Brewster Banff Gondola

There is plenty in Banff to keep you busy in winter even if you're not one of the avid skiers catching the regular shuttles to Norquay each day. The Hot Springs and their retro bathing suits for hire I hear are a real experience, as well as the snow shoeing trails and short hiking trails to Tunnel Mountain and the Bow River Falls. But the experience you must have, the one you won't forget, is riding the Gondola up Sulphur Mountain. The view from the Samson Weather Observatory is unsurpassed and your reward for braving the chilling walk to the peak? Feeling like you're on top of the world!

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Parc du Mont-Royal, Montrèal

Just outside the city there is a magical expanse of parkland that is a joy to walk through. Like many reserves in Canada, the Parc du Mont-Royal is almost a woodland with scrub and well-established trees, hikes and stretches of grassy knolls that would be ideal in summer for lolling about in the sun.

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Parc de la Chute-Montmorency & Isle d'Orleans, Quebec City

Melburnians know that as exciting as a city can be, the fringes too need to be explored. I booked a late season day tour of the Quebec countryside through the Tourist Information Centre and departed on the best of late autumn days - chill but clear and still warm in the sun. Our pleasantly-accented guide took us to a number of spots including the Basilica Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré, but by far the highlights were the Chute-Montmorency, a half-frozen waterfall, and the quaint Isle d'Oleans where we winded our way around the island to a chocolaterie and indulged is some divine milk chocolate that never made it back to the land down under.

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Plaines d'Abraham, Quebec City

In what I am sure is a hallmark of Canadian cities, just outside the citadel lay the Plaines d'Abraham, the site of an historic battle between the British and the French cultivated into sprawling parkland. The Battlefields Park is sparse on trees but this only serves to make it into the ideal inner-city snowshoeing destination in winter. I missed out on Quebec snow by only that [ ] much and I would dearly love to head back for a Christmas!

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