Discover & Explore

Highlights & Must-Dos

Get acquainted with Port Hardy. Experience local culture, discover signatory features and explore the community attractions that captivate Port Hardy resident’s year round!

  1. Storey’s Beach. Whether its an early morning stroll or an afternoon walk, the sandy shoreline, refreshing salt breeze & spectacular view at Storey’s Beach is not to be missed!
  2. A waterfront walk along the seawall of Hardy Bay. A coastal view like non other on Northern Vancouver Island, take in the stunning sights of BC’s coastal mountain range, First Nations totems & read interpretive wildlife signage along the way. This beautiful walk is a favourite of many.
  3. Glimpse into BC’s oldest known indigenous culture of the Kwakiutl First Nations. Visit Fort Rupert to view carefully carved totems and the intricate details designs on the big house, or stop in at the Copper Maker’s Gallery.
  4. Follow the wooded nature trail along the Quatse River & Estuary Loop. A walk through this regional park invites sights of wildlife and scenery from salmon and eagles to impressive old growth cedar and douglas fir trees.
  5. A warm and flavourful sip of a signature latte at the Café Guido pairs perfectly with browsing locally-made, west coast inspired treasures and gifts. Find a perfect gift in the West Coast Community Craft Shop and Drift or sit and enjoy a read of North Island tales in the Book Nook.
  6. Leap in to the world of salmon at the Quatse Salmon Stewardship Centre! Take a guided tour of the hatchery, view the world class exhibits and interactive displays about Pacific salmon. From egg to adult and scales to fins, the family-friendly atmosphere of the Salmon Centre is a great place to learn all about salmon!
  7. Dive the watery depths of Bear Cove! The cold, nutrient-rich waters of the Pacific Ocean make Hardy Bay  and neighbouring coves and bays an excellent site for diving. A haven for marine life, the region is home to a diverse range of oceanic organisms from giant Pacific octopus and Puget sound king crab to an assortment of rockfish and nudibranchs, all are visible under the surface of Hardy Bay.
  8. Drop a line and catch a fish. Fresh or salt, Port Hardy and the surrounding area offers world-class fishing. Try your luck for salmon or halibut with a local charter or walk the shores of nearby rivers and streams and cast a fly to see if you can entice a hungry rainbow or steelhead trout.
  9. Delve into Port Hardy culture and explore local history at the Port Hardy at the Port Hardy Museum and gift shop.
  10. Enjoy a taste of the famously candied smoked salmon made by Hardy Buoys Smoked Fish. Locally owned and operated, this company has mastered the recipe, carefully flavouring strips of sockeye, chinook, coho, chum and pink to perfection.
Port Hardy with Kids

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Port Hardy offers a wide range of fun, family friendly activities. From toddlers to teens, your family is sure to enjoy exploring Port Hardy.

  1. Storey’s Beach. Low-tide at Storey’s Beach offers miles of sand, perfect for sand walks & sand castles, to inter-tidal treasure hunting!
  2. Exploring tide pools in Hardy Bay. Don’t be fooled by this rocky shore, a low tide in Hardy Bay invites discovery of marine treasures.
  3. Leap in to the world of salmon at the Quatse River Hatchery & Salmon Stewardship Centre! Learn all about Pacific Salmon on a guided tour. From salmon scales & killer whales to a donut aquarium and an awesome kids-zone, the Salmon Centre offers a family experience not to miss!
  4. Catch a fish at the Rotary fishing park! Located off the Coast-guard wharf, grow a love for fishing while their young. Life jackets available, bring your own rod, lures, and license.
  5. Enjoy a tasty lunch and a warm cup of hot chocolate at the Cafe Guido or maybe find a souvenir in the Book Nook and West Coast Community Craft Shop!
  6. Play at a local park! Visit Carrot Park down town to parks throughout the community, let the kiddos get some energy out before continuing on your adventures!
  7. Check out the community calendar, From BC Family Fishing Weekend to Filomi Days and the annual Santa Claus Parade, Port Hardy offers family-friendly community events all throughout the year. Find out what is happening during your visit!
Rainy Day Play!

Don’t mind the rain, gumboots & rain jacket required!

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No stranger to the rain, Port Hardy and Northern Vancouver Island can attribute the surrounding lush rainforest to the temperate climate and all the added moisture!  But don’t worry, just because it’s raining you don’t have to be a hermit. Here’s a list of our favourite rainy day activities!

  1. Puddle jumping. Splash, stomp, step, just don’t swim!
  2. Storm watch at the Blow Hole! Weathered away by ocean waves, rocky structures at Thomas Point create a “blow hole” spray with stormy seas, synomnous to that of the blow of a whale.
  3. Salmon spotting! Fall brings rain and rain brings fish. Walk along the Quatse Trail Loop and watch for spawning Pacific Salmon as they migrate back to their spawning grounds!
  4. Visit the Quatse River Hatchery & Salmon Centre! Release some fry (spring) or take in an egg take (fall). The fish aren’t bothered by rain, so don’t mind if you get a bit wet!
  5.  Talented with flippers, a regulator and dry suit? Wet suit if your brave! Go for a dive! Port Hardy offers some of British Columbia’s most spectacular dive sites from the shore of Hardy Bay & Bear Cove!
  6. After all the wet fun, warm up with a tasty hot chocolate & fresh baked goody at the Cafe Guido, browse the local craft shop or cozy up with a west coast read in the Book Nook.
  7. Enjoy a bowl of soul-warming soup and a delicious sandwich at the Market Street Cafe. The fresh baked bread is yummy and filling!