Known as the gateway to the gloriously scenic islands, protected spaces and mazy waterways of the Broughton Archipelago, Port McNeill is a grade-A stepping stone to outdoor adventure. Vancouver Island North’s second-largest community proudly co-exists with the rich natural resources of land and sea. Its location (two hours drive time from Campbell River, four from the ferry terminals in Nanaimo) and close proximity to the east coast’s finest island gems make it a regional centre for ecotourism – wildlife viewing, whale watching, grizzly bear safaris, diving, sea kayaking and fresh and saltwater fishing included.
From Port McNeill, a scenic drive by highway and logging road leads to Cape Scott Provincial Park and the North Coast Trail. Or head a few minutes south to Telegraph Cove, a historic boardwalk fishing village renowned for its whale watching excursions. The tri-port BC Ferries terminal is located in Port McNeill, servicing the charming communities of Alert Bay on Cormorant Island and Sointula and Malcolm Island.
A memorable Port McNeill visit would include time spent hiking the Schoolhouse Trail just steps from town and perhaps an eagle’s eye sightseeing tour via seaplane or helicopter. The full service recreational and commercial harbour facility is within walking distance to all the necessities required by boaters. In town you will find shops, galleries, accommodations, a museum housed in a beautiful log building, and a year-round Harbour Visitor Centre. Stroll the seawall for photo opportunities such as a 1938 steam donkey that was once used in a logging operation and is now located along the harbour. The world’s largest burl, weighing 24 tons and estimated at over 525 years old, is next to the community hall, a heritage building used for many local events. A second big-league burl is located on Hwy 19 approximately five minutes north of town.
Port McNeill is located 5 hours and 15 minutes from Victoria, 3 hours and 40 minutes from Nanaimo, and 2 hours from Campbell River.
For information on Vancouver Island North see Drive BC provincial highway information.
This warm and friendly community offers a wide variety of accommodation options from hotel, bed and breakfasts and resort properties to year-round camping and RV sites