Big White is located 63 km outside Kelowna, one of the busier towns in the Okanagan Valley. In lieu of a 359 km drive from Vancouver International Airport, Kelowna International Airport accommodates over 60 flights per day from a melting pot of airlines and countries. The airport offers direct service to and from major US cities like Las Vegas, Phoenix, and Seattle, with connecting flights from many more. However, if your local airport doesn’t fly into Kelowna, you should have no problem connecting through any major Canadian airport. If that’s not really your style, you’re looking at about 4 hours in a car from Vancouver, or 5 from Seattle - lengthy, but definitely worth it in the grand scheme of things.
Situated on Okanagan Lake, Kelowna is known for the natural beauty found in its provincial parks, vineyards, orchards, and of course, mountains. Whether you’re stuck in the city due to a freak snowstorm or just want to experience the city before your ascent to Big White, there are plenty of attractions to keep you busy. Once you’ve had enough of Kelowna itself, the trek up to Big White is just shy of an hour, accessible by shuttle, taxi, or rental car.
Shuttles from the airport run frequently for maximum efficiency and is hassle free. The most budget-friendly option is Big White’s official shuttle service, which operates throughout the entire season; just book at least 72 hours in advance. The price for adults is $40 USD ($58 AUD) per person one way, or $66 USD ($96 AUD) round trip, $28 USD ($41 AUD) and $47 USD ($68 AUD) }} for children (ages 6-12), and $17 USD ($25 AUD)/$23 USD ($33 AUD) for tots (5 and under). If they’re fully booked or can’t accommodate your whole party, you’ve got a couple other options which are a bit more expensive.
Discover Okanagan Tours will run you $50 USD ($73 AUD) per person with a minimum charge of $202 USD ($293 AUD), whereas Ok-Limo will get you there for $54 USD ($78 AUD) per person, which includes a stop at a grocery store on the way up.
Certainly not the most cost-effective option, but definitely the easiest. The airport parking lot is often teeming with taxi’s just waiting for your business, and if you’re on a tight schedule, it might be worth it. The prices vary depending on the company, but as a general guideline you can expect to pay about $100 USD ($145 AUD) one way, at least according to Ridebooker. Despite the smaller size and more flexible schedule, you’re still looking at about an hour from the airport to the main village at Big White.
The most flexible and (surprisingly) cost efficient transport to and from Big White is by rental car. You can expect to spend just over $233 USD ($338 AUD) to rent an SUV for a week, giving you full control of your trip. Although the village at Big White is packed full of stores, restaurants, and all sorts of other amenities, a rental car can give you the freedom to come and go as you please, especially if you’re visiting with a group. With convenient pick up and drop off options from Kelowna International Airport, there’s no risk of getting stranded and missing a flight or stressing about the next shuttle.