"Port Hardy" Port Hardy by Twan

Port Hardy Travel Guide: 5 reviews and 32 photos

Port Hardy

Port Hardy was named after Vice-Admiral Sir Thomas Masterman Hardy, former captain of H.M.S. Victory. With a population exceeding 5000, this turn-of-the-century townsite is now the largest community in the region and the bustling terminal for B.C. Ferries' service to Prince Rupert and Haida Gwaii (Queen Charlotte Islands) via the Inside and Discovery Coast Passage sailing routes.

As 97 percent of the population of Vancouver Island lives on the southern half of the island, outdoor recreationists in search of solitude come north. Much of Vancouver Island once looked as the north still does today. Thanks to recent government protection, some of the remaining wilderness has been preserved. Other places, such as the most northerly tip of the island, are sheltered from the preying eye of industry by the elements.

Cape Scott Provincial Park is one of the wildest, windiest, most woebegone locales in the province for human habitation. Journeying to either Brooks Peninsula or Cape Scott is only for those whose mettle has been tested by repeated exposure to the bellows and blast-furnace of nature in the raw.

Gentler conditions prevail in the sheltered waters of Queen Charlotte Strait and Johnstone Strait, where the Kwakwaka'wakw First Nations are the traditional gatekeepers. To experience a tranquillity that passes all description, paddle these waters where whales rub and salmon run in summer months.

North Island

Port Hardy is the largest community of the North Island, with many facilities. Visitors can enjoy a wide variety of outdoor activities, as well as shopping and exploring the local arts and culture scene. The top half of 280-mile-long Vancouver Island is served by a maze of logging roads and Highway 19, which links Campbell River with Port McNeill and Port Hardy.

Population: 4,585

Location: Highway 19, the main highway serving Vancouver Island, links Port Hardy with Victoria and all other major centres on the island. Other communities in the North Island, including Coal Harbour, Holberg and Port Alice, are connected to Port Hardy by well-maintained highways. Port Hardy is the closest commercial Airport providing flights to Vancouver, Victoria, Nanaimo and many coastal communities.


BC Ferries links Port Hardy with several remote communities along the breathtaking Inside Passage and Discovery Coast routes to Prince Rupert and Bella Coola. Nearby, BC Ferries links Port McNeill to Alert Bay on Cormorant Island and Sointula on Malcolm Island. You can even travel up the scenic Sunshine Coast to Powell River and travel by ferry to Comox, just a 3.5 hour drive from Port Hardy

  • Last visit to Port Hardy: Jun 2009
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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