Western Canada

Lively cities, spectacular scenery and outdoor adventures from coast to coast; Canada is a country of wide open spaces, pristine wilderness areas and cultural heritage. Canada’s west contains some of the most breathtaking scenery in the world, with harbour front cities, the grandeur of the Rocky Mountains, bear watching and the majestic wilds of the Yukon. 

When to Visit

A year round destination, Canada's magnificent scenery and cultural treasures welcome visitors especially during summer. Autumn particularly during September and October, offers stunning colour across the country.

Highlights

WILDLIFE Canada offers many opportunities for wildlife viewing. See belugas, orca and bowhead whales, caribou and moose in their natural environment. View grizzly and black bears as they feast on salmon or observe polar bears at close range.

WINTER From the unusual to the more traditional winter activities, winter in Canada is an amazing experience. See frozen mountains, lakes and glaciers, walk through an ice canyon, or discover the beauty of snow-covered forests.

RAIL JOURNEYS Travel along Canada’s famous ‘ribbons of steel’ and experience remarkable landscapes that come alive with rushing rivers, mountain peaks, and profuse wildlife. An exhilarating way to discover the true character of this country.

EVENTS & FESTIVALS Canada is well known for amazing festivals and events, and is home to “the Greatest Show on Earth”, the Calgary Stampede, a popular event held every summer for over 100 years.

FRENCH HERITAGE Québec offers travellers a rich French heritage to explore. From the spoken language and cuisine, through to its street signs and traditions, discover the cobbled streets of “French” Canada.

MEET THE LOCALS Whether eating your way around Vancouver on a food truck excursion or visiting indigenous communities in the Arctic, the locals you meet along the way will be the highlight of your Canadian experience.

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Useful Information

Visas

For the most up to date information regarding visas for Australian passport holders to Canada, visit www.dfat.gov.au/visas/

Customs

The ethnic diversity of Canada means that rules of social propriety are quite complex. There are certain general expectations. Greeting, except in formal settings, does not require touching in the form of embraces or handshakes. As a community, Canadians are in general soft spoken, patient, and almost apologetic in their public behaviour. They are also in general tolerant of the complex network of cultural differences in public behaviour, more so in cities where such diversity is more common place.

Health

The following information is intended as a guide only and in no way should it be used as a substitute for professional medical advice relative to a travellers individual needs and vaccination history. No guarantee is made as to its accuracy or thoroughness. For further information, please contact The Travel Doctor. 

Frequent travellers or those intending a long stay overseas should consider vaccination against Hepatitis B. 

Please consult a medical practitioner or contact The Travel Doctor for your specific risk to these preventable diseases and the appropriate avoidance measures. Australians travelling to Canada should ensure that they have adequate travel insurance to cover the length of their stay. For further information visit the Smartraveller website http://www.smartraveller.gov.au/zw-cgi/view/Advice/Canada

Electricity

Electrical plug type: American (some Japanese)

Voltage: 110-120 volts (Australia 240 volts)

Modem plug type: American (same as Australia).

Communications

Country Code for Canada: +1

Visa Global Assistance: 1866 639 1911 Directory Information: 411

Emergency Services: 911 The emergency services number may not be applicable in remote areas. 

Shopping

You'll enjoy convenient shopping hours across Canada with many stores open from 9am or 10am to 6pm seven days a week. City stores and suburban shopping centres are also open until 9pm on several weeknights, particularly on Thursday and Friday. Sunday shopping is permitted in all provinces and territories across Canada. Some store owners may choose not to open on Sunday so find out before you set out on your shopping excursion.

Tipping

Tipping is practiced in Canada in a similar manner to the United States. It is a common practice in restaurants to have servers share their tips with other restaurant employees, a process called "tipping out". Workers who receive tips are legally required to report the income to the Canada Revenue Agency and pay income tax on it. 

Getting Around

Many Canadian cities have clean and efficient public transit systems that make it easy and exciting to explore cities on a flexible schedule. Buses account for most of the fleets, but there are also streetcars, trolleys, sea buses, and trains. Major Canadian cities that offer subway, metro or light rapid transit service include Vancouver (SkyTrain), Calgary (CTrain), Edmonton (LRT), Toronto (subway), Ottawa (O-Train) and Montréal (metro).

Language

English is the official language however almost 20% of people speak French, especially in Eastern Canada.

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