Enjoy this week-long soft adventure tour around North Vancouver Island. View wildlife from land and water. Meet locals and hear the fascinating history of the local area. Breathe in the fresh air on hikes and relax on one of our lodge’s massive sunset deck. Vancouver Island, off Canada’s Pacific Coast, is known for its mild climate and thriving arts community. This tour offers a great mix for any adventurer.
Our gay North Vancouver Island, Canada tour covers a good portion of the island and surrounding islands. Enjoy a wonderful outdoor experience while meeting and learning the local history.
Spend time on the water in a kayak, ferry, boat, and zodiac while we view the local wildlife. Spent time on foot on beautiful beaches and glorious forests. It’s a lovely mix of adventure with a splash of culture to help appreciate the local communities.
Day 1 -
Welcome to Canada! Our tour will begin in Campbell River, a small town on the central east coast of Vancouver Island. We will have a transfer from the airport to the lodge, a historical salmon fishing lodge, once popular among celebrities in the 40s and 50s!
Tonight we will meet up for our orientation and Welcome Dinner.
Day 2 -
This morning, we will enjoy a walk on the beach and breakfast overlooking the Ocean. Then we will make our way to nearby Elk Falls Provincial to enjoy a light hike through the old-growth forests and across the suspension bridge. We will view the impressive waterfall as it tumbles into the canyon below.
This afternoon, we will begin our drive “up-island” (2.5 hours), with stops along the way to embrace the views of the coastal mountains. We will arrive at Telegraph Cove, a quaint fishing village that was established in 1912 as a one-room telegraph station. Many of the historic buildings still stand, built on stilts above the water and connected by a boardwalk. The rest of the day will be free to wander the village and learn more about its history, with the option to visit the local Whale Interpretive Centre, art gallery, and coffee shop.
This evening we will enjoy dinner together on the waterfront overlooking the harbor.
Day 3 -
Today, we will get out on the water to explore the coastal wilderness. After some paddling and safety training, we will spend the day paddling the coastline. There is plenty of wildlife to view at our leisurely pace. From seals bobbing alongside the kayaks, to bald eagles soaring up above. Hopefully, we catch some glimpses of humpback whales and Okras gliding by in the distance. We will enjoy lunch today on a remote stretch of beach or a nearby island.
The evening will be on your own to relax and enjoy Telegraph Cove.
Day 4 -
After a leisurely morning, we will set off for our next destination. We will grab some lunch at a local craft brewery in Port McNeill before boarding the ferry to Alert Bay on Cormorant Island. Just 5km long and barely 1km wide, this Island is home to the proud and active ‘Namgis First Nation’ community of about 500 people, along with a mix of Kwakwaka’wakw tribes and a small settler population.
Alert Bay is a global center for Indigenous culture, with highlights including the Big House which seats 1200 people for traditional gatherings, the World’s Tallest Totem Pole, and the renowned U’Mista Cultural Centre which holds one of the most complete and important collections of Indigenous masks and artifacts in the world.
We will enjoy a driving tour of the small island to give us the lay of the land, and then the afternoon is free to explore the quaint town or join your guides for a hike through the forest trails and Ecological Gardens. Our accommodation in Alert Bay is a family-run waterfront B&B, where the expansive deck is sure to be the highlight. A special dinner will be prepared tonight by our hosts and enjoyed while watching the sunset over the Johnstone Strait.
Day 5 -
Today we will join the local Indigenous guides – experts in the area’s wildlife and history – on a well-equipped vessel (with a washroom and heated cabin) for a day on the water (8-10 hours). As we head deep into the channels and many islands of the Broughton Archipelago, we will hopefully see humpback whales, orcas, dolphins, eagles, bears, and a variety of seabirds.
We will make our way from the boat to a Zodiac to cruise the shoreline up close, and then on foot in search of grizzly bears feeding on salmon in the nearby streams. Along the way, our guides will share stories behind the scenery, of the First Nations who have called these lands home for millennia, and of their sustainable approach to wildlife viewing.
Day 6 -
After a long day yesterday, enjoy a free morning today. Relax and enjoy a coffee and a book on the deck or a long walk on the beach. There will be an optional hike or visit to U’Mista Cultural Centre to learn more about the First Nations’ history and cultural traditions if interested. In the early afternoon, we will board the ferry back to Vancouver Island and then drive north – reaching Port Hardy, the last coastal community at the end of the road.
We will make a few scenic stops along the way, including the Quatse River Estuary and Storey’s Beach in Fort Rupert, a historic village that was once a Hudson’s Bay Company outpost. For a final adventure of the day, there is an optional Float Plane tour over the Broughton Archipelago in a unique amphibious Grumman Goose aircraft. We will check in to the beautifully appointed Kwa’Lilas Hotel, owned and operated by the local First Nations. Dinner is yours to enjoy as you wish – there is a pub on-site or our guides can provide recommendations in town.
Day 7 -
This morning we will head towards Cape Scott Provincial Park on the northwestern tip of Vancouver Island. Cape Scott spans
115km of scenic, rugged shoreline, with vast stretches of white sand beaches surrounded by lush old-growth forests. A logging road will take us from Port Hardy across the island to San Josef Bay, where a boardwalk through the dense forest brings us out to the beach.
Enjoy the next few hours exploring the 2km beach and the unique geology of the area – including impressive sea stacks, tidal pools, and sea caves. Our local guides will share stories of the local environment and the history of the area, including attempts by the Danish to settle here in the late 1880s.
We will arrive back in Port Hardy in the afternoon, with time to freshen up before dinner. Tonight is our Farewell Dinner together and we will be treated to a private catered dinner featuring local, Indigenous-inspired west coast cuisine.
Day 8 -
After an optional morning yoga session and hearty breakfast at the hotel, we will head to the Port Hardy airport first, for mid-morning flights, and then continue to Campbell River for mid-afternoon flights, or later. The Campbell River departures will have a lunch stop before arriving at the airport. Campbell River departs need to be 1:50 PM or later.