Arriving in Banff is really like walking into a storybook. This fairytale like township reminded me of an oversized gingerbread house village with snow capped mountains, beautifully arranged chateau style buildings and all set amongst the majestic and awe inspiring Rockies.

It’s not only the highest town in Canada (1383 metres elevated above sea level!) but is also the first town in Canada to be incorporated within a National Park.

Some more stats for those that like fun facts like me – Banff National Park is Canada’s first ever National Park and the World’s 3rd National Park established in 1885, made up of 96% wilderness – of which we can attest to, as we were fortunate enough to see a grizzly, elk, deer, caribou and other crazy beautiful Canadian wildlife.

Its unique history is what adds to the beauty of Banff, not to mention combine this with the almighty Canadian Rockies, which dominate the skyline of Banff itself, including the all commanding peaks of Mt Rundle and Mt Cascade.

Banff is a resort town in the province of Alberta, within Banff National Park. On Banff Avenue, the main thoroughfare, you’re greeted by an enchanting and stunning array of alpine peaked shops, boutiques, bars and restaurants. The considered approach behind the architectural design of this township is mindblowing. Everything just works. It’s not cheesy or touristy, it’s just pretty in every sense of the word. The stunning ch√Ęteau-style buildings and the cold alpine air, along with the buzz of a place that thrives on the outdoors in all seasons…whether it be hiking, skiing, kayaking, wildlife watching or snowboarding, it caters for everyone and anyone who loves being immersed in nature.

When we arrived we had no idea that every second person we met would be Australian! It clearly is a place we all flock to when thinking of exploring the Rockies with so many expats over there making a living doing what they love!

If you haven’t visited Banff then quite frankly it’s un-Australian.

Tips: if you get the chance be sure to do the self-drive. We flew into Calgary and hired a car and drove around Banff and Jasper and discovered scenery, wildlife and landscapes I never knew existed. The Rockies are so overpowering that you are so humbled by their presence. It’s raw, real and extraordinary and not to be missed. Best time to visit was early May due to the stunning climate. There was still snow on the mountains but the lakes had either partially or completely defrosted showing the brilliant aqua blue glacier-fed water of the surrounding lakes. (Our favourite lakes were Emerald Lake and Lake Louise).

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{source: statistics included in this article were provided by Banff Lake Louise Tourism Bureau and were correct at the time of publishing}



One Comment

  • Gina says:

    I can’t believe I used to live so close to Canada and I never took advantage of the beauty that was right upstairs. The town definitely looks like a gingerbread house and something out of a fairy tale. It totally blew my mind that Banff National Park is the third largest national park in the world. I have so much traveling to do while I’m back in the states!

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