Southern Gwai Haanas Explorer, 8 days
Sea kayaking in Haida Gwaii, formerly the Queen Charlotte Islands, is a spectacular experience. Isolated from British Columbia by Hecate Strait, Haida Gwaii are ecologically unique. The 100 kilometres of open water has isolated the archipelago from the BC mainland, to the extent that there are at least 39 distinct subspecies of plants and animals that are found no place else in the world. The jewel of the islands, Gwaii Haanas, provides the adventurous kayaker with stunning scenery, remote wilderness, fantastic wildlife, and the opportunity to visit important Haida cultural sites.
Our Southern Gwaii Haanas Explorer kayak tours operate within Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve, National Marine Conservation Area Reserve, and Haida Heritage Site. The Government of Canada and the Council of the Haida Nation cooperatively manage Gwaii Haanas through the Archipelago Management Board.
- Price: $2.895 CAD per person plus 5% Goods and Services Tax (GST)
- Group Size: Maximum of eight guests and two guides
- Participants: This tour is adult-oriented but participants as young as 15 may be accepted
- Suitability: Intermediate to advanced kayakers
- Departs: Sandspit, Haida Gwaii (Queen Charlotte Islands)
The Southern Gwaii Haanas Explorer kayak tour travels between Burnaby Island and Ninstints toward the southern end of Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve, National Marine Conservation Area Reserve, and Haida Heritage Site. Our route along this rugged coastline offers fantastic wildlife viewing opportunities, remarkable scenery, wonderful campsite locations, and culminates with a visit to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of SGang Gwaay Linagaay (Ninstints) with its long house remains and carved memorial and mortuary poles.
Our journey begins near Burnaby Island in the center of Gwaii Haanas. The waters surrounding Burnaby Island are renowned for abundant and colourful intertidal life. Burnaby (Dolomite) Narrows has some of the highest levels of living material of any intertidal zone in the world. Floating in our kayaks over hundreds of colourful sea stars, urchins, and anemones is a remarkable experience.
As we head south we are on the lookout for whales. Humpback whales are often seen feeding in Skincuttle Inlet and around many of the headlands we pass. Both harbour seals and Steller sea lions haul out on the many rocky islets, always weary of an ambush from transient (marine mammal-eating) killer whales. Along the beaches deer and black bears are a common sight.
Weather permitting we move to a new campsite each day. We may choose to camp on pebble beaches, moss-carpeted forest, or small offshore islands. Many of our favourite campsites are surrounded by lush old growth rainforest and have nearby streams allowing for freshwater bathing. Near the end of our journey we visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Ninstints (SGang Gwaay Linagaay), home to over two dozen mortuary and memorial poles and the remains of cedar long houses. The waters surrounding Anthony Island are home to a wide variety of sea birds, such as rhinoceros auklets, pigeon guillemots, and tufted and horned puffins, plus many more species are often seen.
With all that Gwaii Hanaas has to offer, it is understandable why many of our guests consider this to be the best trip of their lives and why National Geographic rated Gwaii Haanas the #1 wilderness park destination in North America.
Includes: We provide you with all the necessary kayaking and camping equipment, including kayaks, paddling jackets, PFD (life jacket), group shelters, tents, sleeping pads, camp chairs and sleeping bags (you may bring your own). All meals during the kayak trip are provided and prepared by your guides. We’re proud of our menu that includes abundant fresh fruits and vegetables, a wide variety of international dishes, and freshly baked treats. Most dietary restrictions can be accommodated given sufficient prior notification. Transportation is all-inclusive from Sandspit by our network of vans and water taxis. Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve and Haida Heritage Site Fees.
What is not included:
- Transport from your home to Sandspit
- Airport transfers
- Accommodation in Sandspit
- Any meals outside the kayak portion of the tour are your responsibility
- Travel insurance
- The trip price does not include guide gratuities; should you feel that the service was exemplary, it is always appreciated