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Attractions and ideas for your northern Vancouver Island

Outdoor Activities:

The coastal community of Port McNeill and Northern Vancouver Island both offer an abundance of activities.

Port McNeill is one of Vancouver Island's 'best kept' secrets and is the gateway to the Broughton Archipelago, a nest of maze-like islands grouped together creating inlets, coves, and bays. Port McNeill and Northern Vancouver Island offer an abundance of adventure and leisure activities to suit a variety of tastes. Ask our helpful staff for information for activities and tour options.

Bear Watching

There are great bear watching tours leaving from the north island to watch grizzly and black bears. Knight Inlet is one of the prime areas for grizzly bears  while black bears can be seens almost everywhere. A favourite spot to watch black bears is the Broughton Archipelago.

Whale Watching

There is no doubt, whales are the tourist attraction #1. Johnstone Strait is known to be one of the best spots worldwide to watch orcas, while the coast around the Broughton Archipelago offers excellent humpback whale watching. There are also minke whales, dolphins and other marine wildlife to watch.

Bird Watching

Northern Vancouver Island is a mecca for bird watching with a large variety of bird species both resident and migratory such as Bald Eagles, Great Blue Herons, Canada Geese, Great Horned Owls, Red-Tailed Hawkes, just to name a few.


Northern Vancouver Island has the highest concentration of caves in Canada. Guided caving tours are available for varying degrees of difficulty, from beginners to advanced.


Discover the remote and beautiful wilderness areas of Northern Vancouver Island by hiking some of the many trails in the area.


By driving a short distance on some of the back roads you will come across some stunning lakes, which are easily accessed by vehicle, and perfect for launching a canoe.

The Port McNeill Heritage Museum

Preserving the history of Port McNeill and the surrounding area, the Port McNeill Heritage Museum is situated in Shelley Crescent.


Northern Vancouver Island offers some great biking trails and is a great way to explore this beautiful region!

U'Mista Cultural Society

The U'Mista Cultural Society is situated in Alert Bay and houses historical First Nations artifacts.

Artists and Galleries:


Northern Vancouver Island has produced some world-class famous artists who have gleaned their inspiration from their beautiful and inspirational surroundings. A visit to various artists' galleries or showrooms is a must during your stay in Port McNeill.



  • Just Art
    Featuring authentic native American artworks by local First Nations artists.

From Queen Charlotte Strait to Johnstone Strait, the waters surrounding Port McNeill are some of the best in the world to experience sights of Killer WhalesHumpback Whalesdolphins, and many other marine mammals. While black bears are common on Vancouver Island, day trips to the mainland bring you to grizzly bear territory. Whatever your preference or where-ever you choose to go, there is an abundance of wildlife in this region.


  • Vancouver Island Photo Tours
    Small group tours, up to 4 guests, watch grizzly bears, whales, sea otters and other wildlife with 30+ year pro photographer Rolf Hicker. Tours are also ideal for families. No need to be a photographer.

  • Mackay Whale Watching
    Whale watching tours departing from Port McNeill.​​


  • Photography Workshops - Rolf Hicker
    Northern Vancouver Island is a photography paradise - join local photographer Rolf Hicker on a photography tour to a few of his favourite haunts departing from Port McNeill!.



  • Kingfisher Adventures
    Kingfisher Adventures offers Sea Kayaking off Northern Vancouver Island, including trips into the Broughton Archipelago and Johnstone Strait.

Fishing Charters:

As well as superb wilderness scenery, Northern Vancouver Island is also known for its legendary fishing in the many surrounding rivers and inlets. To get the edge on the fish, there are fishing charters and guides available who can take you to the best fishing locations in the area.






  • Island Angler
    Island Angler - Vancouver Island Fishing Guide is published 6 times yearly. This tabloid magazine has informed and involved anglers world-wide since 1989, promoting and protecting our unique West Coast fisheries - trophy Pacific Salmon or giant Halibut in the salt water plus Steelhead, Trout and Smallmouth Bass in lakes and rivers. Whether you like fly fishing, spin casting or trolling Vancouver Island is a four season sport fishing paradise.

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