The historic community of Alert Bay

Explore the culturally rich Cormorant Island where the descendants of pioneers reside alongside the vibrant ‘Namgis First Nation of the Kwakwaka’wakw. Visit the U’mista Cultural Centre and stroll the waterfront boardwalks as you immerse yourself in the culture of this charming coastal town.

Alert Bay, Cormorant Island
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    Alert Bay Ecological Park
    Alder Rd, Alert Bay, BC V0N 1A0

    Located at the south end of Cormorant Island, the Alert Bay Ecological Park is the best location for bird watching on the Island. The diverse terrain spans dense forest and open marsh areas with marked trails and boardwalks allowing for easy exploration. With two distinct areas, the Big Tree Interpretive trail and the marshland “Gator Gardens” there is ample opportunity to explore in search of the many species who frequent the area including Northern Flickers and Bald Eagles. 

Gator Gardens, Alert Bay Ecological Park
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    Culture Shock Gallery
    10A Front St, Alert Bay, BC V0N 1A0

    Culture Shock is a 100% Aboriginal owned cultural centre celebrating the traditions of the ‘Namgis people. The centre features a number of First Nations murals, a shop, and cafe, and they also invite visitors to join on Cultural Experiences, like cedar weaving classes and storytelling.

Views from Alert Bay, Cormorant Island.
A fishing boat departs from Alert Bay.
Bald Eagle, Northern Vancouver Island.
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    Accommodation in Alert Bay

    You can find a variety of comfortable accommodations in Alert Bay, with Inns and hotels, bed and breakfasts, private lodges, campsites and more.

 Visitor Centre
Taking the ferry to Sointula from Alert Bay.

Cross the strait to the community of Sointula

Sail the short distance across the Broughton Strait to the Finnish Pioneer settlement of Sointula. Malcolm Island is an outdoor enthusiasts paradise, with stunning wilderness and a welcoming culture.

Scanning the shoreline along Kaleva Road.
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    Bere Point Regional Park & Beautiful Bay Trail
    Malcolm Island, Mount Waddington A, BC

    A visit to Bere Point Regional park offers exceptional views of Queen Charlotte Strait with its Orca rubbing beaches and the snow-capped mountains beyond. This popular regional campsite offers access to the Beautiful Bay Trailhead from its day use parking area, which spans the shoreline offering 5 km of rugged shoreline hiking. The area is host to over 120 species including shorebirds, waterfowl and a number of passerines.

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    Mateoja Heritage Trail

    Passing through a 1900’s pioneer homestead and Melvin’s Bog, the Mateoja Heritage trail winds its way to the shores of popular local swimming spot, Big Lake. The marshland surrounding the lake is an excellent location for bird watching, and benches around the lake allow visitors to rest while you engage in surveying the surrounding area. The viewing platform at Little Lake makes for a great lunch spot where you can observe waterfowl and songbirds.

Exploring the trails, Malcolm Island.
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    Pulteney Point Lighthouse
    Malcolm Island, Pulteney Point Rd, Sointula, BC V0N 3E0

    The impressive barren sandspit that the lighthouse stands on marks the separation of Queen Charlotte and Broughton Straits. The tidal forces in the area make it a productive habitat for shorebirds and waterfowl. Explore the history of the lighthouse while you scan the shoreline for some of the over 100 species that have been spotted in the area.

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    Kaleva Road
    Mount Waddington A, BC

    The top birding hotspot for the entire region, a stroll along the shoreline of Sointula on Kaleva road can turn up a surprising mix of species. This road spans kilometres of shoreline, so take your time and pause frequently to boost your chances of an exciting discovery. Species that have been seen here include Harlequin Duck, Cedar Waxwing, Marbled Murrelet and Twonsend’s Warbler. 

Rhinoceros Auklet with Herring, Sointula.
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    Rough Bay

    A top spot for shorebirds on Malcolm Island, explore the tidal flats that can be teeming with waders, especially during the spring and fall migration.

Great Blue Heron - Kaleva Road.
Bird watching in Sointula
Seabirds spotted from Malcolm Island.
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    Upper Crust Bakery
    185 1 St, Sointula, BC V0N 3E0

    This cozy bakery nestled on the beach serves Finnish-inspired baked goods and coffee. Located near the ferry terminal it’s a great place to stop before your ferry ride, or upon your arrival for a pick-me-up.

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    Bere Point Campground

    Rugged 29-site campground with ocean and mountain views. This is the perfect place for campers who want an all-natural experience. Enjoy walking the beautiful Bay forest trail to the viewing platform at Bere Point.

    Book Now
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    Harmony Shores Campground
    185 Kaleva Rd, Sointula, BC V0N 3E0

    Idyllic campsite with 8 ocean-side campsite, and several other sites with ocean views. Enjoy amenities like showers, flush toilets and potable water.

    Book Now
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    The Oceanfront Hotel
    210 1 St, Sointula, BC V0N 3E0

    Waterfront hotel in the heart of Sointula. Rooms provide stunning views of Broughton Strait and Port McNeill, plus amenities like fireplaces, patios, an on-site pub, gallery and beer and wine store.

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The harbour in Sointula.
Scanning the shoreline, Sointula.
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    Bere Road Guest House
    63 Pinkys Rd, Sointula, BC V0N 3E0

    Located at the end of a private laneway and across from the beach, Bere Road Guest House is a serene getaway. The guest house has three bedrooms, one bath, a full kitchen, laundry, a BBQ, wraparound deck and more!

    Book Now
 Visitor Centre
Malcolm Island, BC

What's Happening in Sointula & Alert Bay


From cultural experiences to artisan markets, head to the community calendar to find out what is happening in Alert Bay during your visit.

Learn more
Malcolm Island Bird Club

For bird related events on Malcolm Island, including the Annual Christmas Bird Count, visit their website to learn more.

Learn more