Thanks to an abundance of fresh water lakes and rivers, along with some tall mountains along the centre of the island, Vancouver Island is home to numerous waterfalls. We are fortunate that many of them have been protected in parks, and are quite accessible, often just a short walk in from the road on easy trails.
Englishman River Falls
Upper Myra Falls
Lower Myra Falls
Just another facet of the natural wonders that make up this amazing place!
Quatsino is another north-west Vancouver Island historical settlement. This quaint little village, accessed by water, has a rich history which is celebrated in the local museum. It can also be seen just by walking around the community.
Vancouver Island and the coastal mainland, as well as the islands in between, are full of this type of history. Some of it is disappearing, as homesteaders left some of the areas and no one followed behind for many years. There are societies and small communities trying to preserve the stories, as they are a fascinating part of the area's history.
One of the best ways to get a feel for more remote properties and oceanfront properties is to fly over them. Ed is often out in the plane taking aerial photographs to use in property information packages, and along the way he takes a variety of scenery shots. These photos really give the flavour of coastal living, with mountains, lakes, oceans and population centres all visible. A magnificent way to see this spectacular region!
Bald eagles are such a common sight around Campbell River that you are likely to see at least one on any given day. Many days, especially if you drive along the water, you will see more than one. Thanks to the same fish that bring people to our area the eagles live here year round, nesting in the trees and feeding in the local rivers and on the local beaches. Most of Vancouver Island, and certainly the central and northern parts including the smaller islands, have similar experiences when it comes to bald eagles - they are a regular part of the daily ecosystem.
People who are visitors to the area and not as familiar with the eagles often think there is another variety of eagle around, but it is usually the juvenile bald eagles they are seeing. These are a mottled brown colour and slightly larger than the adults. They are often seen in trees along the beaches and rivers where they are hoping to scavenge a free meal.
Eagles can and do fish for themselves of course, and it is quite something to watch. This one was on the west coast of the island.
So wherever you are on the island, or the smaller islands, make sure you keep an eye out for these magnificent birds. Once you start to spot them you'll be amazed at how common they really are out here.
Sointula is a small community on Malcolm Island, off the north-east coast of Vancouver Island. It is reached by ferry from Port MacNeill. The town is vibrant with colourful buildings, murals and shops. The people are friendly, and it is easy to walk around.
The village was originally founded by Scandinavian settlers looking for a secure place to create a Utopian society. After world wars and personal disagreements, the settlement dispersed.
By then fishermen and other resource workers had joined the town, and so the history is varied and rich.
The lighthouse is just a short drive to the north tip of the island. As soon as you are away from the town all the roads on the island are gravel, but they are in fairly good shape. The lighthouse offers a great vantage point to look at northern Vancouver Island as well as the narrow waterways to the north.
Malcolm Island's beaches are wonderful for walking, and show the exposure of the coast to the winter storms. Views from the east side of the island look out over the BC mainland and the Broughton Archipelago, where one can watch the marine traffic go by.
Of course, one of the main reasons people come to the area now is to see whales. There are lots of opportunities to go on whale watching boats, but often the whales can be seen from the shore. There are certain areas on the north-east side which are commonly frequented by the whales at different times of the year, including some beaches where the whales are known to gather and rub along the cobble stones (as in the picture above).
Sunsets and moonrises are spectacular, allowing for lots of dramatic photograph opportunities.
A gem of a place, and one that adds some magic into the lives of all who visit.