A short drive from Port Hardy, Coal Harbour gives maritimers access to Quatsino Sound, a deep saltwater inlet leading out to the open Pacific. A former air force base and whaling centre, the town is now a quiet refuge for charter fishermen, artists and nature lovers. Once a journey by boat or kayak is underway, a favourite first stop is the hamlet of Quatsino with its museum, store and fishing lodges.
Visit Vancouver Island North Tourism to learn more.
Things to do in Coal Harbour/Quatsino
- Now a peaceful gateway to ocean adventures, Coal Harbour was home to a Royal Canadian Air Force base during the Second World War. View artefacts from the town’s history at a private museum in the old airplane hanger near the marina.
- Pose for photos next to a massive jawbone of a blue whale, a striking reminder that the town was home to Canada’s last whaling station (which closed in the mid-1960s).
- A short water-taxi ride from Coal Harbour’s dock, the pretty hamlet of Quatsino was first settled in 1894 by Norwegians immigrants. Visit St. Olaf’s Anglican Church, built two years later as a schoolhouse.
- Explore Quatsino history at the quaint museum and archives with its displays of First Nations, pioneer and industrial-era history.
- An expansive old-growth forest is among the attractions at Quatsino Provincial Park along with a small campground serving kayakers.