Arrival in Telegraph Cove
Today you’ll drive along winding roads through dense forests to the north of Vancouver Island. The road no longer runs along the coast, but inland through the mountains, and you’ll soon realise how sparsely populated this area is. There are fewer people, and more trees, rivers and lakes. Your destination is Telegraph Cove, a fishing village on the Johnstone Strait, the favourite summer resort of killer whales.
You’ll stay in Telegraph Cove, where we’ve hand-selected several lodges in the middle of nature or dotted along the river. The rooms are comfortable, and most overlook the forest and water. Port McNeill is half an hour away, and we think it’s worth the drive to have dinner at Sportsman’s Steak and Pizza House. Here, you can grab a table that overlooks the harbour and Johnstone Strait, a relaxed way to end your evening.
Orca & Whale Watching
In the morning you’ll drive from your lodge to the centre of Telegraph Cove. It’s a typical ‘boardwalk’ village, full of colourful wooden houses on stilts, located on a small bay. There are only a few places in Canada where the atmosphere of an authentic fishing village really reigns. In the harbour, there’s a cosy café where you can sit on the terrace and enjoy fresh fish & chips, or the local fish soup.
Before boarding, head to the ‘Whale Interpretive Center’ to see the impressive skeletons of dolphins, seals and whales. On board, the skipper gives a brief introduction to the orcas and other inhabitants of the blue waters of the Johnstone Strait. The chances of seeing orcas here are about 90%! All fishing boats are required to stay at least 100m away, though sometimes the orcas do swim up and suddenly emerge. If the whales are close, an underwater microphone is hung in the water, so you can hear their melodies.
Departure from Telegraph Cove
From Telegraph Cove you can continue your journey south to kayak at sunset on Quadra Island or make the journey back to the mainland and cycle through the parks and boulevards of Vancouver city.
Best time to visit
Whale watching in Telegraph Cove takes place from July 1st to September 30th. In May and June, killer whales are sometimes spotted in their winter waters. If you’re in Canada in May, June, or October, and want to see orcas, then we suggest visiting Victoria instead for a better chance of spotting them.
A peek at your accommodation