Port Hardy Story Ideas
Cape Scott Provincial Park - is a truly magnificent area of rugged coastal wilderness that is located at the north western tip of Vancouver Island, 563 kilometres from Victoria. Established in 1973 and named after the site of a lighthouse that has guided mariners since 1960, Cape Scott is characterized by more than 115 kilometres of scenic ocean frontage, including about 30 kilometres of spectacular remote beaches. The park stretches from Shushartie Bay in the east, then westward around Cape Scott and south to San Josef Bay. Rocky promontories, salt marshes and jagged headlands punctuate the fine-textured, white-sand beaches. The most impressive of these beaches, Nels Bight, stretches more than 2,400 meters long and 210 meters wide at low tide, and is one of the Park’s most popular camping destinations. Other significant beaches include San Josef Bay, Guise Bay, Experiment Bight, Lowrie Bay and Nissen Bight. Visitors can choose between a day hike or a backpacking excursion to explore the sandy beaches, rainforests and lowland bogs and muskeg of this wilderness park. www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/explore/parkpgs/cape_scott/
Close Encounters - Take a journey with Akwaro Wilderness Expeditions in Port Hardy to learn about animal behaviour and the land. Equipped with thirty years of guiding and outfitting experience with both water and land-based expeditions, local naturalist Larry Woodall is your man. Happy to cater to you every need, Larry will provide hiking and bear viewing to those passionate to share the experience. With an acute awareness and knowledge of the animals he views as well as the trails he takes his guests on, there is an adventure waiting for individuals of all ages and abilities. Although there are a variety of packages to choose from, the real deal is that you will get exactly the experience you are hoping for - customized trips are his specialty. Tours are offered year-round with the most popular times being between April and October. During the winter months, a higher focus is placed on an interpretive experience of flora and fauna. Depending on your interests you may take a ferry or float plane to a desired location, but all trips are completed on foot. To enjoy nature up close and personal, experiences are meant to be interactive, with individuals having the opportunity to analyze animal tracks, learn about various plants and their uses, and acquire survival skills. The food you are provided is the best of the local fare available. Some of the packages include: Hiking and/or Bear Viewing for 3 hours in the evening (from $50 per person based on two people); Dawn to Dusk hiking and/or bear viewing (from $350 per person based on a two person minimum); all inclusive tour, meals and home-stay included (from $400 per person). Kayak (from $225.00 per day min. of 2 persons) or canoe trips are also available at a range of prices depending on the length of trip, number of people, and amount of equipment required. For more information or to book your trip, contact Larry at 250-949-7262.
Copper Maker Gallery - Born into a wealth of traditional values, Calvin Hunt started woodcarving Northwest Coast Indian art at the age of 12. From 1972 to 1981, Calvin carved full time as an apprentice with Tony Hunt, Sr. (Arts of the Raven Gallery, Victoria, BC.). Moving to his ancestral home of Fort Rupert in 1981, Calvin and his wife, Marie, opened their carving workshop "The Copper Maker". In 1989 the workshop doubled in size and the retail art gallery "Kwakiutl Art of the Copper Maker Gallery" opened. The prophesy of the gallery's name has come true. Be sure to stop by the Copper Maker Gallery where Calvin and his nephew Mervyn Child create beautiful carvings, bowls, masks, and totem poles. http://www.calvinhunt.com/
Fort Rupert – According to Mungo Martin, the Kwakiutl lived at Kalugwis before 1849, when the Hudson's Bay Company built a fort at Fort Rupert. A visit through this culturally enriched site will reveal points of interest including an impressive Big House built for ceremonial purposes, totem poles, a church and the first corner store on the North Island. Other visible aspects of Fort Rupert's cultural fabric include a historical graveyard, and the old chimney which marks the site of the former Hudson's Bay Company fort http://www.kwakiutl.bc.ca/land/history.htm
Hostel with a History – Originally built in 1979, the modernized C&N Backpackers Hostel in Port Hardy has a unique history of secret first dates, hand holding and first kisses. Until recently, the building – now a temporary home to adventure seekers from around the globe – was used as Hardy Bay's movie theatre. With private and dorm-style rooms, a kitchen, a sun deck with glorious ocean vistas, a BBQ, a TV room and a communal lounge (the former movie theatre lobby) this remains a unique place for guests to mingle. The hostel has internet access for guests, free parking, linen and bedding and is fully handicap accessible. Port Hardy is known for its sea kayaking, salt and fresh water fishing, diving, boating, whale watching, bear watching, and hiking - the C&N Backpackers hostel is the ideal home-base for a North Island adventure. Further to the outdoor possibilities, Port Hardy boasts a scenic ocean seawall, quaint shops, fishing trollers and sailing boats, a museum, sand beaches, a golf course and a location to take in aboriginal heritage. www.cnnbackpackers.com.
