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As you travel north to Port Hardy, British Columbia, it hits you: this adventure isn't going to be like anything you've experienced before. With an industry now firmly rooted in recreational tourism, this historical community has an exciting modern history which is being written with every visit to its shores.

Located at the northern tip of Vancouver Island, BC, Port Hardy (pop. 4,500) is nestled on the edge of the Queen Charlotte Strait, in the small Hardy Bay. It was the Kwakwaka'wakw First Nations who first settled here some 8,000 years ago, drawn to the region by its shelter from the harsh storms farther north, as well as the rich aquaculture. First Nations culture still abounds in this cozy seaside town. Totems, wood carvings and art galleries throughout town display the talent and legends of native bands still living in the community.

The District of Port Hardy itself was named for a former sea captain, Vice-Admiral Sir Thomas Masterman Hardy. Settled initially as a hub for the natural resources such as fishing, logging and mining, the community has more recently become known as a remote travel destination for people looking to escape the mundane and add a little excitement to their lives. Port Hardy is also a crossroads destination for many of the northern communities and also a launching point for travellers wanting to explore the mid and northern coasts of British Columbia. This unspoiled wilderness is the ideal starting point for adventure of all kinds.

As you enter Port Hardy on Highway 19, the hand-carved wooded sign at the edge of town welcomes you. The rugged beauty of the fixture topped with wooded sculptures of bears and salmon reminds you at once of the unusual adventure that you are about to embark on. No matter what adventure you pursue, from kayaking and whale watching to hiking and fishing, you're guaranteed to go home with at least one good story.

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