Northern Vancouver Island Communities

Gold River British Columbia

The village of Gold River is located on the west coast of Vancouver Island, bordering Strathcona Provincial Park with its incredible Northern Vancouver Island scenery. Gold River is a popular destination for the dedicated fishermen interested in fresh water and ocean fishing and the summer steelhead. Accommodations range from bed and breakfasts, wilderness campsites to luxury resorts. There is a nine-hole golf course that offers a variety of challenges. View the splendor of Nootka Sound by traveling aboard the Uchuck III. This is a working coastal vessel that supplies villages and logging camps between Gold River and the small village of Tahsis and the west coast village of Kyuquot. On this voyage you will see grey whales, eagles, black bear and a large variety of seabirds depending on the season and migration. Another popular activity in the area includes caving. Tours can be arranged to view Upana Caves 17 Kilometres northwest of Gold River. You can also enjoy a self-guided one hour tour of this area. Other popular outdoor activities include cycling and hiking along mountain trails.

Holberg British Columbia

Located 67 Kilometres west of Port Hardy via a logging road. Holberg is the starting point to Cape Scott Provincial Park and San Josef Bay. Visitors are amazed to see the Shoe Tree. Here many shoes have been contributed by people visitors from around the world. Visit the Running Gardens and view a collection of exotic plants, shrubs and trees. These gardens were first established in 1910 by Norwegian settlers and now they are being re-developed by Julia and Ron Moe. Outdoors activities include fishing charters, hiking, whale watching, and boat rentals. There is a restaurant in Holberg to serve you.

Port Alice British Columbia

Known as the place where “the Eagles Soar”. Port Alice is located in Neroutsos Inlet on Quatsino Sound and is a short drive from either Port Hardy or Port McNeill. Port Alice offers all the modern conveniences and community services that a small town can offer, including indoor and outdoor activities. The village has one of the most challenging nine-hole golf courses on the island; there is also a boat launch and a yacht club. There is an abundance of salt water and fresh fishing, scuba diving, caving, hiking, kayaking, canoeing, mountain climbing and variety of wilderness camping sites. Port Alice offers the best adventures for the outdoor enthusiast.

Port McNeill British Columbia

Located at the Northern end of Highway 19 on Vancouver Island and the gateway to the Broughton Archipelago. At Port McNeill you can take the BC Ferry to the historic native village of Alert Bay and the Finnish village of Sointula. The town provides community services for both locals and visitors. Stroll along the waterfront and watch fishing vessels and boaters dock at the Government wharf. Don’t miss the eagles nesting in high trees as they feed their young with salmon caught just off shore. The town offers a selection of small shops, craft stores with native carvings, restaurants, a neighbourhood pub and a good variety of accommodations along the waters edge. Outdoor activities include fresh and saltwater fishing, whale and wildlife watching excursions, native cultural tours, forestry and cave tours, air charters, boat charters, hiking, scuba diving, wilderness camping, canoeing and kayaking. Here in Port McNeil you can experience tranquil island living at its best.

Port Hardy British Columbia

Situated at the northern end of Highway 19 on Vancouver Island. Port Hardy is where you take the BC Ferry, Queen of the North, to Prince Rupert and the gateway to Northern Vancouver Island recreation areas. Famous for scuba diving, kayaking, hiking, ocean and fresh water fishing, whale watching, golfing, and caving, Port Hardy has services for all types of eco-adventures and outdoor recreation.

Sayward British Columbia

The village is situated right on Johnstone Strait and is the best place in the world to see killer whales. Here in Sayward you can find full amenities including: moorage, accommodations, a recreation centre, shopping, and community services. Logging is the primary employer in Sayward. Outdoor recreation include, canoeing, kayaking, camping and hiking trails. This a great place to view wildlife such as: Roosevelt Elk, cougars and migrating birds including the eagles. Salt water fishing brings in salmon, cod and halibut. There is an abundance of freshwater fishing for trout and steelhead on Salmon River, White River, Adam River and Eve River. Experience the area's former logging history by visiting the island museum. Also, try winter skiing on Mt Cain.

Stuart Island British Columbia

Sitting at the head of Bute Inlet located between Vancouver Island and the mainland of British Columbia where the Strait of Georgia meets Johnstone Strait approximately 44 km (27 miles) north of Campbell River BC. This very beautiful and rugged area, with swift tidal passes is a mecca for salmon fishing and for fly-in sport fishermen. A number of lodges and corporate retreats have been established on Stuart and neighbouring Sonora Island. Visitors can fly in on private airstrip. There is also a nine-hole golf course. The inlet suports five species of salmon, which in turn feed Dall’s porpoises, sea lions, seals, otters, bald eagles, coastal grizzly and black bears, and on occasion, killer whales. Stuart Island is part of the Discover Island Group.

