMPORTANT: Safety Improvements on Highway 4 - Kennedy Lake Hill

The BC Ministry of Transportation is conducting a significant upgrade to Highway 4 near Kennedy Lake, beginning in May 2018. Construction will continue around the clock for approximately 24 months, with 2-3 hour complete traffic closures:

September 16, 2018 - June 14, 2019

  • Closed 5:00 am - 7:00 am

  • Closed noon - 1:00 pm

  • Closed 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

  • Closed 10:00 pm - 4:00 am - Except Friday nights the road will close at 12:00 am.

Travel delays of up to 30 minutes, due to single-single alternating traffic at the construction site, are expected each day. 

No traffic stoppages are permitted during long weekend, including the day before or after but Single Lane Alternating Traffic will be in effect.


If driving from the British Columbia mainland, you’ll first need to sail with BC Ferries from one of three points near Vancouver to Vancouver Island:

  1. Horseshoe Bay to Departure Bay: The Horseshoe Bay terminal is north of Vancouver and this ferry route takes just under 2 hours, arriving at Nanaimo’s Departure Bay.

  2. Tsawwassen to Duke Point: The Tsawwassen terminal is south of the city, closer to the USA border. This ferry route takes approximately 2.5 hours, arriving at the Duke Point terminal, about 15 minutes south of Nanaimo.

  3. Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay: The Tsawwassen terminal is south of the city, closer to the USA border. This ferry route takes approximately 2 hours, arriving at the Swartz Bay terminal, about 30 minutes north of Victoria.

Click here for more information on BC Ferries
Please note that advance ferry reservations are highly recommended on all routes during weekends, holiday periods and summer months.


You can fly directly to Tofino (YAZ) from Vancouver (YVR). 

Did you know:
That you can fly to these airports on Vancouver island’s east coast? Both Nanaimo (YCD)and Comox (YQQ) are approximately a 3-3.5 hour drive to Tofino and are both served by a few vehicle rental companies.


Here are some links to help you plan your trip to Tofino!