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U'mista Cultural Centre
(AboriginalBC.com photo)

Trip Ideas

Northern Vancouver Island

See a whale breaching off your kayak’s bow, hike to a deserted beach, experience a traditional First Nations ceremonial dance, or explore a fishing village built on stilts. Northern Vancouver Island may be a little off the beaten path, but it offers nearly unlimited scenery, wildlife and adventure.

Things to Do

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Campbell River

Head to Campbell River, where salmon up to and sometimes exceeding 13.5 kilos/30 pounds are... Read more frequently pulled from the ocean here. Back on shore, experience some of Campbell River’s seafaring and logging traditions at the Museum at Campbell River or the nearby Campbell River Maritime Heritage Centre. Overnight at Painter's Lodge or head across the water for hydrotherapy and oceanfront dining at April Point Resort & Spa on Quadra Island. Also on Quadra Island, Tsa-Kwa-Luten Lodge mixes kayaking, fishing, hiking and wildlife tours with ocean views and traditional Kwagiulth First Nations art and architecture.

Museum at Campbell River

Rated tenth in the country by Trip Advisor's Traveller's Choice Award (2014), the Museum at Campbell River on Vancouver Island is not to be missed. Located conveniently on the Island Highway, the Museum houses a fine collection of permanent exhibi...
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Wilderness Cruises on the MV Uchuck III

Sign on for a maritime adventure on the MV Uchuck III. The Uchuck, a converted WWII minesweeper, sails from Gold River to settlements and logging camps along Vancouver Island's isolated northwest coast. The 100-passenger ship travels through historic Nootka Sound and Esperanza Inlet, bringing freight and passengers to coastal villages; it also ferries adventurous hikers and kayakers to places way off the beaten path. Book day and overnight trips, on-shore accommodation, and kayak launches with Get West Adventure Cruises in Gold River.

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Telegraph Cove

Stroll along the boardwalk at Telegraph Cove, one of the last surviving – and best... Read more preserved – of BC’s traditional coastal fishing villages. Among the brightly painted houses, built on pilings over the water, is the Whale Interpretive Centre, home to a 18-m/60-ft-long fin whale skeleton.

Explore the village then tuck into a plate of alder smoked salmon at the Killer Whale Cafe. Stay the night in a boardwalk cabin, a suite in the manor house, or even in an extension of the village’s old floating hospital.

(Anton Cepeliauskas photo)

Whale Interpretive Centre

No trip to Telegraph Cove would be complete without a visit to the Whale Interpretive Centre. This interactive learning centre on a quaint boardwalk overlooks the wildlife-rich waters of Johnstone Strait. See displays of marine mammals, including a suspended skeleton of a fin whale (the second largest species in the world). After visiting, take a guided wildlife tour – whale and grizzly bear tour boats depart just steps from the centre, or rent a kayak – the waters around Telegraph Cove are renowned for Orca (killer whale) viewing.

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Stubbs Island Whale Watching

Committed to ethical & educational wildlife viewing, we are the first whale watching company established in BC, now in our 37th season. Based in Telegraph Cove, the whale watching capital of BC, we offer tours through Johnstone Strait, Blackfish S...
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(AboriginalBC.com photo)

The U'mista Cultural Centre

View priceless First Nations treasures at the U’mista Cultural Centre. In the tiny village of Alert Bay on Cormorant Island, 45 minutes by ferry from Port McNeill, this striking building is home to the world-renowned Potlatch Collection. The collection spent much of the last century in the likes of the Smithsonian Museum and the British Museum. These treasures and artifacts, including masks and ceremonial objects, are now preserved and displayed in a traditional Big House-style building on Alert Bay’s waterfront.

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(Edward Gifford photo)

The North Coast Trail

Test your mettle on a coastal wilderness trek in Cape Scott Provincial Park, at the extreme northwestern tip of Vancouver Island. The North Coast Trail runs along the coast, past old-growth forest, sea stacks, rocky headlands and miles of spectacular beach. The area’s rugged and challenging terrain is known for its pounding rainstorms, and should only be attempted by experienced, well-equipped hikers. For an easier taste of this pristine landscape, try the 45-minute hike to the beautiful sandy beach at San Josef Bay.

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Places to Stay

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Best Western Plus, The Westerley Hotel & Convention Centre

Courtenay's only full-service hotel, Best Western, The Westerly Hotel & Convention Centre is centrally located in beautiful downtown Courtenay with easy access to local business, attractions & year-round recreation like skiing & golfing. This pro...
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Painter's Lodge

Explore the rich tradition of BC salmon fishing in renowned Campbell River, 'The Salmon Capital of the World,' at the doorstep of one of the world's most impressive salmon migrations.

Set off from the resort in a 17 foot Boston Whaler an...

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Black Bear Resort

One of North Vancouver Island's newer accommodations; located 25 min from Port Hardy ferry in the coastal community of Port McNeill. We offer spectacular mountain & ocean view & features 40 high quality rooms, 11 Cabins, private facilities & delux...
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Getting Here and Around

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Victoria International Airport

Victoria International Airport (Airport Code: YYJ) is the 10 busiest airport in Canada with over 1.5 million passengers per year. Victoria is well served with more than 120 daily flights.

The airport is situated approximately 25KM (15.5...

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BC Ferries

From the countless inlets of the Southern Gulf Islands to the untamed wilderness of the rugged North, BC Ferries is the gateway to your next coastal BC journey. Sail through spectacular scenery aboard one of our modern, well-appointed vessels, ser...
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Comox Valley Airport

The Comox Valley Airport (YQQ) is centrally located on the east coast of Vancouver Island, within easy driving distance of Mount Washington, Parksville, Nanaimo & Tofino. It is the second largest airport on Vancouver Island and offers daily non-st...
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