Coal Harbour is a northern Vancouver Island marine hub providing access to the fertile fishing grounds of Quatsino Sound located just a 20 minute drive on a paved road from Port Hardy. This community has had several past incarnations as a mining town, a military base and a whaling station. Today Coal Harbour is a perfect launch point for fishing charters, boaters, kayakers and campers heading into the scenic coastal waters and old-growth forests of Vancouver Island North’s wilderness areas. There is also a growing artisan community encompassing a wide range of artistic pursuits. A Music and Arts Festival celebrates this creativity annually at the end of April or beginning of May. Whales, dolphins, seals and sea otters are regular visitors into Stephens Bay.
- Population of 174
- Visitor Centre
- Coal Harbour Historical Collection
- Kayak Launch Point
- Fishing and Crabbing Hours
Coal Harbour History Museum, is a small museum filled with artifacts from logging, seaplanes, and whaling. The main hangar is home to old engines rescued from the forest and a mammoth 6m/20 ft jawbone of a blue whale, the largest found in the world, as a reminder of this community’s history as Canada’s last whaling station.
The Whale’s Reach community store serves coffee and sandwiches and carries everything you may need for your trip. Quatsino First Nations operate a Marina in Coal Harbour that has serviced moorage, public washrooms, showers and a laundromat. The marina is the ideal place to launch a kayak before you start exploring all that Coal Harbour has to offer.
Coal Harbour is a 20 minute drive from Port Hardy on a paved logging road. For safety information regarding driving on logging roads, visit the Know Before You Go page. Also called Forest Service Roads, this network of gravel roads that connects us to the back-country, was constructed primarily for the forest resource industry.
For information on Vancouver Island North see Drive BC provincial highway information.