What to do in Port Hardy for 2 Days

What to do if you have two days in Port Hardy! 


Day 1 


Start your day right at any one of Port Hardy fine Restaurants we have several to choose from, follow the link here to find out more https://porthardychamber.com/business-listing/?type=restaurants&sort=a-z 


The Book Nook/ Community Craft Shop (250)949-9808 

Grab a specialty latte and explore the book nook and west coast community craft shop. Featuring writings of local authors and arts, crafts and makings of local artisans. Immerse yourself in a welcoming west coast atmosphere. 


Port Hardy Museum (250) 949-8143 

Explore the history of Port Hardy at the Port Hardy Museum. In a town where the fishing, logging, and mining industries are incremental to the economy, exhibits and displays showcase artifacts about how Port Hardy began. The museum also features First Nations artifacts and artwork, testament to the cultures and traditions of the local First Nations communities. 




Stop at Copper and Kelp and grab a charcuterie board or grab a dessert snack-pack then it’s off to Storey’s Beach only a 10-15min Drive from Port Hardy  

How to get there: From Island Highway turn onto Byng Road; from bung rd turn onto Beaver Harbour Road here you will find The Copper & Kelp Conner Store, stay on this road until you see the three-baseball diamonds, you can park at one of the baseball diamonds and walk down to the beach. 

A beautiful sandy beach that goes on forever when the tide is out. A popular picnic area, there is a Rotary pavilion, picnic tables, barbecue pits and grassy fields for having fun in the sun. There is also a heated public washroom. 



After Lunch and a quick call to The Copper Maker Gallery (250)-949-8491 you can arrange a time to go visit.

The Copper Maker Gallery is the artist’s studio of Calvin Hunt, world-renowned Kwakiutl carver. His totem poles stand in galleries in Vancouver, Germany and Japan. Contact him to arrange a tour through his workshop and see the creation of great art in progress! 

How to get there: From the Island Highway turn onto Byng Road; turn onto Beaver Harbour Road; turn onto Tsak’is Way; turn onto Copper Way. 



3:35pm- TBD 

Beach Fire at Thomas Point  

With one of best places in town to view the coastal mountain range, Thomas Point offers a perfect setting for a beach fire. Gather with friends and family and enjoy the view, while the kids can have fun roasting hotdogs and marshmallows.  

How to get there: From the Island Highway turn onto Byng Road; Turn onto Tsak’is Way until you reach gravel road and at the end there will be parking areas.   


Day 2 


Breakfast (at a restaurant of your choice)  


Spend the day fishing with anyone of our many local Fishing Charters 

Port Hardy has a variety of guided fishing charters. Whether you are out for a half day trip or a full week of fishing, don’t miss out on an opportunity to catch a salmon or halibut of a lifetime! 

Once you have caught your limit you can take your catch up to Hardy Buoys Smoked Fish to have them process, and package it for you while you go on to the next thing to do in Port Hardy. 

Hardy Buoys Smoked Fish Inc. 1-877-949-8781 

Or if you want to get out and hike, try the Tex Lyon Trail 

The 8-hour hike through the rocky coastline, and under trees is a challenging trail but worth it in the end having a panoramic view of the Queen Charlotte Strait and Dillion Point. This trail is tidal dependent in a few spots so you will want to time this one just right. You can find a tide guide here https://www.waterlevels.gc.ca/en/stations/8408 

How to get there: From the Is-land Highway turn onto Byng Road towards the Port Hardy airport; Turn left onto beaver Harbour Road; Continue along the road, stay on the road as you go around the bend, turn right onto Chantham Ave. Follow the road to the end and park in the graveled area, the trail head and sign begins from this point. 



