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|Landscapes on Vancouver Island, our home and surrounding area|
Vancouver Island is one of 6000 islands in British Columbia - and the largest island off the Pacific Coast of North America. Approximately 460 kilometres (285 miles) long, 50-130 km (30 to 80 mi) wide, covering approx. 32,136 square kilometres (12,408 square miles). Separated from the mainland by Queen Charlotte, Georgia, and Juan de Fuca straits, the Island is a partially submerged portion of the Coastal Mountains., rising to 2,200 m (7,219 ft ) at Golden Hinde Mtn. located on the centre of the Island in Stratchona Provincial Park. Much of the Island is wilderness and home to wolves, black bear, cougar, deer, elk and eagles . The rugged western coastline consists of deeply indented fjords and inlets, rain forests, mountainous terrain and is sparsely populated. There are very few roads and many of the coastal villages are only accessible by sea or air. Island population is mainly concentrated along the east coast, where level plains extend inland, with lush farmlands, forests, quaint villages and towns. The largest cities are Victoria ( provincial capital) and Esquimalt (site of a large naval base) to the south, Nanaimo, central Island, and Port Alberni to the north-west. There are many small ports and fishing settlements, Port Hardy being the most northerly, all are connected by the only highway running the length of the Island Climate is mild and humid, with the western portion of Vancouver Island receiving the greatest amount of precipitation in North America. Total population of the Vancouver Island Region, which includes the northern and southern Gulf Islands is approx. 726,367, Vancouver Island on it's own stands at approx. 700,593.