Embark on an awe-inspiring journey along Vancouver Island’s east coast. Discover Campbell River’s hidden gems in the waterfront trails and Elk Falls Provincial Park. Explore Telegraph Cove’s charming fishing village and immerse in Indigenous culture in Alert Bay. Experience a thrilling wildlife tour in the Broughton Archipelago, encountering humpback whales, orcas, and grizzly bears. Indulge in indigenous crafts en route to Port Hardy, where the Kwa’Lilas Hotel showcases stunning Indigenous art. Conclude with a day of exploration in Port Hardy before returning to Campbell River, cherishing the unforgettable memories of this coastal adventure.
Day 1: Campbell River to Telegraph Cove
Your journey begins in Campbell River, a small town on the central east coast of Vancouver Island known as the Salmon Capital of the World. Spend the afternoon exploring the expansive waterfront trails or immerse in the history at the Campbell River Museum. Enjoy a light hike among the old growth forests of Elk Falls Provincial Park, featuring a suspension bridge over the canyon to view the impressive waterfall. Arrive at leisure to your comfortable oceanfront accommodation - an historic salmon fishing lodge once popular amongst celebrities in
the 1940s and 50s.
Dinner can be enjoyed on-site at the lodge or at one of the many seafood restaurants and other dining options in Campbell River.
Day 2: Telegraph Cove and Alert Bay
Start the day with breakfast overlooking the ocean before setting off for the scenic drive "up-island" (~2.5 hours). The first stop is Telegraph Cove, a quaint fishing village that was established in 1912 as a one-room telegraph station. Over the years, a salmon saltery and sawmill were established along with a school and general store. Many of the historic buildings still stand, built on stilts above the water and connected by a boardwalk, where interpretive signage shares stories of the past. In the afternoon, continue your journey to Port McNeill to board the ferry to Alert Bay on Cormorant Island.
Day 3:Alert Bay
Alert Bay is a global centre for Indigenous culture, with highlights including the 1200 person Big House 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 artefacts in the world. A private tour of U'Mista brings to life the dark past and storied present of BC's Indigenous peoples. In the afternoon, join a lively cultural dance performance in the 'Namgis Traditional Big House (summer tours only). There is free time to enjoy the seafront boardwalk or hike through the old growth forests and Ecological Park, before relaxing at the B&B to watch the sun set over the ocean.
Day 4:Grizzly Bears and Wildlife Tour
Join local Indigenous guides - experts in the area's wildlife and history - on a well-equipped vessel for a day on the water. As you head deep into the channels and many islands of the Broughton Archipelago, you may witness humpback whales, orcas, dolphins, eagles, and even the elusive grizzly bear feeding on salmon in the nearby streams. Your 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.
You are on the water for ~8-10 hours this day; there is a washroom onboard, a heated cabin, and time to get off on land to stretch your legs. Breakfast and lunch are provided by your guides. The tour ends with a drop-off back to Alert Bay.
Day 5: Alert Bay to Port Hardy
Enjoy a leisurely morning in Alert Bay, with time to stroll the waterfront and watch for wildlife from the B&B's expansive oceanfront deck. Take part in an Indigenous craft workshop to learn the importance of cedar and the intricacies of weaving.
Continue the journey to Port Hardy, the northernmost town on Vancouver Island. Visit the historic village of Fort Rupert along the way - the site of an old Hudson's Bay Company outpost. There are some optional hikes here along Storey's Beach, among forest trails, and the Quatse River Estuary. Upon arrival to Port Hardy, check-in to the beautifully appointed Kwa'Lilas Hotel, owned and operated by the Gwa’sala ‘Nakwaxda’xw Nations. You'll find a varied collection of Indigenous art throughout the hotel, with the most notable being the impressive 18' copper wall in the lobby which depicts the history and cultural stories of the local First Nations.
After settling in, dinner is yours to enjoy as you wish - there is a pub on-site or we can provide recommendations in town.
Day 6: Return to Campbell River
After a hearty breakfast at the hotel, the morning's itinerary is up to you - with time to explore the waterfront and town of Port Hardy, including unique shops, history museum, and Carrot Park. You'll then start our journey south, stopping for a rest and lunch along the way to end in Campbell River.
Click Book Online above for dates, availability and to make your reservation request - if you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us!