Northern Vancouver Island Experience

West-coast Wildlife
4 days | British Columbia
This northern tip of Vancouver Island excursion offers a combination of ocean-inspired wilderness tours along with hands on cultural experiences associated with the diverse Indigenous peoples of this region.

Start Price

$1,170 per person*

Duration

4 days

Region

British Columbia

Activity Level

Easy

Availability

May - September

Trip Highlights

Nakwakto Rapids
Drum Making
Sea Wolf Adventures Zodiac Expedition
Quatse Salmon Stewardship Centre
Kwa’lilas Hotel

Region: British Columbia

View the route on Google Maps

Itinerary

Day 1

Flight from Vancouver International Airport (YVR) to Port Hardy Airport (YZT)
Quatse Salmon Stewardship Centre & Storey’s Beach: k'awa'tsi Tours

Jump into the Quatse Salmon Stewardship Centre and explore the beautiful Storey’s Beach. The Quatse Salmon Stewardship Centre is a beautiful facility that is home to the interpretive centre and is also a fully operational enhancement salmonid hatchery. Discover the importance of fish in our ecosystems and environmental impacts that affect rivers and oceans. The interactive interpretive centre is a hit with families and the tour of their enhancement hatchery showcases the dedication and hard work that goes into protecting salmonid species. From the Quatse Centre, our 22 passenger, climate controlled motor coach will transport you to the beautiful Storey’s Beach. This large sandy beach approximately 20 minutes from Port Hardy. At low tide the gorgeous silver sands are limitless and during high-tide it’s still a fantastic place to view eagles and other shorebirds. 

Website: kawatsiTours.ca
Restaurant Reservation at Dine at Ha'me' Restaurant

Enjoy the hospitality at our restaurant where local, Aboriginal-inspired west coast cuisine is served daily. Begin your meal with starters or share plates like our unique ‘Blunden Harbour Roll’. Then choose from casual fare or main events such as ‘Poyi (Halibut Burger) or Roasted Tiq’wa’s (elk loin); Open for lunch and dinner. 

Website: HameRestaurant.ca
Check in: Kwa’lilas Hotel (3 Nights)

Kwa’lilas hotel is port hardy’s premier first nation’s destination hotel, offering 85 guestrooms and a curated selection of authentic local aboriginal arts and culture 

The Kwa’lilas Hotel was built by our very own k’awat’si Construction company. The building makes extensive use of local cedar and the design is meant to resemble the traditional big house style with a smoke hole at the top of the building. Traditionally, when visitors see smoke coming from a big house, it means welcome. 

You will find many expressions of our culture throughout the hotel including masks and designs by our artists. This is our way of us sharing our history and our legends and opening up our hearts to welcome you to the North Island. Gila’kasla!

Website: KwalilasHotel.ca

Day 2

Nakwakto Rapids & Cultural Tour: k'awat'si Tours

Come aboard and witness a truly magnificent natural marvel! The Nakwakto Rapids are the fastest navigable tidal rapids on Earth, reaching speeds on an average of 14 knots and even peaking at 17 knots! When the ebb tides occur, millions of gallons of water pass through narrow channels and inlets which cause water levels to surge. At the narrowest point of Seymour Inlet, sits Tremble Island where you will safely view the rapids take form. The untouched wilderness and coast will leave you in amazement as you learn about the Gwa’sala Nakwaxda’xw First Nations history on these waters and the deeply seeded roots of their ancestors. Wildlife such as eagles, bears, coastal wolves, whales, porpoises and otters frequent this region and the tour will include a stop at the local stellar sea lion colony. 

This is a one of a kind tour in the Gwa’sala Nakwaxda’xw traditional territory that combines aboriginal tourism, outdoor and wildlife tourism. Departing from Port Hardy, our highly trained crew and interpretive guides will keep you and loved ones comfortable on our passenger covered 28’ aluminum Transport Canada certified vessel.

 

Website: kawatsiTours.ca
Drum Making: ka'wat'si Tours

Drums are deeply rooted in First Nations cultures and we want to share this spiritual practice. Join us and learn the drum making process; as a feasting and potlatching people, we have made drums to sing our songs and tell stories. In this program you will learn how to create your very own traditional Gwa’sala Nakwaxda’xw drum made from yellow cedar and deer hide. One-on-one instructions will provide you and your family with an unforgettable experience including an incredibly unique souvenir to bring home. 

