Port Hardy Attractions

  • Stroll or jog along the seawall to the bustling harbour, where fishing boats, sail boats and float planes always seem to be coming or going. Follow the seawall toCarrot Park and view the war memorial, next come to Tsulquate Park. The next park along this scenic seawall is the Kinsmen Park and pavilion, a great place for a picnic or barbecue. Follow Market Street to Fishermens Wharf, alive with seiners, gillnetters, trollers, sailboats, and sport fishing boats in summer and fall.

  • One of the most exciting aspects of a visit to Port Hardy is the prevalence of richnative culture and heritage. Port Hardy is known for its First Nations shops and art galleries, particularly on Market Street which offer beautiful hand-crafted treasures. Several of these artists regularly invite visitors into their workshops as they create paintings, jewellery, masks and other pieces.

  • You can also view the work of local artists through the town’s murals. Take yourself on a tour and see murals at the Airport Inn, the Library, Hardy Buoys Smoked Fish, Malone’s Oceanside Bistro, North Island Diving & Water Sports, the Thunderbird Mall and the Seagate Motel.

  • The Port Hardy Museum is open year round exhibiting a small collection of native Indian artifacts, local history items, natural history materials, and local archives. Open year-round, except two weeks starting on Christmas Day.

  • A sign near the waterfront advertises fresh shrimp for sale at the town dock. You can cook them up at a pleasant picnic site on Hardy Bay next to the ferry.

  • The Quatse River Hatchery is one of four operated by the North Vancouver Island Salmonid Enhancement Agency, which works with local resources in the recovery of the salmonid stocks in North Island streams. The hatchery offers tours of its salmon incubation facilities, troughs and tanks with young fish, and is open Monday to Friday from 8 am to 4:00 pm. The best fish viewing occurs in October when salmon enter the river to spawn. The peak spawning period for Pink Salmon is early to mid October and mid to late October for Coho Salmon.

  • Keep your camera handy, as the rugged northern coast of Vancouver Island is a remarkable area teeming with wildlife. Be your own guide, or benefit from the local knowledge of land-based and water-based tour operators who will guide you to the natural habitat of black bears, cougars, black tailed deer, Roosevelt elk, timber wolves, and a large variety of birds and eagles. Organized grizzly bear viewing trips are available to nearby Knight Inlet and other locations on the BC mainland.

  • Hardy Bay and the Quatse River Estuary are visited by a wide range of wildlife. Bald Eagles and Great Blue Heron are common throughout the year. Scan the exposed mud flats during low tides for many species of shorebirds. During fall and winter waterfowl are found, including Canada Geese, American Wigeon, Green-winged Teal, Bufflehead and mergansers. Cormorants and many seabird species are also seen. During the fall, salmon travel through the bay and enter the Quatse River, attracting wildlife that feeds on the dead and dying fish.

  • Whale Watching is a must on a trip to Port hardy, where viewing possibilities include killer whales, Grey Whales, Humpback whales, and Minke whales. Other marine life viewed on whale watching trips might include sea lions and harbour seals. There are several companies offering whale watching trips from late June through early October.

  • An active recreational centre, Port Hardy is a year-round gateway for wildernessexplorers seeking adventure in the vast wonders of North Vancouver Island.

  • The waters off northern Vancouver Island are amongst the finest in the world fordiving, known for their profusion of invertebrate life, curious wolfeels, walls studded with colonies of pink soft coral, colourful anemones a variety of sponges and starfish - sighting killer whales from the surface in Johnstone and Queen Charlotte Straits is a common occurrence.

  • Good kayaking is found in the protected waters of the east coast of the island. There are several staging areas, including Beaver Harbour south of Port Hardy, allowing you to kayak or canoe to spectacular locations - canoe and kayaks can be rented by the day or week. Many parts of the Discovery Coast to the north of Port Hardy are relatively unknown to kayakers. This region will appeal to resourceful paddlers who seek a sense of pioneering, which includes laying some groundwork, discovering new fishing spots, wildlife watching, dealing with unknown tidal currents, and finding new campsites. Guided and self-guided day tours and two to seven day trips are available, with or without mother ships.

  • A network of publicly accessible logging roads has opened up wilderness areas on the west coast of the island, providing access to Winter Harbour, Cape Scott and Raft Cove Provincial Parks. Hiking routes vary from short trails to an 8-hour trek to the tip of Cape Scott Provincial Park (see Trails section). The Tex Lyon Trail offers a rugged 5-hour trek along the coastline to Dillon Point. San Jose Bay and Raft Cove also offer spectacular beaches. The new North Coast Trail, a 130-km hike along the east coast of Northern Vancouver Island, is now in the active planning stage.

  • In the summer, an additional B.C. Ferry service enables visitors to reach Bella Coola via the Discovery Coast Passage. The voyage takes 33 hours and stopovers include Klemtu, Ocean Falls, and Shearwater. Cabins are not available, however, there are showers and reclining seats, reservations are highly recommended.

  • Explore the stunning beauty and enjoy the scenic grandeur on one of the world's most awe-inspiring voyages - take the 15-hour BC Ferries trip from Port Hardy to Prince Rupert through the Inside Passage. Reserve accommodation in Port Hardy ahead in summer; motels are usually packed the night before the Prince Rupert boat leaves and the night after it arrives.


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