Whales & Bears 1-2 days

It’s not so much wildlife viewing. Viewing implies observation over participation, like looking through a window; watching over a fence, or through a pair of binoculars. Safe and separate. It’s common, but it’s not how we do things here. On Vancouver Island North, a better phrase is Wildlife Immersion. Every inch of Vancouver Island North is teeming with wildlife, creatures great and small; the land up here still belongs to the wild things.


Travel to Vancouver Island North, overnight in Telegraph Cove, Port McNeill or Port Hardy

Day 01
Day 02
Additional Activities
Day 01
Whale Watching Day Tour

Whale watching day tour duration ranges from 2 – 5 hours. Daily scheduled departures from Telegraph Cove, Port McNeill, Alder Bay, or Port Hardy.

Members of a population of some 285 fish-eating orcas known as the “Northern Residents” are often in the area in pursuit of salmon. The more stealthy marine mammal-eating population of killer whales known as “Transients” are also often hunting in the area. Humpback whales are back from the brink of extinction and are now spotted with increasing frequency.
Vancouver Island North sightseeing crews operate with respect, ensuring safe, sustainable encounters that serve the whales and the sightseers in equal measure. Captains closely adhere to “Be Whale Wise” guidelines that dictate boats stay at least 100 meters away from any whales. That’s not to say these remarkable mammals won’t make a memorable encounter on their own terms.

Check out Day 02
Day 02
Bear Viewing Day Tour

Bear viewing day tours have early-morning daily departures from Telegraph Cove, Port McNeill, or Alert Bay returning in the afternoon. Day tours are full-day experiences, typically 9 hours in duration.

Mammoth grizzly bears thrive just a short distance from the north island in the Great Bear Rainforest, the largest intact coastal temperate rainforest in the world. Tours depart from Telegraph Cove in cabin cruisers accompanied by naturalist guides, touring across Johnstone Strait, and through the Broughton Archipelago to Knight Inlet on the mainland coast of BC. These bears spend the May to October season feeding at the edges of the inlet and in the surrounding river systems.

Check out Day 01
Additional Activities

Whale watching day tours will typically be a morning, or afternoon activity, leaving you some time before or after to immerse yourself in Wild Open Spaces in another Vancouver Island North experience.

  • It’s all about salmon at the Quatse Salmon Centre in Port Hardy, learn about the role salmon play in the life of whales
  • It doesn’t get fresher than catching your own dinner, head out on a guided half-day fishing charter
  • Find the perfect marine-inspired gift item to remember your trip by, shop in Telegraph Cove, Port Hardy, Port McNeill & Port Alice
  • Learn about biology, habitat needs and threats to local marine mammals at the Whale Interpretive Centre in Telegraph Cove
  • Take a kayak tour out of Telegraph Cove for another chance to see whales from a different perspective, 2 or 4 hour options available
  • Shake out your sea legs and head inland for a forested hiking trail or recreation site
  • Overnight in Telegraph Cove, Port McNeill or Port Hardy
Getting here & Getting around

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.

Waivin’ Flags Taxi & Bus Service
Town Taxi
Pacific Coastal Airlines
North Coast Trail Shuttle
National Car and Truck Rentals
Mount Waddington Regional Transit
Drive BC – Provincial Highway Information
Cape Scott Water Taxi
Budget Rent-a-Car
BC Ferries
View On Google Maps
Explore Vancouver Island North
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