North Island

Top Things to do


There is some of the best nature watching in the world out of Telegraph Cove, Port McNeil and Port Hardy. Some of the Wildlife you will see here includes Orca Whales, Humpback Whales, Pacific White-sided Dolphins, Sea Otters, River Otters, Steller and Californiasealions, and many species of birds.

Whale Watching

Northern Resident Orcas, Transient Orcas, and Humpback Whales can be seen on whale watching trips from the North Island. The whale watching here is the most action packed of any place on Vancouver Island.

Black Bear watching

Spring and early summer see Black bears coming out of hibernation. You will probably see bears as you are driving. Because Black bears are such a solid black color, they are hard to miss. Make sure when you stop to give other drivers lots of warning and pull over to the side of the road.

Grizzly Bear watching

There are a few places you can go to see Grizzly Bears by boat towards the mainland in the Great Bear Rainforest. Companies will take you along the shore to see Grizzly Bears feeding alone, in groups or along with their cubs. Bears feed on shellfish, salmon, and sedge grasses.



Both the North Coast and Cape Scott trails provide a physical outlet into the most rugged parts of Vancouver Island. Both are overnight trails, though you can do day hikes into the Cape Scott trail.

Windsurfing Nimpkish Lake

You want to be there on days when it is blowing northwest winds and it will be great if it is fogged out in Port McNeil but clear south of town.  This is not a place for beginners as wind gusts can come up quickly taking you by surprise. Make sure you bring lots of bug spray since the bugs will leave you itching for days afterward. More on windsurfing…


Port Hardy, Port McNeil, and Telegraph Cove all have wildlife activities offered from the towns. Port Hardy and Port McNeil have small airports should you want to fly out to another location or take a tour by air. Both Port Hardy and Port McNeil offer most services a tourist could want while traveling.