Immersive Vancouver Island Self-Drive Tour
Trip length: 6 days / 5 nights
Start/end: Campbell River
Towns: Telegraph Cove, Port McNeill, Alert Bay, Port Hardy
Group size: 2+ people
Price: from $2,195 per person
Experience the road less travelled on northern Vancouver Island with this 6-day self-guided tour from Campbell River to Telegraph Cove, Alert Bay, and Port Hardy.
This driving tour of Vancouver Island is the perfect way to connect with the region’s unique indigenous cultures and traditions, all while immersing yourself in the vast wilderness of BC.
If you have any questions for us about this tour, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
And if you’re still looking for British Columbia travel inspiration, check out our full range of self-guided tours in BC.
Cultural Vancouver Island Driving Tour
Immerse in the history of the North Island in Campbell River, the 'Salmon Capital of the World' , and stay at an historic fishing lodge.
Join local Indigenous guides on a tour of the Broughton Archipelago in search of grizzlies and whales, visiting historic lands to learn about the ecosystems and people of this vast region
Embrace the cultural mecca of Alert Bay with a visit to U'Mista Cultural Centre and the renowned potlatch collection.
Experience a performance by the T'sasala Cultural Group Dancers in the ‘Namgis Traditional Big House (summer tours only).
Learn the art of cedar weaving in an engaging workshop, and watch local artists in their craft.
Spend an afternoon strolling the boardwalks of Telegraph Cove, a former fishing and cannery village.
Experience the comfort and welcoming hospitality of the Indigenous-owned Kwa'Lilas Hotel.
Enjoy fresh, local seafood and cuisine, from the first night at a picturesque waterfront bistro, to freshly caught salmon on the BBQ.
Activities On This Trip
Hotels & B&Bs
Cultural imagery use courtesy of U'Mista Cultural Centre, Culture Shock Gallery, and T'sasala Cultural Group.
This is a sample itinerary that can be customized to your group.
DAY 1: Begin in Campbell River | Visit Indigenous galleries and the Campbell River History Museum | Hike in Elk Falls Provincial Park | Optional wildlife and cultural boat tour | Overnight in Campbell River. Accommodation: Lodge | Meals included: n/a.
DAY 2: Breakfast overlooking the ocean | Drive to Telegraph Cove (~2.5 hours) | Free time in Telegraph Cove to explore this historic town | Travel to the cultural mecca of Alert Bay | Visit the 'Namgis Big House, World's Tallest Totem Pole | Catered dinner. Accommodation: Bed & Breakfast | Meals included: Dinner.
DAY 3: Morning walk on the beach | Private tour of the U'Mista Cultural Centre | Big House Cultural performance (summer tours only) | Cedar weaving workshop | Free time to explore the waterfront & town | Hike through the Ecological Gardens | Overnight in Alert Bay. Accommodation: Bed & Breakfast | Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch.
DAY 4: Join Indigenous-led Grizzly Bears and Wildlife Tour (full day) | Learn about the First Nations history in the Broughton Archipelago. Accommodation: Bed & Breakfast | Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch.
DAY 5: Cedar weaving workshop with local artists | Travel to Port Hardy | Visit Fort Rupert historic village and Storeys Beach | Optional float plane tour over the Broughton Archipelago | Check-in to the Kwa'Lilas Hotel, owned and operated by the local First Nations | Overnight in Port Hardy. Accommodation: Hotel | Meals included: Breakfast.
DAY 6: Free morning to explore Port Hardy town | Travel to Campbell River | Tour ends. Meals included: Breakfast.
This trip is designed for...
Adults and youth age 12+ with interests in history, culture, and outdoor adventure. Basic mobility and moderate fitness level is recommended. Must be comfortable walking/hiking on light trails for 1-2 hours and travelling by boat. Guests must be comfortable spending full days outdoors in potentially inclement weather.
Discover More About our Cultural Driving Tour of Vancouver Island
DATES + PRICES
Self-Guided Tours are available from June to September for groups of two or more people, based on availability.
Itineraries can be customized based on the interests, budget, and size of the group.
See "How it Works" for more details.
Groups of 2 & 4: $2,295 /person
Groups of 6: $2,195 /person
All prices in Canadian dollars. GST tax (5%) not included.
Looking for a guided trip?
6 days / 5 nights
All accommodation for 5 nights, including 1 night at a waterfront lodge in Campbell River, 3 nights at a bed and breakfast in Alert Bay, and 1 night at a hotel in Port Hardy.
4 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 1 dinner.
All activities listed in the itinerary, including U'Mista Cultural Centre private tour, cedar weaving workshop, Indigenous-led wildlife tour, and more.
Custom itinerary design, pre-trip educational information, and remote support from our team during your trip.
Additional meals not listed
Vehicle rental/usage and fuel
Ferry to/from Alert Bay
Flights to/from and within British Columbia
Gratuities for third-party tour providers and housekeeping services (to be given at your discretion)
Personal expenses such as alcoholic beverages, medications, snacks, and souvenirs
Optional add-on activities pre/post trip, and during free time in Port Hardy
Cultural Self-Drive Vancouver Island Tour
This is a self-guided trip and requires the use of your own vehicle. If travelling by air into BC, we recommend booking a connecting flight from Vancouver International Airport to Campbell River via Pacific Coastal Airlines and renting a car here for the duration of your trip (Budget and National are available).
The itinerary for your Vancouver Island driving tour begins on Day 1 in Campbell River. Consider arriving one night prior to your trip start date.
We can provide recommended hotels in Campbell River which can be included in your tour price. Optional pre- and post-tour packages are also available.
The trip ends on Day 6 with the drive from Port Hardy to Campbell River around mid-day. The timing is up to you — there are no scheduled activities on this day.
If you wish to stay longer on Vancouver Island, our team can provide some recommendations based on your preferences.