Posted: Sep 3 2018

Traveling is not always the easiest thing to do. And there are thousands of websites online that can make the planning and preparation feel a bit overwhelming. Rest easy. Here we are to the rescue by doing the prep work for you. These links, websites and a great app will give you a huge head start creating your perfect Vancouver Island North adventure of a lifetime.

Whether planning ahead, packed and ready to hit the road, or already in the neighbourhood, a great place to start is the Vancouver Island North Explorer Guide. It’s a veritable treasure trove full of information and incredible photos of wildlife and outdoor adventures, cultural activities, places to stay, eateries, events calendar and regional map. Browse the guide online, have it sent to you by regular mail or download the PDF file.

Big experiences are always bursting out of Vancouver Island North. Spellbinding scenery & wildlife, diverse geography and First Nations culture attract visitors from around the world. The magic of these experiences has been coined, “get lost to find yourself.” This helpful holiday matchmaker offers a comprehensive selection of itinerary options from one day to multi day adventures including cultural, nature and wildlife experiences.

Vancouver Island North is made up of small and inviting coastal communities. Alert Bay, Coal Harbour, Port Alice, Port Hardy, Port McNeill, Quatsino, Sointula, Telegraph Cove, Winter Harbour, Woss, Mount Cain and Nimpkish Valley each offer a variety of accommodation, services and amenities. Get to know the communities a little bit better with this link that shares glimpses into their history and attractions you won’t want to miss. Vancouver Island North is a place of superlatives. Port McNeill has the biggest tree burl in the world, you’ll find one of the tallest totem poles in the world in Alert Bay and largest carrot on the North Island is made of wood and sits at end of the road in Port Hardy. In every community you’ll be surrounded by the most breathtaking scenery. One thing is for sure – a warm welcome awaits in every community.

A great reference for exploring trails in the region is the North Island Trail Guide app. It’s free and includes loads of information about traveling off the beaten track. Whether you’re interested in a short stroll or more strenuous trek, trails are rated from easy to extremely difficult. The app will pinpoint exactly where you are and also lists accommodation and restaurants. You may find yourself out of your cell phone provider’s range but the app can be used offline, without connectivity. Just download the offline map data and you’re all set to wander.

Read some of our previous blog posts where we share great resources and information about all things Vancouver Island North. Browse through topics like “40 Awesome Things to Do,” “Whales & Bears,” “A to Z of Fishing,” or “Great Big Outside.”

For boots on the ground local information stop in at one of the visitor information/tourism centres in: Port McNeill, Port Hardy, Port Alice, Sointula, Alert Bay and Telegraph Cove. Staff are happy to answer questions about the region and help point you in the right direction with maps, brochures and details about the region.

Connect with locals. We’re known for our small friendly communities and North Islanders are amazing ambassadors. Sure, guidebooks and websites offer helpful tips but chat with locals and you just might be rewarded with a secret fishing spot or suggestions on their favourite place to eat seafood.

A resource with a slightly different twist is My Vancouver Island North. Created for career development, education and attraction and retention of employees it is also a comprehensive resource of what makes each community tick. Some visitors feel the lure of “opportunity wrapped in a lifestyle” and come back to live here. And we totally understand why.

The granddaddy of links is here; the main portal for Vancouver Island North Tourism. Each page provides the inspiration to plan the journey of a lifetime. Feel the magic. Breathe the wild air. Experience some of the most accessible and incredible wilderness in Canada. It’s all waiting for you on Vancouver Island North.

Karen Stewart – Freelance Writer
Karen is the author of the blogs This is Port McNeill and At Water’s Edge Ventures