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North America > Canada > British Columbia > Vancouver Island > North Vancouver Island

North Vancouver Island

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North Vancouver Island is the more remote, northern part of Vancouver Island.


Map of North Vancouver Island
  • 1 Port Hardy — small logging town on the north tip of the island, gateway to Cape Scott Provincial Park
  • 2 Alert Bay — small town occupying a third of Cormorant Island, a historical centre of First Nations culture
  • 3 Telegraph Cove — voted one of the ten best "towns" in Canada to visit by travel writers (as published in Harrowsmith Magazine)
  • Zeballos

Other destinations[edit]


Northern Vancouver Island is a resource- and tourism-based economy that has large portions of wilderness. The people of the northern Vancouver Island are friendly and welcoming, but, just like most people in the world, it does help to be respectful of local customs.


Less than 1% of northern Vancouver Island is Francophone, so everyone speaks English.

Get in[edit]

Get around[edit]

There is some bus service.

Hitchhiking happens, but it's better if you organize a ride at a coffee house or on the internet.


  • Strathcona Provincal Park is BC's oldest park.
  • The vast wilderness of the north.


  • Go fishing. Some of the best fishing in the world is on the Northern Island. If you are invited (not chartered) to go fishing on someone's boat, bring beer and offer to chip in for gas, as even a generous contribution for fuel is still a lot cheaper than going on a charter fishing trip.
  • Go camping or hunting, or do both. Make sure you get your license before you go.
  • Quatse Salmon Stewardship Centre. Leap in to Salmon’s World at the Quatse Salmon Stewardship Centre! Explore our unique interpretive gallery featuring all things salmon, and take a guided tour of a working salmon hatchery. All proceeds support salmon conservation in Northern Vancouver Island streams. Open May through September.
  • Whale watching for Orca and Humpbacks is very popular out of Telegraph Cove and Port McNeil.
  • Go kayaking for a few hours or a few days among the archipelago of islands that dot the eastern shore of the island.
  • Launch off on a tour to see grizzly bears in Knight Inlet.
  • Tour the Umista Cultural Centre on Cormorant Island and visit the old Finnish community on Sointula.


Stay safe[edit]

Make sure you do not have anything of value in your vehicle if you park it for the night away from you.

Most of the Northern Island is without cell service, so make sure your vehicle is in good order and fueled up. Pay attention to the road warning signs; they are not there for the scenery enhancement. Don't drink and drive – not even with the excuse that "it's just one beer" or "I had two, but that was two hours ago". BC has the most stringent DUI laws in Canada, and the laws of physics on mountain terrain are enforced without mercy.

Just like all responsible hikers do everywhere in the world, if you go hiking, leave a written trip plan that tells people where you will go and when you are expected to return.

Go next[edit]

Head north into the waters of the Inside Passage on BC Ferries. Major destinations include Bella Coola and Prince Rupert, but people looking for small, isolated communities might find Bella Bella, Klemtu or Ocean Falls interesting.

This region travel guide to North Vancouver Island is an outline and may need more content. It has a template, but there is not enough information present. If there are Cities and Other destinations listed, they may not all be at usable status or there may not be a valid regional structure and a "Get in" section describing all of the typical ways to get here. Please plunge forward and help it grow!