Alert Bay British Columbia

Historic Alert Bay is located on Cormorant Island. Alert Bay is accessible via BC Ferries from Port McNeill. In Alert Bay the famous U’mista Cultural Centre, Alert Bay Library-Museum, traditional Big House, dance performance by the T’sasala Cultural Group (July and August), Alert Bay Ecological Park, Christ Anglican Church, many trails throughout the island, etc…are all well worth visiting. On the Alert Bay streets you can wind along the waterfront pathways where shops and restaurants overlook the ocean. While visiting the Alert Bay harbour you can observe a variety of fishing vessels getting ready for the fishing season. A popular visitor activity is wild salmon fishing. You can arrange a boat ride to do this or go whale watching. There are many types of accommodations including: hotels, inns, bed and breakfasts, campgrounds, cabins, and lodgings.

Sointula British Columbia

Located on Malcolm Island, Sointula is accessible by BC Ferries from Port McNeill. Founded by Finnish settlers a century ago this was an attempt to create a utopian colony. Here in Sointula the village street winds along the waterfront where shops and restaurants overlook the expansive ocean. At the Government wharf you can view large commercial fishing boats. Try your hand salmon fishing or take a tour watching whales. Then drive or walk along the main road where houses and business hug the shore line. The general store provides for your basic needs and there is fine island food in the local restaurants and coffee shops.

Tahsis British Columbia

Located north of Gold River and situated in beautiful Tahsis Inlet. Outdoor activities include sport fishing, kayaking, remote surfing trips, windsurfing, hiking, caving, mountain biking, and scuba diving. Accommodations include bed and breakfasts, RV parks, lodges, and a motel. There are restaurants, pubs, cafes, and full amenities including a grocery stores and gas station. Visit the local museum to view the historic past of Tahsis. Fishermen enjoy deep sea fishing for salmon, snapper, cod and halibut. On this Vancouver Island you can explore the rugged mountains and nearby caves that are a favourite of many experienced hikers. Guided tours can be arranged. The daily scheduled passenger and freight vessel Uchuck III provides an opportunity to explore Nootka Sound, Friendly Cove and nearby small coastal communities.

Telegraph Cove British Columbia

Situated in a tiny cove, with a boardwalk built on stilts above the waterline, this small historic community operated a thriving sawmill. The restored buildings include workshops, bunkhouses, restaurant, shops, and private homes. Accommodations are limited here and include converted bunk house rentals and RV campground. Telegraph Cove offers superb ocean fishing for salmon, halibut, kayaking, scuba diving, and wildlife watching. Just south of Telegraph Cove is the famed Robson Bight where the whales rub themselves on rocks along the beach. The area is a major center for research into killer whales as they gather in Johnstone Strait.

Winter Harbour British Columbia

Located 40 minutes from Holberg, Winter Harbour is a small fishing and logging settlement that features a boardwalk along the waterfront. Activities here include: ocean water fishing and ocean boat charters, kayak rentals. There is limited accommodation here in Winter Harbour.

Woss and the Nimpkish Valley British Columbia

Located in the Nimpkish Valley where the great outdoors offers wilderness hiking, camping, backpacking and a healthy wildlife. Woss Lake and Nimpkish Lake offers easy access to wilderness camping and fresh water fishing. Wind surfing in popular on Nimpkish Lake. The small villages provide basic services such as: a general store, service station, and a home-style restaurant. Nearby Mt. Cain Ski Resort has beginner and advanced downhill and cross-country skiing. The Little Hudson Regional Cave Park is a good place to begin your caving adventures. A short trail leads from the parking lot to nearby caves.

Zeballos British Columbia

Located at the mouth of the Zeballos River and the wild and rugged west coast of Vancouver Island. Zeballos River is a small peaceful logging community. The town offers great outdoor opportunities for kayaking, canoeing, hiking, wilderness camping, fishing and scuba divers. Fishing charters can be arranged. In the Zeballos River fresh water fish like trout and steelhead are bountiful. In the autumn, this river is filled with salmon returning home to spawn. Visitors enjoy exploring Lake Zeballos and also the abandoned gold mines.

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