district municipality in British Columbia, Canada

Port Hardy is a district municipality of about 4000 people (2016) in the North Vancouver Island region of British Columbia. Port Hardy is a transportation hub for air, ferry and marine networks, and serves as the gateway to the Central Coast, the Cape Scott and North Coast Trails, and BC Ferry’s northern terminus for the Discovery Coast run and Prince Rupert.

Understand edit

Harbour of Port Hardy

Beaver Cove, near the BC Ferries Terminal, is the oldest known site of human habitation on Vancouver Island (circa 5850 BCE). The first contact with Europeans occurred in 1836 when the steamship S.S. Beaver was sent on an exploratory trip by Hudson's Bay Company (HBC). To exploit coal deposits, the HBC to establish a fortified trading post at Beaver Harbour around 1848, and named it “Fort Rupert” after the company’s governor, Prince Rupert, Duke of Bavaria. Though little of the fort remains today, the Kwakiutl First Nations (Indigenous people) continue to reside adjacent to the former fort site.

Gwa'Sala-'Nakwaxda'xw totem pole

Port Hardy’s population grew to a little over 5,000 residents while the Island Copper Mine was operating from 1971-1995 about 16 km south of the town. The open-pit porphyry copper mine employed over 900 employees from Port Hardy and the surrounding communities. Today, the former mine is a wildlife habitat and pit lake biological treatment system.

Visitor information edit

Get in edit

By car edit

Take the Island Highway from ferries docking at Victoria (500 km, about 5½ hours driving) or Nanaimo (385 km, about 4 hours) from Vancouver, and follow it until the northern end.

By bus edit

By boat edit

BC Ferries, toll-free: +1-888-223-3779. Operates ferries connecting coastal communities.     Ferry terminal:

  • 1 Port Hardy (Bear Cove) ferry terminal, 6800 Highway 19.     Served by two routes:
    • From Prince Rupert (16-22 hours) via Klemtu (7.75-11.5 hours) and/or Bella Bella (8-9.5 hours). The ferries travel through the beautiful Inside Passage that connect the North Coasts and Central with the Port Hardy. The number of sailings per week varies by season, and depart up to every other day in the summer.
    • From Bella Coola (10 hours). Operates several days per week in the summer only. Otherwise, travelers from Bella Coola can take a ferry to Bella Bella and transfer to reach Port Hardy.

By plane edit

Airport edit

  • 2 Port Hardy Airport (YZT  IATA) (is about 10 km SE of the town).    . BC Transit bus route #4 operates a few trips to the airport from Monday to Friday.

Airlines edit

Get around edit

By public transit edit

By taxi edit

Water taxi services are also available at the dock for the North Coast Trail.

See edit

Port Hardy from the water
  • 1 Port Hardy Museum, 7110 Market St, +1 250-949-8143, . Feb-Dec: W-Sa. Permanent exhibits of First Nations (including 8,000-year-old artifacts) settlers' effects, fossils, geology, natural history, and local industry. Rotating temporary exhibits, videos. Gift shop. Admission by donation.
  • 2 Fort Rupert (10 km SE of Port Hardy: follow Highway 2 to Byng Road, east to Beaver Harbour Road, and north to Fort Rupert (a 2hr 15min walk)). A former Hudson's Bay Company fort which was built in 1849. The present day village of Fort Rupert is a historic Kwakwaka'wakw village of the Kwakiutl and the Komoyue subgroup where the opportunity exists to see native carvers working on totem poles or other artwork and traditional crafts. The band government of the Kwagu'ł is the Kwakiutl First Nation. Fort Rupert (or Tsaxis as it is known by the Kwakiutl) is worth a visit to see its historic cemetery, the Big House, many totem poles, and colourfully decorated public buildings. Also hiding in the underbrush are the last crumbling remnants of the fort erected by the Hudson's Bay Company in 1849, notably a stone chimney. Sandstone petroglyphs dating back to the 1860s can also be found (after careful searching) on the upper reaches of the oceanfront tidal zone.    
  • 3 Quatse Salmon Stewardship Centre, 8400 Byng Road (next to the Quatse River Regional Park and Campground), +1 250-902-0336. Daily 10AM-5PM. A family-friendly centre that teaches about Pacific salmon. An interpretive gallery, interactive exhibits and hands-on displays that show how salmon are intimately connected to the coastal ecosystem of Northern Vancouver Island, the local First Nations and the local community. Adult $6, youth (5-18) $4, seniors (65 and over) $4, under age 5 free, family (Up to 2 adults + children) $12.
  • 4 Carrot Park (Rotary Park). Features the Port Hardy Sign and a totem pole.
  • 5 Beaver Harbour Park (Storey's Beach). A rocky beach and good location to watch the sunset.

