BC Ferry Schedules - (Port Hardy)
This untamed wilderness offers a wide range of recreational options, and is world famous for it's fishing. Most of the remote resorts and bays are available only by charter boat or float plane. The area is teeming with wildlife, and the opportunity for photographers and naturalists are endless. The farther north one travels on Highway 19, more commonly know as the Island Highway, the more beautiful, rugged and exciting the scenery becomes. Leaving behind the "big city" of Campbell River, the visitor comes first to the long-settled farming and forestry community of Sayward which is considered the southern birder of the North Island Region.
The excellent paved road then carries the traveller through more than 130 km of uninhabited panoramic beauty and vistas of snow-capped mountains and tree-bordered lakes.
Sayward is located on the northeastern shore of Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada and is home to about 1500 people. Sayward is about two hours south of Port Hardy, one hour north of Campbell River and four hours north of the provincial capital, Victoria.
Sayward is a draw for sport fishing and a launching point for whale watching tours, a perfect place for northbound travellers to pause for a leisurely lunch or to spend a few days at one of the campgrounds. There are restaurants, including the famous Cablehouse Restaurant, as well as a Hotel, a recreation centre with indoor pool, shower and sauna, a fishing tackle store, full service gas stations, post office and boat launch. Sport fishing, both fresh and salt water, are enjoyed year round in Sayward.
The scenic Nimpkish Valley is located between Sayward and Port McNeill. From the highway, the majestic beauty of the valley is evident but it really takes exploring the back roads to fully appreciate the area. From the 800 year old Douglas fir trees at the ecological reserve on Nimpkish Island to the rock arches at Little Hudson Regional Cave Park and the shimmering waters of Lake Klaklakama, this valley is awe-inspiring.
For canoe adventurers, the numerous lakes and rivers offer something for the novice as well as the expert.
Mt. Cain Regional Park offers year round activities with skiing at the "mile high" Mt. Cain on 16 downhill runs. The communities of Woss and Nimpkish offer services to locals and visitors alike. A store, cafe, post office, gas station and nearby lakeside campsite and boat launch are located at Woss, while Nimpkish contains a gas station, store and RV campground.
Just minutes off the highway, advanced windsurfers can experience Nimpkish Lake, a body of water so challenging it is considered one of the best spots in British Columbia. Nimpkish Lake also offers top-notch fresh water fishing and a 10 site campground and boat launch.
Called the village on stilts, most buildings are built out above the water on pilings, great for a day trip and photographers. Telegraph Cove is nestled at the northern end of Johnstone Strait on the northeast coast of Vancouver Island. The Broughton Archipelago, a stunning cluster of islets forming a protected marine park, is our neighbour, as are the famed Orca rubbing beaches of Robson Bight.
The fishing is great, weather it be for trout and steelhead in the nearby streams, or coho salmon off the coast. A relaxing day trip to Alert Bay or Cormorant Island or Sointula on Malcolm Island; both have BC Ferry connections from Port McNeill. The numerous hiking trails around Port McNeill are an excellent way to discover the areas wilderness setting.
Visitors to the
North Island can visit Alert Bay via BC Ferries. Here is an opportunity
to learn about and experience First Nation Culture. Alert Bay
is rich with First Nation culture and history and offers excellent photography
subjects such as the Big House, ‘Namgis burial grounds
where the totem poles are, the world’s tallest totem pole, Anglican
Church, St. George's Chapel, Alert Bay Ecological Park, etc.. Visit the U'mista
cultural centre which houses one of the finest mask and Potlatch collections
on the Island.
The first settlers were of Finnish descent, and most of the current inhabitants gain income from logging, fishing and farming. After a short BC Ferry ride from Port McNeill or Alert Bay the wide variety of accommodation for a stay on Malcolm Island includes a full service inn, fishing lodges, cottages, bed and breakfast, and beachfront camping sites.
The wide variety of accommodation and services in Port Alice make it an excellent stop on your journey up Vancouver Island. From golfing, diving, water-skiing, hiking and fishing the opportunities are endless. Drive one of the many logging roads that are open to the public year round to the rugged west coast and it's beaches. The Forestry company picnic areas and limited campsites offer a unique wilderness experience. Check with Info Centres or logging companies on road conditions before heading out.
Located at the northern end of Vancouver
Island and Highway 19, the city is the southern terminal of BC Ferries
inside passage route to Prince Rupert which takes 15 hours and has some
of the worlds most spectacular scenery. The fully equipped dive or
fishing charter boats depart daily from the main pier. Kayak or canoe
in the local waters or charter boats are available to transport you to
more secluded areas for a complete wilderness experience.
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