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The north of Vancouver Island is wonderful for lovers of nature and wildlife.

Much of this region consists of rugged unspoilt wilderness such as the huge Strathcona Provincial Park, honeycombed by an extensive network of underground caves.

Towns of north Vancouver Island

The region’s largest town is Campbell River, particularly renowned for its Chinook salmon fishing and for the views over the Strait of Georgia. Nearby Quadra Island has fine sandy beaches and a distinct flavour of its First Nations’ heritage, well represented in the Kwagiulth Museum and Cultural Centre, whilst nearby Cortes Island has some of North America’s finest sailing and kayaking areas. The small village of Telegraph Cove, raised on wooden stilts over the water, is the start point for whale watching trips in the Johnstone Strait while at the northern tip of the island Port Hardy is the terminal for ferries to and from Prince Rupert: Canada’s most awe-inspiring bear watching trips start from here or from Campbell River.

Whale Watching at Telegraph Cove

Telegraph Cove, Vancouver IslandThe calm, protected waters of Johnstone Strait on the northeast coast of Vancouver Island are widely acknowledged as the most accessible and predictable location to see orcas (killer whales) in the world. Comfortable 20 metre vessels, fitted with heated seating areas and toilets, cruise these waters using hydrophones to track the larger pods — and allow guests to listen to their ethereal song. Trained naturalists are on hand to explain the life of orcas as well as the porpoises, Pacific white-sided dolphins, sea lions and seals that are also often seen.

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Audley Travel Specialist Hollie

Start planning your tailor-made trip to Northern Vancouver Island by contacting one of our Canada specialists

Suggested itineraries featuring Northern Vancouver Island

Our itineraries will give you suggestions for what is possible when you travel in Northern Vancouver Island, and they showcase routes we know work particularly well. Treat them as inspiration, because your trip will be created uniquely by one of our specialists.

Map of Northern Vancouver Island

Places & hotels on the map

    Places near Northern Vancouver Island

    Our expert guides to exploring Northern Vancouver Island

    Written by our specialists from their own experiences of visiting Northern Vancouver Island, these guides will help you make the most of your time there. We share both our practical recommendations and the best ways to appreciate Northern Vancouver Island at its best.

    • In the path of the grizzly: bear watching in Canada
      Grizzly bear, British Columbia

      In the path of the grizzly: bear watching in Canada

      In the path of the grizzly: bear watching in Canada

      Canada is well-known for its wildlife, but the stars of the show are arguably its resident bears. These often solitary creatures can be difficult to find, but our Canada specialists can recommend intimate bear-watching experiences that allow you to see them in their natural habitat.

      11 min read

      Read this guide
    • Self-driving in western Canada
      Icefields Parkway, Jasper National Park

      Self-driving in western Canada

      Self-driving in western Canada

      Canada specialists Kerry and Annie share their tried-and-tested self-drive routes in western Canada. You might want to follow a lesser-known loop through the Canadian Rockies, detouring to the Okanagan wine region. Or, take in British Columbia’s coastline and Vancouver Island.

      9 min read

      Read this guide

    Accommodation choices for Northern Vancouver Island

    We’ve selected a range of accommodation options for when you visit Northern Vancouver Island. Our choices usually come recommended for their character, facilities and service or location. Our specialists always aim to suggest properties that match your preferences.