Things To Do In Port Hardy

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Visit Port Hardy and you will find many things to do when you arrive in this small town on Vancouver Island. Gorgeous beach walks, freshwater and saltwater fishing, marine wildlife watching, caving, boating, sea kayak, camping, scuba diving and experiencing local Indigenous culture.

Besides these outdoor recreation opportunities, there is also an aquatic centre, ice skating arena, a museum which exhibits indigenous artifacts and early settler memorabilia and a local library.

About Port Hardy, BC

Port Hardy is a true BC coastal town, built on the shores of a deep harbour with stunning ocean vistas backed by the snow-capped Coastal mountain range. Pristine forests and friendly locals for that give this small town its charm. With a population of just over 4,000 people, Port Hardy has a quiet feel throughout the year.

But during the summer months this town becomes a tourist hub, with visitors from around the world arriving or leaving by BC Ferries, hikers heading out on the famous Cape Scott Trail and campers heading to San Josef Bay or Raft Cove, all of which are part of the extensive BC Provincial Parks system.

Situated on the eastern tip of North Vancouver Island, Port Hardy and the surrounding area has long been a well-kept secret for travellers wanting an experience off the beaten track. Its remote enough for those folks wanting to avoid crowds but its close enough to larger destinations for ease of access. It’s just an hour flight from Vancouver or a five-hour drive from Nanaimo on the central island.

k’awat’si Tours

Looking to hike, view marine wildlife or experience local Indigenous culture? Visit our k’awat’si Tours for a wide selection of adventure and cultural experiences.

Scenic Boat and Wildlife Tour

Wa’p & Max’inux

Our local guide will take you on a 3-hour adventure where you could see marine mammals such as whales, porpoises, Stellar sea lions and marine birds.

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Drum Making

Ha’matla Lel’gwatla’tle

Drums are deeply rooted in First Nations cultures and we want to share this spiritual practice. The drum making session takes place at Kwa’lilas Hotel and you will create your own drum to take with you.

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Nakwakto Rapids and Cultural Tour

Wa’p & Bi’dagwa’nam

A magnificent natural marvel! These salt water rapids reach speeds of 14 knots creating surging water levels and churning waves. Learn fascinating stories about the rapids and Tremble Island, Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw history and view wildlife that frequents the area.

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Cedar Weaving

Ha’matla Lel’gwatla’tle & K’waxala

For thousands of years, the Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw have harvested and weaved fibres from the local cedar trees. Join our cedar weaver to learn how to prepare cedar and create your own bracelet, medicine pouch or small case. Cedar weaving classes are conveniently held at the Kwa’lilas Hotel.

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San Josef Bay

A’wi’nagwitl, K’waxala & U’ligan

Locally known as “San Jo”, this breathtaking bay located in Cape Scott Provincial Park is known for its iconic beaches and rock stack formations. This day tour takes place on Tlalasikwala Traditional Territory.

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Port Hardy Museum

Museum, Archives & Gift Shop

Take in the history of the local North Island area and browse artifacts in the permanent collections and rotating exhibits. Shop the gift shop for one of a kind art, jewelry and local interest books.

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Local Walks and Hikes

Diverse parks and trails for people of all ages and abilities.

Take a leisurely stroll on the seawall looking out to Hardy Bay, Quatse Loop and the estuary popular with bird watching enthusiasts and dog walkers. Or find a more challenging hike for a morning or a whole day! There is a wide variety of wilderness adventures and nature walks on the North Island.

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