Robson Bight Ecological Reserve
If you want to kayak with orcas, this is the expedition for you. Located on the Northeast coast of Vancouver Island, our kayaking trips in Johnstone Strait offer an amazing opportunity to view and paddle with Orca whales (Killer Whales) in a pristine environment.
3-day Johnstone Strait Tour
Kayaking with orcas is a thrilling experience. With the largest concentration of orca whales on the coast, the waters of Johnstone Strait offer unsurpassed adventure. The shear thrill of viewing these noble and magnificent whales only metre’s away from your kayak is truly awe-inspiring and memorable. Whale “rubbing beaches”, waters teeming with salmon, the nature-rich estuary and watershed of The Tsitika River foreshadowed by the snowcapped peaks of Vancouver Island. Kayak with orcas and join us for a unique adventure holiday kayaking Johnstone Strait as we paddle in the best location in North America in which to view wild Orca whales in their natural habitat. This trip is exciting, fun and will make you want to return to this amazing area.
2021 Three Day Tour Dates
June 25-27, June 29-July 1, July 2-4 and July 6-8
Price: June till early July: $745 cdn. plus 5% GST
July 9-11, 13-15, 16-18, 20-22, 23-25, 27-29, July 30-August 1
August 3-5, 6-8, 10-12, 19-21, 24-26, 27-29, Aug. 31-Sept. 2
September 3-5, 7-9, 10-12, 14-16, 17-19
Price: early July til Sept: $975 cdn. plus 5% GST
All participants meet at the lawn in front of the Telegraph Cove Resort office (right next to the boat launch) at 8:00 am. Here the guides will assign you to a kayak and help you get your personal gear stowed away. When everyone is ready, we’ll go over some basic paddling fundamentals and a safety orientation and then launch into the pristine waters of Johnstone Strait. With helpful advice and instruction from your guides, it won’t take long till you feel you’re getting the “hang of it” as we paddle along the gorgeous Vancouver Island coastline. These waters are the territorial range of manyresident orca pods, as well as transient orca, and it is not uncommon for us to encounter these magnificent mammals within the first few hours of our day and throughout during your time in this spectacular area. After a couple of hours, we’ll land on one of beaches and you can sit back and enjoy a delicious lunch the guides will prepare. After lunch we’ll launch the kayaks and make our way to our campsite at Kaikash Creek (one of the rubbing beaches in the area where we’ll be staying for our 2 nights). We’ll then unload kayaks, make camp, set up our tents and you are free to explore the beaches, trails, relax or perhaps join one of the guides fishing (great salmon opportunities in these waters). A sumptuous dinner around a cozy campfire with a canopy of stars above is the evenings entertainment…don’t be too surprised if you hear the whales blowing as they go by during the night.
With another spectacular day ahead of us, we’ll wake to a hearty breakfast. After everyone has had their fill, we’ll pack for the day (we return to our site in the later afternoon) and launch yet again into the orca waters of Johnstone Strait…bring along your camera today because you’ll need it! Our destination today is a paddle further along the coastline down to the Robson Bight Michael Biggs Ecological Reserve (a no entry zone). The area around the reserve is home to several well
frequented “rubbing beaches” where the orca have displayed a unique behavior only witnessed in this area of swimming right along these beaches and rubbing themselves along the small pebbles on the beaches here. We will stop for lunch on one of these beaches and hopefully witness this very behavior. Some of the other wildlife the area boasts that we may see are bald eagles, deer, bear, porpoise,
dolphin, seals and even sometimes the occasional humpback or grey whale that decides to take the inside waters of the Strait as opposed to the outside west coast route around Vancouver Island. In the afternoon, we’ll make our way back to our campsite at Kaikash Creek. Dependent on weather, we may also venture to an old Whale Research Observation site, high up on one of the bluffs in the area…the hike and the view from above is spectacular. Another delicious meal around a warm campfire to put a great end to another magnificent day!
We’ll wake to the aroma’s of coffee, cooked breakfast and the sounds of the lapping waves for our final day in Johnstone Strait. After breakfast, we’ll break camp and load up all the kayaks with our gear…”this stuff should all fit, shouldn’t it?”. We’ll take the route back along the Vancouver Island coastline, cameras ready and ever prepared for a final encounter or encounters with the orca along the way. With the
tides in our favor and sunshine and warm breezes on our faces, we should arrive back at our embarkation point of Telegraph Cove between noon and 1:00pm. We’ll then haul the kayaks back up to the launching area where we’ll unload our gear, exchange emails and bid our goodbyes and adieus. It’s a 2 hour drive back down to Campbell River and another 2 hours to the ferries in Nanaimo.
6-day Johnstone Strait Tour
6-day Johnstone Strait – Robson Bight – The West Coast and Johnstone strait has an incredible concentration of orca whales providing unbeatable adventure. The shear thrill of viewing these magnificent and noble whales just a few metre’s away from your kayak is truly awe-inspiring. Come see the whale “rubbing beaches”, waters teeming with salmon, the nature-rich estuary and watershed of The Tsitika River foreshadowed by the snowcapped peaks of Vancouver Island. This is a trip to remember. On Day#3, an adventurous paddle across Johnstone Strait and into Blackfish Sound takes us into the enchanted world of the The Indian Group Islands, the traditional territory of the “Namqis” and the “Mamalilikulla-Qwe’Qwa’Sot’Em” First Nations people. Amidst this gorgeous array of Islands and Inlets we’ll explore the ancient burial sites of Mound Island and the abandoned native fishing village of Mamalilaculla. Join us for a unique johnstone strait kayaking adventure holiday as we paddle in the best location in North America in which to view wild Orca whales in their natural habitat. We truly cannot recommend this expedition enough! Robson Bight 6 Day Itinerary
2021 Six Day Tour Dates
July 4-9, 11-16, 118-23, 25-30
August 1-6, 22-27, August 29-Sept. 3
Price: $1699 cdn. plus 5% GST
What our client say!
“…who is going to believe me…a mug of strong coffee in hand, I’m enjoying a delicious cheese & mushroom omelette and a pod of orca whales play and spyhop for an eternity a mere 40 feet from our kitchen area…I still can’t believe it was real! What an amazing experience!”
– Fiona Hamilton, Portland, OR.
“…We’ve been back home for a week now and I still can’t stop raving to anyone that will listen to me about the fantastic time I had with Wild Heart on my 3 day Robson Bight trip. You should all be commended on providing such a high quality outdoor experience…the food was delicious, the guides were super…we were in very capable hands…and the whales…they were absolutely brilliant! ”
– Mark & Denise Walker, Reading, England
“…Our guides were terrific…we felt at all times at ease and secure in their company…wonderful cooks, a great sense of humour…We had a great time with Wild Heart, will certainly come again and will definitely recommend you to all our friends.”
– Tamara & Robert Abrams, Truckee, CA.
“Thanks for a wonderful vacation. The trip was everything I had hoped for and more. The guides were excellent, the food was very tasty and lots of it and the whale sightings were perfect. Thanks for an awesome time!”
– David Finstrom, Castro Valley, CA.