A sheltered
West coast haven

Located in the traditional unceded territory of the Quatsino First Nation, Winter Harbour has been a refuge for sailing ships and fishing boats since the 1800s. A small waterfront community, its sheltered harbour provides safe year-round anchorage and access to some of the best fishing on the West Coast. Winter Harbour is a 40 minute drive south of Holberg, and is the westernmost settlement on Vancouver Island.

Area Highlights
  • Population of 15
  • Visitor Centre
  • Fishing Charters
  • Wildlife Sightings
  • Grant Bay
  • Botel Park Trail
A safe harbour

Today, Winter Harbour is known for its saltwater fishing charters that head for the northwest coast of Vancouver Island in search of salmon, cod, snapper and halibut. Birders get busy with their life lists while viewing puffins, oyster catchers and dozens of shorebirds. It’s also a stop on the biennial Van Isle 360 International Yacht Race, offering the only stationary fuelling facility in Quatsino Sound and safe year-round anchorage for pleasure craft and commercial fishing boats.

Walking & Beachcombing

From the village, visitors can walk to sand beaches along a seaside boardwalk, observing sea otters, bald eagles and other intertidal wildlife along the way. Botel Park Trail grants gorgeous views of Forward Inlet and the Pacific Ocean. Cape Scott and Raft Cove Provincial Parks are both nearby. Beachcombing is a popular pastime on the white sand of Grant Bay and at rugged Hecht Beach, an ideal spot for winter storm-watching.

Winter Harbour
Getting here & Getting around

Winter Harbour is commonly accessed by boat from Quatsino Sound, by floatplane, and by vehicle via a gravel logging road, approximately 75 km from Port Hardy.

For information on Vancouver Island North see Drive BC provincial highway information.

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