First Nations History and Culture


The community of Port Hardy is situated within traditional Kwagu’ł First Nation territory. It is also recent home to the Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw First Nation. In 1964 this amalgamated tribe was forced to relocate from their traditional territories by the federal government, for ‘administrative’ reasons. The tribes were told that it would cost less for education, easier for medical help, and the government would help with housing, but it turned out to be a hidden agenda designed to assimilate the two tribes into Canadian society. Several years of threats and promises later, the Gwa’sala and ‘Nakwaxda’xw reluctantly gave in to the relocation, but the government didn’t keep their promise for adequate housing. There were five homes for over 200 people on Tsulquate Reservation. The Gwa’sala traditional territory is Smith Inlet and surrounding islands. ‘Nakwaxda’xw traditional territory is Seymour Inlet, the Deserter’s Group, Blunden Harbour, and surrounding islands.

Every corner of the Port Hardy region is enriched with culture and history. Starting with the two totem poles in Carrot Park, both carved and replicated by Calvin Hunt, a Kwagu’ł artist who is based in Tsax̱is. From here and along the seawall are interpretive signs with Kwak’wala words for various wildlife, such as salmon, bear, wolf, and orca. At the end of this walk is Tsulquate Park. From here you can see across the Queen Charlotte Strait; the ocean highway and lands of the Kwakwa̱ka̱ʼwakw.

After the end of the seawall walk, you can backtrack and head into the museum, which has exhibits on local First Nations history and art. Including 8,000-year-old artifacts found at Bear Cove, near the present day ferry terminal. This is the oldest archaeological find of human habitation on Vancouver Island (circa 5850 Before Common Era.) Along with the museum exhibits, there are books regarding the history, arts, and local plant life of the Kwakwa̱ka̱ʼwakw and surrounding nations.

A ten minute drive from downtown Port Hardy, in the neighbouring community of Fort Rupert, is the village of Tsax̱is. This is the current home of the Kwagu’ł First Nation. Here lies elaborated totem poles and the big house; a venue where First Nations ceremonies take place, such as the potlatch. The potlatch is a First Nations constitution that determines our politics, our government, our education, our medicine, our territory, and our jurisdiction. Potlatch is a complex event with several ceremonies, which are still practiced in buildings like the Tsax̱is big house.

On the front porch of the village of Tsax̱is is Tayaguł (Storey’s Beach). Along this waterfront were several villages, which are depicted on map (pictured below) by Mervyn Child, a Kwagu’ł artist. Across the way and middle of K’ak’a (Beaver Harbour) are Atłanudzi (Cattle Island), Ḵ’ut’sa̱dze (Peel Island), Ḵ’a̱msa̱x̱tłe (Shell Island), and Uxwiwe’ (Deer Island). Once the words are broken down and translated; the names of these islands are unique to their environment, as they’re part of a story which belong to the Kwagu’ł.

Despite the Kwakwa̱ka̱ʼwakw being the most studied ethnic group in the world, those research papers use past tense descriptive words. The Kwakwa̱ka̱ʼwakw people, culture, and traditions are very much alive. Very little has changed since Captain George Vancouver ran aground on Map’eg̱a̱m (Deserters Island.) Perhaps a few place names have changed & villages (now called reservations) relocated, but the stewardship, culture, and people are still thriving.

“The ‘Kwakiutl’ are one of the most described and, hence, most widely known ethnic groups in the world. Yet, increasingly, people write about us and, apparently, think about us in the past tense. We are told that the Kwakiutl ritual art, technology, and religion were colourful and complex. It is as if our culture were gone. But we Kwakwa̱ka̱ʼwakw are very much alive, and we abide in our traditional lands. Our culture retains many aspects of the ‘old ways.’ Because research should lead into understanding as well as to knowledge, we feel it is important, at the outset, to provide readers with our own perspective on our lands.” – Gloria Cranmer Webster.

About the author and photographer:
Gilakas’la. Nugwa’am Sarah. Gayutłan lax Dzawada’enuxw glu ‘Nakwaxda’xw. I’m a First Nations Storyteller and Steward, based on Vancouver Island. I take pride in being both Kwakwa̱ka̱ʼwakw and Nuučaan̓uł. Website.