It is common knowledge in the BCO office that Malcolm Island is one of Kate's favourite places to visit. What makes this coastal gem special?
1. The village of Sointula. This picturesque town sits on the eastern shore of a large bay on the southern shore of Malcolm Island. The name means 'place of harmony' in Finnish, named by the Finnish immigrants who arrived there in the early 1900s looking for a better way of life. That history is still reflected in the town and its buildings. It has also been an active fishing centre in the region, as evidenced by the docks and netlofts still seen along the shore. Walking around the vibrant village is a great way to spend the day, taking in the historical sites, colourful homes and many small businesses. Sointula has shopping, fuel services, private and public docks, a library and a medical clinic among other amenities. There is a vibrant community of approx. 800 on the island mostly in Sointula. The residents are an eclectic mix of old-time families, artists, fishermen and those looking for a quieter life. There is also rich First Nations heritage, as is common along all of the west coast.
2. Whale watching. Malcolm Island is in the heart of the Broughton Archipelago and as such is well placed for wildlife viewing. Orcas and humpback whales frequent the area and can be observed in the waters off the island regularly. Bere Point on Malcolm Island is renowned as well for its rubbing beaches, places where the orcas come and rub along the cobble stones at the sloping edge of the shoreline. Kate was fortunate enough to witness a large group of Orca at Bere Point late in August one year.
3. Hiking and outdoor activities. Malcolm Island is a great base for outdoor activity. There are a number of good hiking trails, including the Beautiful Bay Trail between Bere Point and Malcolm Point. Pulteney Point lighthouse sits on the northeast point of the island and is accessible by a nice beach walk. Boat tours, fishing and kayaking are all popular activities to participate in while staying on the island as well.
There is regular car ferry access to the island from the BC Ferries terminal in Port McNeill on Vancouver Island. There are a few campsites on the island, including Bere Point Regional Park campground as well as a number of B&Bs and guest houses. The main roads along the eastern shore are paved, while the further out roads are gravel.
Malcolm Island sits at the junction of Queen Charlotte Strait, Broughton Strait and Johnstone Strait off the northern end of Vancouver Island. To learn more about visiting Sointula, click here.
It's a Coastal Lifestyle ... Live It!
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