Do edit

  • North Island Calendar of Events Festivals, Concerts, Sporting events
  • Some of the best scuba diving on the planet, though the water is cold and conditions are tough (so significant prior experience is expected), is available offshore from Port Hardy. Try Browning Pass Hideaway[dead link] or God's Pocket Resort.
  • 1 Port Hardy Seawall. Walk on the sea wall.
  • Hike
    • Tex Lyon's Trail. A 7-km-long coastal trail heading from the boat launch in Beaver Harbour Park and heating north to Dillon Point at the north end of the Peninsula.
    • Fort Rupert Trail (Commuter Trail). A 3.7 km east-west inland trail crossing between Beaver Harbour Park and Bear Cove Rd (Highway 19). Trail includes surfaces such as wood board walk and crushed gravel.
  • Wildlife viewing. Including whale, bear, and bird watching

Buy edit

  • 1 The Copper Maker Gallery, 114 Copper Way, +1 250-949-8491, . Gallery owned by and featuring the works of artist and totem pole carver Calvin Hunt. Watch as this carver makes works of art.    
  • 2 Hardy Buoys Smoked Fish Inc., 9300 Trustee Rd, +1 250-949-8781, toll-free: +1-877-949-8781. A local company that specializes in smoked salmon -- 65 different combinations of products and many varieties of flavours like: Maple, Garlic, Cajun, Spiced, and Original. Available in local grocery stores including Save-on Foods and Overwrites Foods.
  • 3 West Coast Community Craft Shop, 7135 Market St, +1 250-949-2650. 125 local artists' work is on display. Works of art include carvings, sculptures, paintings, pottery, photography, turned bowls, handmade soaps, honey, quilts, baby blankets and sweaters, beach glass chimes, beach vacation rental homes, jewellery.

Eat edit

  • 1 Cafe Guido, 7135 Market St, +1 250-949-9808. Serves hot and cold drinks, and food.
  • 2 Glen Lyon Restaurant, 6435 Hardy Bay Rd, +1 250-949-7267. Su-Tu Th 6:30AM–9PM, W F Sa 6:30AM–10PM. Good breakfasts.
  • 3 Market Street Café, 7030 Market St, +1 250-949-8110. M-F 8AM-3PM. Fresh home baking
  • 4 Mo's Restaurant, 7070 Market St. # 8, +1 250-949-8303. M-Sa 11AM-10PM. Pizza, fried chicken, chicken wings, subs, gyros, donairs, wraps, sandwiches, soups, salads.
  • 5 Seto's Wok and Grill, 9040 Granville Street, +1 250-949-8381. M W Th 11AM-8PM, F Sa 11AM-8:30PM, Su 4-8PM. Chinese and Canadian food.
  • 6 Karai Sushi & Grill, 7145 Market St, +1 250-949-7744. Japanese, sushi, Asian.

Drink edit

Some of the hotels and inns listed below have pubs.

  • 1 The Sporty Bar & Grill, 8700 Hastings St, +1 250-949-7811. Su-Th 11:30AM-11:30PM, F Sa 11:30AM-1:30AM. Great pub food. Burgers, sandwiches, wraps, pizza, pasta, salads, steak.

Sleep edit

Budget edit

  • 1 Quatse River Campground, 8400 Byng Rd, +1 250-949-2395, toll-free: +1-866-949-2395. Check-in: 2PM, check-out: noon. Camping is available. Be bear aware: the local bear population uses this area to forge for berries and hunt salmon.
  • 2 North Coast Trail Backpackers Hostel, 101 - 8635 Granville St, +1 250-949-9441, toll-free: +1-866-448-6303, . Housed in an old Mason's Lodge. Lounge and dining area. Free wireless internet and computer kiosk. Free parking. Games room, TV, book exchange. Kayak, bicycle, and motorbike storage. Laundry facilities available upon request. Storage lockers. 3 fully equipped kitchens. Bed linens and towels included. Drying room (for wet gear such as tents). Electric car charger. Dorm beds $30-34, private rooms $64-79, group/family room $69 for 2 people +$15 per additional person to a total of five..

Holiday rentals edit

Hotels edit

  • 6 Pioneer Inn, 8405 Byng Rd. Check-in: 2PM, check-out: 11AM. Free Wi-Fi, restaurant on site, and a refrigerator is included in guest rooms. Port Hardy Airport is 8 km away. A cable TV and a seating area are provided in rooms at Pioneer Inn. A work desk, a microwave and a coffee maker are offered. BBQ facilities are offered to guests of Inn Pioneer. A guest launderette is available. B.C. Ferries Port Hardy terminal is 11 minutes' drive away. Marble River Provincial Park is 34 km from Pioneer Inn. Doubles from $85.
  • 7 Quarterdeck Inn, 6555 Hardy Bay Rd, +1 250-902-0455, toll-free: +1-888-999-2799. Full service hotel, with a marina, pub and restaurant. Close to downtown and tourism and business services in Port Hardy. Doubles from $126.
  • 8 Glen Lyon, 6435 Hardy Bay Road, +1 250-902-0455, toll-free: +1-877-949-7115. All rooms and suites face Hardy Bay and not far from downtown. Glen Lyon Inn is found on the scenic alternate road, Hardy Bay Road, which rims the waterfront leading to Port Hardy. It is a few minutes to the ferry terminal and very close to downtown and the bus depot. Adjacent to the marina and the seaplane base. Doubles from $122.
  • 9 North Shore Inn, 7370 Market St, +1 250-949-8500. Doubles from $103.
  • 10 Airport Inn, 4030 Byng Rd, +1 250-949-9434. Licensed dining room, meeting rooms, cold beer and wine store and fax and copy service. Within walking distance of the airport (and they offer complimentary shuttle service), and minutes by car to the BC Ferries terminal and downtown Port Hardy.
  • 11 Providence Place, 7050 Rupert St, +1 250-949-8899, . Central location. Doubles from $100.
  • 12 Kwa'lilas Hotel, 9040 Granville St, toll-free: +1-855-949-8525. Features local indigenous art in the hotel.

Connect edit

Cope edit

Go next edit

Routes through Port Hardy
END  N   S  Telegraph CoveCampbell River

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