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Northern Vancouver Island Explorer

Discover rich indigenous culture, bountiful marine life and otherworldly temperate rainforests along Vancouver Islands spectacular northern coast
Experience the road less travelled on northern Vancouver Island with this 8-day self-guided tour from Campbell River to Telegraph Cove, Alert Bay, and Port Hardy. Witness BC's iconic wildlife and natural beauty while connecting to the unique Indigenous cultures and history of the region
8 Days from $3195/person CAD
Travel Details
Options Extras


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. Enjoy a morning hike in Elk Falls Provincial Park - through the old-growth forests and across the suspension bridge to view the impressive waterfall as it tumbles into the canyon below. You then begin the scenic drive "up-island" (~2.5 hours), through small towns with breathtaking views of the coastal mountains. Telegraph Cove is today's destination, 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. After checking into your lodge room for the night, the evening is free to wander the village, watch the fishermen come and go, and visit the Whale Interpretive Museum, art gallery, and coffee shops. Enjoy dinner on the boardwalk featuring local specialties and fresh seafood. Meals included: n/a.

Accommodation at: Telegraph Cove Resort (or similar)

DAY 2: Kayaking the Johnstone Strait

It's time to get out on the water and immerse in the coastal wilderness! You'll meet your guides in Telegraph Cove in the morning for some basic paddling and safety training, before setting off for a day kayaking along the scenic coastline. Wildlife is all around you here - from the seals bobbing alongside the kayaks, to the bald eagles soaring above and the orcas and humpbacks gliding by in the distance. Lunch is enjoyed on a remote stretch of beach or nearby island. At the end of the tour, the evening is spent relaxing in Telegraph Cove. Meals included: Lunch.

Accommodation at: Telegraph Cove Resort (or similar)

Days 3 - 4: Alert Bay

Today you continue the journey to Port McNeill to board 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 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. Then, join a lively cultural dance performance by a local Indigenous group (summer tours only), and learn the intricacies of cedar weaving from local artists.

Afternoons are spent strolling the seafront boardwalk or hiking through the old growth forests and Ecological Park, before relaxing in the comforts of your B&B to watch the sun set over the ocean. Meals included: Dinner on Day 3, Breakfast and Lunch on Day 4.

Accommodation at: Alert Bay B&B

Day 5: Alert Bay to Port Hardy

Today you travel to Port Hardy - the northernmost town on Vancouver Island. The first stop is the historic village of Fort Rupert - 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. In the afternoon, there is an optional Float Plane tour available over the Broughton Archipelago in a unique amphibious Grumman Goose aircraft. Upon arrival to Port Hardy, 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 we can provide recommendations in town. Meals included: Breakfast.

Accommodation at: Kwa'lilas Hotel (or similar)

Day 6: San Josef Bay, Cape Scott Provincial Park

On a locally-guided tour, you'll set off in the morning 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 takes you from Port Hardy across the island to San Josef Bay, where a boardwalk through the dense forest brings you out to the beach. Spend the next few hours exploring the 2km beach and unique geology of the area - including impressive sea stacks, tidal pools, and sea caves. Your guides share stories of the local environment and the history of the area, including attempts by the Danish to settle here in the late 1880s.

Arrive back in Port Hardy by late afternoon, with free time to tour the town or relax at the hotel. Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch.

Accommodation at: Kwa'lilas Hotel (or similar)

Day 7: Whale Watching on the Queen Charlotte Strait

Join local experts in the area's wildlife and history for a day exploring the waters of the western Queen Charlotte Strait via Zodiac. Travel up the coast and across the channel to the many remote islands nearby. These waters are rich with wildlife, and you have the chance to see sea otters, humpback whales, orcas, dolphins, eagles, and other charming creatures that call this area home. You are on the water for ~6 hours this day, and there is a washroom onboard the Zodiac and the option to disembark for a stretch of the legs as needed. A fresh homemade lunch and hot beverages are provided by your guides. After the tour, return to the hotel to unwind and pack for tomorrow's departure. Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch.

Accommodation at: Kwa'lilas Hotel (or similar)

Day 8: 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. Meals included: Breakfast.



  • All accommodation for 7 nights
  • 5 breakfasts, 4 lunches, and 1 dinner.
  • Sea kayaking, tour to Cape Scott Provincial
  • Park, wildlife viewing tour, cultural activities and events, and more.

Not Included

  • Additional meals not listed
  • Flights to/from B.C. and Campbell River
  • Vehicle rental/usage and fuel
  • Travel insurance
  • Optional activities in each town
  • Gratuities for third-party tour providers and housekeeping services (to be given at your discretion)
  • Personal expenses such as alcoholic beverages, medications, snacks, and souvenirs
Travel Details

Primary Location

Vancouver Island, British Columbia


June 1 - September 30

Pricing Details

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!

  • From price is CAD per person, based on double occupancy and for travel in low season
  • Price reductions are available for parties of 4 passengers - please inquire for more details
  • A $500 non-refundable deposit is required at the time of booking
  • Participants should purchase travel medical and accident insurance for the duration of the tour including Trip Interruption / Cancellation Insurance that includes medevac coverage from remote locations.
Options Extras

Optional Extras

  • Flights to / from Campbell River or Vancouver
  • Pre / post accommodation Campbell River or Vancouver
  • Rental vehicle
  • Ferries between Vancouver and Vancouver Island (if applicable)
  • Float plane tour over Broughton Archipelago
  • Whales, Wildlife and Culture tour in Campbell River
  • Combine with other British Columbia Tours

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