North Coast Trail - For those who have successfully hiked the world-renowned West Coast and Cape Scott Trail, the wait is finally over. Get ready for your wilderness backpacking adventure on the northern coast of Vancouver Island in the Cape Scott Provincial Park. The North Coast Trail offers more than 40 kilometres of trail between Shushartie Bay and Nissen Bight. At Nissen Bight it links up with the existing 15 kilometre Cape Scott Trail. In total, the trail offers hikers a 61 kilometre trek, through rainforests, across rivers with cable cars and alongside beaches. The area is home to deer, elk, black bears, cougars, wolves, sea birds, seals, sea lions, grey whales and sea otter, so come prepared! For more information and details on the trail, visit http://northernvancouverislandtrailssociety.com/trailaccess.htm
Northern Expedition – Enjoy a relaxing ferry ride from Port Hardy to Bella Coola through the Discovery Coast Passage throughout the summer. Or experience the inside passage by sailing from Port Hardy to Prince Rupert. The new 150 metre ship accommodates 130 vehicles and 600 passengers. Among its many features, the Northern Expedition offers 55 modern staterooms for customers and an expanded range of food services and other amenities to delight local residents and tourists alike. Passengers will enjoy the spacious cafeteria, called Canoe Café, as well as the Vista Restaurant. The Raven’s Lounge offers TV viewing while the reserved seating in Aurora Lounge boasts wonderful views and reclining chairs, perfect for taking in the sweeping vistas of northern BC. The Passages gift shop is stocked with a wide selection of apparel, native art and souvenirs, and the children’s play area provides entertainment for younger travellers. www.bcferries.com
Quatse River Hatchery – Operated by Northern Vancouver Island Salmonid Enhancement Association (NVISEA), the Quatse River Hatchery allows visitors to observe the incubation of Coho and Pink salmon. Staffed by four full time employees visitors may tour this facility during regular business hours. There is a pond behind the hatchery that is open for fish feeding as well as nature trails along the river that provide visitors with information on many species of flora and fauna. http://www.nvisea.org
San Josef Bay – Experience the rugged terrain and stunning ocean views of Cape Scott Provincial Park as a day trip. San Joseph Bay provides visitors with a 2.4 km trail that takes about 45 minutes to hike one way. Take a picnic with you and enjoy the whole day taking in nature’s beauty. On the way home make sure to stop by the Shoe Tree. This tree has hundreds of shoes decorating its trunk and branches, many of which are dated and signed by hikers who have just finished hiking the North Coast Trail and Cape Scott. Another great place to stop is the Ronnings Gardens; these gardens were planted in 1910 by Bernt Ronning and only recently have been restored to their full beauty by Ron and Julia Moe. North Island Daytrippers offers day hikes to these locations and more. Not only will they share with you the history and legends of the area, but they’ll also show you amazing places off the beaten path. The owner of North Island Daytrippers will accompany your every trip to ensure the highest standards of safety, minimum impact on the environment, and an incredible experience exploring the remote rain forests and beaches of North Vancouver Island. www.islanddaytrippers.com
Scuba dive the best cold water location in the world – The Vancouver Island region provides some of the best underwater scuba diving on the Pacific Coast, rated by the late underwater explorer Jacques Cousteau as one of the best cold water diving destinations in the world, with most diving taking place in nearby Browning Pass. Conditions can be difficult however, so all divers should be experienced and well-equipped. North Island Dive & Kayak centre and Odyssey Kayaking can assist in taking you to at least six world class dive sites such as Browning Wall, the wreck of the ‘Themes’, and Hunt Rock where you can see spectacular coloured marine life such as octopus, wolf eel, soft corals, anemones, nudibranches and so much more. http://www.odysseykayaking.com
Storm Watch Port Hardy – With a temperate climate that rarely plunges below freezing – and little likelihood of snow – Port Hardy is a great place to stay warm during the winter months. That being said, don’t expect an average seasonal experience - the blustery winters are an ideal time to visit the region and take in colossal west coast storms. For those who like to stay dry, get comfortable in one of the many accommodation options in town. Curl up with a hot cup of cocoa and take in the spectacle from your window. Adventurers on the other hand, can be prepared to get drenched when they venture out to Cape Scott Provincial Park to view the storms - a trip to San Josef Bay Park will have you singing and dancing in the rain. Inhaling the fresh clean air, taking in the distinctive scenery and the rough, untouched wilderness is something that won’t be soon forgotten. www.porthardy.travel.
Surf’s Up - It is time to re-discover the waves to be ridden in the North Island - San Josef Bay in Cape Scott Park, Grant Bay and Raft Cove. Surfing began in this quiet region of Vancouver Island in the 1960’s, but only now has a company taken the lead on creating what has been needed all along – a surf shop offering lessons and gear rentals. The location of these beaches is ideal – with rivers feeding into them, the resulting waves break just right for surfing. Nawalakw Surf Adventures – meaning Supernatural Surf Adventures - will be offering lessons and rentals with a full range of men's, women's and children's wet suits at their shop on Goodspeed Road in Port Hardy. Bryce Connaty - 250-949-9941 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For further information, and to begin planning your visit to Port Hardy, please contact:
Tourism Port Hardy
Media contact: Joli White