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north island kayaks

5 Day Adventure

You can expect to spend four to six hours a day on the water, to eat lunches on remote beaches, and to explore areas where larger marine mammals are more likely to be feeding. You will also visit the Plumper Islands and culturally significant Indigenous sites in the southern Broughtons. 

This unique, all-inclusive tour is always led by an experienced SKGABC certified guide who will provide you with an immersive on water experience, ten delicious and hearty meals, and a comfortable stay at three different oceanfront base camps. The timing and routes of our trips are always determined by our guides. This allows them to create the best possible experience based off of the tides, daily conditions, and wildlife! No two trips are ever the same

Though we never guarantee specific wildlife sightings, by joining us for five days, you are giving yourself plenty of time for something to swim by and be sighted.

Trip Focus:
Non-intrusive wildlife observation in Blackfish Sound and the Johnstone Strait
Start Location:
Telegraph Cove, Northern Vancouver Island, British Columbia. Canada.
Start Time / End time:
Starts at 8:30 a.m. on Day 1 / Returns at approx. 3:30 p.m. on Day 5
Start Dates:
Wednesdays & Saturdays between June 3rd - September 20th
Camping at several of our fully equipped, waterfront wilderness Base Camps. All camp equipment provided.
Meals Included:
Lunch & Dinner on Day 1; Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner on Day 2, 3 & 4; Breakfast & Lunch on Day 5.
Experience Required:
None - we use stable tandem Sea Kayaks and provide all required kayaking equipment. Some single kayaks may be available on a non-exclusive basis.
This trip is restricted to those over 14 years.

Trip Features


While we do not guarantee sightings on any of our tours, Johnstone Strait attracts an abundance of marine mammals during the summer. Your guide will be using marine VHF radios to communicate with other guides regarding wildlife sightings. If there are any reports of orcas, humpbacks, bears, or other mammals in your immediate area, your guides will do their best to ensure your group does not miss the opportunity to see them!


Our outstanding team of certified guides is the backbone of our company, facilitating your experience from start to finish. On trips, our guides fill the roles of group leader, paddling instructor, naturalist, risk-manager, weather forecaster, chef, and wildlife tracker.


Our network of base camps allows us to offer a completely unique experience. Our trips include guaranteed accommodations each evening, which means we may arrive at camp at any time, without the possibility of it already being claimed by another group. Our two people to one tent ratio allows you lots of space to relax. Each of our camps has its own unique and beautiful geography, but all have their own beach where you can enjoy some peace and quiet, or gather around a crackling fire at sundown.

Base Camp Amenities:

  • Wilderness kitchens with full sized BBQ
  • Covered dining areas with picnic tables
  • Outhouses
  • Small Library


You will not go hungry on a NIK trip!

We provide homemade breakfast, lunch, and dinner each day, plus appetizers, desserts, granola bars, coffee, tea, and water. If you are still hungry, your guide will whip up something else to fill you up. Our menu is designed to be nutritious, delicious, substantial, locally sourced, environmentally friendly, and flexible to dietary restrictions. We can safely manage food allergies, as well as cater to gluten-free, vegan, and vegetarian diets upon request.

All our guides are Foodsafe Level 1 certified. 

We guarantee your guide will surprise you with their culinary skills. Here are just a few examples of what you could be served on your trip:


  • Frittata
  • Shakshuka
  • Breakfast burritos
  • Granola and fresh muffins
  • Pancakes or french toast
  • Fresh fruit


  • Greek salad with hummus and pita
  • Chickpea salad
  • Sandwiches
  • Bagels with cream cheese and smoked salmon

All lunches include fruit, cookies, and chips


  • BBQ salmon with risotto and roasted vegetables
  • Halibut and prawn soba noodle stir-fry
  • Homestyle chili
  • Quinoa soup and burritos


We provide all kayaking equipment for our day tours. Come with the clothing and personal items noted in the ‘What to Bring’ section and we do the rest. Some of the equipment we provide for our trips includes:

  • DOUBLE KAYAKS: Top of the line Seaward fiberglass kayaks, the best way to enjoy your tour together!
  • DRY BAGS: Photos are a must, having a waterlogged phone is not. 
  • PADDLES, SPRAY SKIRTS, PFDS, AND SAFETY EQUIPMENT: The essentials for safety and comfort. 


No two trips are the same! We pride ourselves on our fluid itineraries. The weather, tides, wildlife, and interests of groups are different every trip. Because of this, we both trust and empower our guides to adapt the trip as they see fit, so you can have the best experience possible!


The Day Before

We recommend that you stay in Telegraph Cove or Port McNeill the evening before your scheduled departure. We will have your dry bags available for pickup at our office anytime before 5:30 p.m., the day before your trip. If you are wondering about nearby slumbering places, please see our list of places to stay!

Day 1

At 9:00 a.m. on your departure date, you will meet your guide at the North Island Kayak gathering area, at the end of the historic Telegraph Cove boardwalk. Your kayaks will be set out on our dock and all of the group gear will already be loaded. There will be some onshore orientations regarding the area, the gear, the kayaks, and paddling. After logistics are taken care of, you will launch and embark upon an incredible adventure in the Johnstone Strait!

In the early afternoon, your group will stop to stretch its legs and enjoy a picnic lunch on a remote beach before paddling the last stretch towards camp for the night. 

You will likely reach one of our six base camps in mid-afternoon. You'll be able to get settled into camp with lots of time to enjoy the late afternoon sun. Orca, Steller sea lions, dolphins, eagles, river otters and seals are frequently seen hunting in the kelp forest near our camps. Keep your eyes and ears open!

Once you are settled, an appetizer will be served while your guide cooks up a homemade beachside BBQ dinner that will leave you smiling, stuffed, and nourished. 

After dinner, enjoy card games with your party, take a stroll and explore the beach, or hang around the campfire and get to know the other members of your group.

Day 2 - 4

Breakfast will be served between 7 and 8 a.m., and there will be lots of time to relax and get organized. 

Your second and third and fourth days are full of possibilities, depending on the conditions and the interests of your group. You may explore the southern Broughtons, or paddle to the Sofia Islets to look across to the Robson Bight, or perhaps the stars align for an outing to the Whitecliffs for lunch. Trust your guide and you will enjoy five days of spectacular wildlife in an incredibly dynamic coastal environment.

The second, third and fourth evenings will be spent at another remote base camp, different from your other nights (though you will likely spend two nights at one camp to allow for more time on the water). There you will enjoy another homemade dinner from our beachside BBQ while you reminisce about the day’s activities and fun.

Day 5

You will wake up once again to a breakfast cooking and coffee brewing. After the kayaks are packed, you will slowly start the journey home. The route will vary depending on the weather forecast, but our focus will remain on wildlife viewing.

Your final picnic lunch will be on another remote beach before beginning the last leg towards Telegraph Cove. Your group will return to the cove by 3:30 p.m.

This is a sample itinerary. In order to provide the most exposure to wildlife and scenery, we plan to camp at up to two of our six base camps in the area; however, we may need to make changes due to weather or tidal considerations. Our goal will always be to provide you with the best possible wildlife and kayaking experience.

What to bring

Multi-Day Tour Packing List

Tour Map

Basecamp tour map
north island kayaks
Starting From
+ Tax. Seasonal rates may apply.
This is our longest base camp tour! This trip is for those in search of the ultimate way to maximize their chances of seeing wildlife, while enjoying the comforts of a base camp each night.
June 3 - September 20
5 Days
Abundant Wildlife
Historic Telegraph Cove, BC
Experienced Certified Guides
Quality Equipment
Fluid Itineraries
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Starting From
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