Website: kawatsiTours.ca
Elder Story Telling: ka'wat'si Tours

Port Hardy has three Nations in the region; the Quatsino Nation, Fort Rupert (Kwakiutl) Nation, and the Gwa’sala Nakwaxda’xw Nation. Each week there will be an Elder from one of the three Nations that will share their story of legends of their people and their family. Traditions are kept alive with the First Nations people by hearing stories and receiving guidance from their elders. These stories are usually tales of courage, adventure, relationships, hardships and self-discovery. The captivating stories typically emphasize man’s connections with animals and nature and often involve anthropomorphism of the main characters. Come listen to the beautiful stories of our ancestors and rediscover your connection to the natural world. 

Website: kawatsiTours.ca

Day 3

Zodiac Expedition: Sea Wolf Adventures

Sea Wolf Adventures guides your journey to ancient places in a manner that honours the values of First Nations people who live here. Sea Wolf Adventures, based out of Port McNeill, connects travellers to destinations in the Broughton Archipelago and surrounding areas for personal travel, charters, freight and local First Nations cultural tours. 

During the exhilarating zodiac expedition you will discover the home of orca, humpback, grey and minke whales. Watch them feed, spout and breach while we wait at a respectful distance from the whales and keep an eye out for other wildlife; from eagles that soar across our bow to seals, sea lions and porpoises swimming in the waters surrounding us. 

Website: SeaWolfAdventures.ca

Day 4

Tour: U'mista Cultural Centre

The mandate of the U’mista Cultural Society is to ensure the survival of all aspects of the cultural heritage of the Kwakwa̱ka̱ʼwakw. 

One of the objectives of the Society was the development of a facility to carry out the aims of the society. The present facility was opened in November of 1980. The focus of the permanent collection is the “Potlatch Collection”. The other permanent exhibits on display include description of the traditional ethnobiology of the Kwakwa̱ka̱ʼwakw and origin stories of the Kwakwa̱ka̱ʼwakw villages, as well as, historical and contemporary Kwakwa̱ka̱ʼwakw objects. Traveling exhibits of significance to the community are also displayed. 

Website: Umista.ca
Flight from Port Hardy Airport (YZT) to Vancouver International Airport (YVR)
Check-In: Sutton Place Hotel Vancouver

From a personal concierge to a signature restaurant and wine merchant, few hotels can rival the elegance, European charm, and hospitality of The Sutton Place Hotel Vancouver. Situated in the heart of downtown Vancouver, the spectacular setting allows guests to experience exceptional service with first-class amenities. Set against a majestic backdrop of mountains and sea, and with the city’s famous shopping, business, arts, and entertainment districts just steps away, guests will experience the perfect blend of luxury and cosmopolitan ambience. With its opulent surroundings, The Sutton Place Hotel Vancouver brings a taste of Europe to one of North America’s most beautiful cities. Luxury abounds from the lavishly appointed guest rooms, conference facilities, and fully furnished suites at La Grande Residence, to Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar and complete beauty centre at Vida Spa. 
From hand crafted furnishings, silk tapestries, and premium bedding, every detail at The Sutton Place Hotel is selected to represent a history of refined style and polished perfection that is inviting and impressive. 
The Sutton Place Hotel Vancouver is a perennial Conde Nast Traveler Gold List favourite and one of Travel and Leisure’s Top 500 List. 

Website: SuttonPlace.com

What's Included

This package includes experiences with the following authentic Indigenous tourism businesses:

  • k’awat’si tours, ha’me’ Restaurant & Kwa’lilas Hotel: owned by k’awat’ski Economic Development Corporation of the Gwa’sala-’Nakwaxda’xw Nations
  • Sea Wolf Adventures: owned and operated by Mike Willie of the Musgamakw Dzawada‘enuxw First Nation
  • Umista Cultural Centre: operated by the U’Mista Cultural Society, members of the Kwakwa̱ka̱ʼwakw

Package includes:

  • 3 nights deluxe accommodation
  • Nakwakto rapids boat tour
  • Zodiac wildlife viewing excursion
  • Drum making class
  • 1 dinner at Hame restaurant
  • Return airfare between Vancouver and Port Hardy
  • 1 night deluxe accommodation in Vancouver
  • 3 days self drive car rental
  • Comprehensive documentation package including driving instructions and stops of interest along the way

* Package price is the suggested starting price per person based on a double occupancy and does not include taxes.

** Flight option not included in package price. Transportation may vary to customer request and availability.

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