Port Hardy was named after Vice-Admiral Sir Thomas Masterman Hardy, former captain of H.M.S. Victory. With a population exceeding 5000, this turn-of-the-century townsite is now the largest community in the region and the bustling terminal for B.C. Ferries' service to Prince Rupert and the Queen Charlotte Islands via the Inside and Discovery Coast Passage sailing routes.
As 97 percent of the population of Vancouver Island lives on the southern half of the island, outdoor recreationists in search of solitude come north. Much of Vancouver Island once looked as the north still does today. Thanks to recent government protection, some of the remaining wilderness has been preserved. Other places, such as the most northerly tip of the island, are sheltered from the preying eye of industry by the elements.
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Why should I visit Port Hardy?
Cape Scott Provincial Park is one of the wildest, windiest, most woebegone locales in the province for human habitation. Journeying to either Brooks Peninsula or Cape Scott is only for those whose mettle has been tested by repeated exposure to the bellows and blast-furnace of nature in the raw.
Gentler conditions prevail in the sheltered waters of Queen Charlotte Strait and Johnstone Strait, where the Kwakwaka'wakw First Nations are the traditional gatekeepers. To experience a tranquillity that passes all description, paddle these waters where whales rub and salmon run in summer months.
Port Hardy is the largest community of the North Island, with many facilities. Visitors can enjoy a wide variety of outdoor activities, as well as shopping and exploring the local arts and culture scene. The top half of 280-mile-long Vancouver Island is served by a maze of logging roads and Highway 19, which links Campbell River with Port McNeill and Port Hardy.
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