3. Gwaii Haanas Southern Explorer (25.207)

Location: Haida Gwaii
Price: $2895.00
Duration: 8 days/7 nights

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Please select a tour date.

Departs from/arrives at: Sandspit
Accomodations: Camping
Tour Type: Leisure Tour
Activity Level: Intermediate
Nearest Town/Village: Sandspit
Inclusions:
  • Kayaks double or single
  • Professional Guides
  • Kayak instruction
  • Safety equipment
  • Camping equipment and tents
  • Cooking equipment
  • Meals as stated on itinerary
  • Sleeping bag
  • Sheets
  • Thermarest
  • Paddling Jacket
  • Dry bags
  • Parking
  • Park User Fee
Exclusions:
Guest Parking: Yes Details:
First Nations: Visit Haida Heritage Sites
Additional Information:
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 Ninstints (SGang Gwaay Linagaay) with its long house remains and carved memorial and mortuary poles.

This tour departs from Sandspit on South Moresby Island, Haida Gwaii (Queen Charlotte Islands). It is imperative that guests arrive in Sandspit no later than the day before the kayak tour’s departure date. The preceding evening there is a pre-trip meeting with your kayak guides at Moresby Explorers’ office at 7:00 pm. Here, your guides provide you with an overview of the trip, provide a mandatory Gwaii Haanas orientation, distribute dry bags to pack your gear, and answer any last minute questions you may have.

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 fresh water 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.

On the water we use stable single and double fiberglass kayaks and lightweight carbon/vinyl paddles. Waterproof kayaking jackets and neoprene kayaking mitts are provided to keep you warm and dry while kayaking. Guests need to arrive in Sandspit the day before the trip departs.

We provide high quality three season tents. For couples we provide three person tents and for solo travellers a slightly smaller tent. Therm-a-rest sleeping pads and warm mummy style sleeping bags with liners are all provided to ensure a good night’s sleep. In the evening, feel free to curl up with a selection from our library of natural history books.

At the end of the trip, the earliest guests should plan to head home is the morning after the tour ends. Better still, spend a few more days to explore more of the islands. The Haida Heritage Centre is worth the visit.

Itinerary

  • Day
    1

    You are picked up at your accommodation at approximately 7:30 AM by van. We travel over logging roads for about one hour to Moresby Camp where we then board an open zodiac (rigid hull inflatable boat) for an approximately three hour exhilarating ride into Gwaii Haanas.

    Upon arrival at our first remote campsite, we set up camp and have a kayak and safety orientation. After lunch we try out the kayaks for the first time, exploring the waters surrounding camp.

    Meals: Lunch, Dinner

    Accomodation: Camping

  • Day
    2

    Early in the trip we are kayaking the waters around Burnaby Island, and if the tides are right a visit to Burnaby Narrows, known for its rich concentration of intertidal life. Heading south from Burnaby Island, we cross Skincuttle Inlet, and pass the abandoned Haida village of Haigi, long since deserted as a result of a smallpox epidemic. Rounding Benjamin Point we begin to see Kunghit Island, the southernmost island of the Haida Gwaii archipelago. Turning into Houston Stewart Channel, separating South Moresby Island from Kungit Island, we pass Rose Harbour – an abandoned whaling station – and begin heading west to the open Pacific.

    Near the end of the kayak tour we visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Ninstints (SGang Gwaay Linagaay) on Anthony Island. Tufted and horned puffins, rhinoceros auklets, pigeon guillemots, and many more species of sea birds are often seen on the exposed rocks and islets between South Moresby and Anthony Islands.

    Unless weather dictates otherwise we generally move to a new campsite every day of this tour. The actual kayaking route depends on the weather, sea conditions, and abilities of the group, and while each kayak tour is unique, we believe all are spectacular.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    Accomodation: Camping

  • Day
    3

    Exploring...

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    Accomodation: Camping

  • Day
    4

    Exploring...

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    Accomodation: Camping

  • Day
    5

    Exploring...

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    Accomodation: Camping

  • Day
    6

    Exploring...

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    Accomodation: Camping

  • Day
    7

    Exploring...

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    Accomodation: Camping

  • Day
    8

    On the last day of the kayak tour, you’ll have time to reminisce about the previous days over a leisurely breakfast. The zodiac generally arrives midday for the journey back to Sandspit where you’ll have the opportunity to get together with the rest of your group for a farewell dinner.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

    Accomodation: Accommodation by Customer

North America: 1.800.255.5057 - UK: 0.800.051.6364 - Australia: 1.800.143.454

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As featured in National Geographic Adventure

From Our Blog

2020

Monday, September 23 2019

It's late September already and, boy, did the summer go by quickly! I am currently loading our 2020 dates for our Vancouver Island trips, so please stay tuned. I'm already working on several custom tours, so please feel free to shoot me an email at info@vancouverislandkayak.com. If it's a scheduled tour you're interested in, please check our search engine in a few days.

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