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Telegraph Cove

Burton House (1929) in Telegraph Cove
Telegraph Cove is tucked away on the eastern coast of Northern Vancouver Island. In 1912, Telegraph Cove was a one-room station, the northern terminus of a telegraph line that began in Campbell River and stretched from tree to tree along Vancouver Island's east coast.

Next to the arts and crafts gallery stands the home of community pioneer Fred Wastell, whose father purchased most of the land around the cove. Together with Japanese investors, he established a chum salmon saltery and a small sawmill.

These days, the tiny town is a major destination during the summer months, when the snug little bay bustles with boaters, anglers, campers, kayakers and whale-watchers. With its colourful buildings and peaceful inlet setting, Telegraph Cove, one of the last boardwalk communities of eastern Vancouver Island, is worth a visit even if you're not planning to do any offshore exploring.

Population: 20

Location: Telegraph Cove is located on the eastern coast of Northern Vancouver Island, 30 minutes south of Port McNeill and 11 kilometers off the Island Highway via Beaver Cove Road. The top half of 280-mile-long Vancouver Island is served by a maze of logging roads, and Highway 19 (north Island Hwy), which links Telegraph Cove and Campbell River (2.5-hour drive).


  • Historic boardwalk village of Telegraph Cove
    Building on Stilts: Telegraph Cove is built on stilts, with buildings raised above the water on pilings and linked by an historic wooden boardwalk. Many of the original buildings still stand today.
  • Explore the North Island's Kwakwaka'wakw culture. Archeologists have dated the first residents of this area to around 8,000 years ago!
  • Radio listeners within 15 kilometres of this killer whale sanctuary can tune into the all-whale radio station.
  • The Whale Interpretive Centre was established to increase public awareness about marine mammals in the area and the threats facing them. Its “Bones Project” exhibit includes complete skeletons of various species, including two types of whale, a sea lion, seal, dolphin and otter. You can also see the jaw bones of a blue whale, the largest animal ever to inhabit the earth.
  • North Island Discovery Centre is a foresty interpretive centre offering displays and free forestry tours in the summer, providing visitors with the opportunity to learn about the mighty forest industry in British Columbia. Check out a working fish incubation box and spawning redd, or find out what a Madill tower is all about. Located at the junction of Highway 19 and the road to Telegraph Cove.
  • Gateway to Robson Bight Provincial Park, an ecological reserve - up to 200 Orcas arrive each summer to rub on the barnacle-encrusted rocks at the mouth of the Tsitika River. As the top predator on the inland-water food chain, they are also attracted by the annual salmon runs that funnel through Johnstone Strait beginning in late June. Whale watching and wildlife-viewing companies are also based in Port McNeill, Alert Bay, Sointula, Sayward and Port Hardy.
  • Stubbs Island, located off Telegraph Cove, is a popular and fascinating dive site, featuring terraced ledges, sheer drop-offs and an opportunity to see orcas, dolphins and other marine mammals.
  • Golf: Golfers can head to the public, 9-hole, Par 35 Seven Hills Golf & Country Club in nearby Port Hardy, the northernmost golf course on Vancouver Island. Seven Hills offers the golfer meadering fairways and undulating greens, with scenic views of the North Island Mountains. Open year round. Golf Vacations on Vancouver Island.
  • Fishing: The fishing areas around Telegraph Cove are not only surrounded by spectacular scenery and sheltered waters, but also contain some of the most consistent saltwater sports fishing on the BC coast.
  • Across the strait from Telegraph Cove is Broughton Archipelago Marine Provincial Park, a wilderness area consisting of a maze of several small islands, numerous inlets and adjacent foreshore at the southern extremity of Queen Charlotte Strait, off the west coast of Gilford Island. The islands in Broughton Archipelago are undeveloped and are largely undiscovered. Facilities are limited to a day-use recreation. The numerous remote, solitary islands incorporated in the park provide unlimited and unique fishing and swimming opportunities, and are fabulous for exploring by kayak.
  • Telegraph Cove is the place to begin exploring Johnstone Strait. You'll find a boat launch and moorage, as well as fishing licences, tackle and bait for sale. This is a prime staging area for kayak departures. Long-term parking can be arranged here for those setting out on extended boating trips in Johnstone Strait.
  • Accessible only by boat or float plane, the mostly uninhabited Knight Inlet is located due north of Johnstone Strait and the small communities of Telegraph Cove and Sayward/Kelsey Bay on Vancouver Island. Knight Inlet cuts eighty miles through the remote Coast Range of Mountains to the head of Knight Inlet, and Mt. Waddington, the highest mountain located totally within British Columbia. Grizzly bears around Knight Inlet emerge from hibernation in spring (starting in April) to feed on the succulent new spring growth. Viewing peaks during fall (late August) when the salmon are running, as grizzlies converge on the salmon spawning streams to feed on the salmon and stock their fat reserves in preparation for winter ahead.


Search Premier Listings
  Seasmoke Whale Watching, Alert Bay Listing Details 
Join our unique Eco 'Sail with the Whales' tours to view humpback whales and orcas (killer whales) near Alert Bay and Telegraph Cove in Johnstone Strait; these waters are regarded as one of the best places in Canada for whale watching. Our accommodations in the seaside village of Alert Bay are self-catering houses and suites with wonderful ocean views. They are available for daily/weekly rental.
 
  Spirit of the West Kayaking, Quadra Island Listing Details 
Join our sea kayaking adventures around Vancouver Island, Canada's coastal kayaking paradise. Kayak with Killer Whales, paddle Desolation Sound, experience the remote north Nootka Sound, or kayak from the comfort of our 95 ft Mothership, the Songhee. Our sea kayaking trips depart from our base on Quadra Island in the BC Discovery Islands. No experience is required for our kayak tours! Our adventures are for everyone. Our trips are designed to cater to all levels of experience and abilities. Our groups are small, ranging from 8-13 people depending on the trip, in order to provide you with the best experience possible. we provide everything you need to have a great kayaking adventure.
 
  Stubbs Island Whale Watching, Telegraph Cove Listing Details 
Stubbs Island Whale Watching was the first whale watching company established in British Columbia. Operating out of Telegraph Cove, on north eastern Vancouver Island, we cruise the calm protected waters of the Johnstone Strait and Blackfish Archipelago. Stubbs Island Whale Watching is dedicated to responsible wildlife viewing and birding tour adventures with true educational merit. These waters are home to the incredible Orcas (Killer Whales), humpback whales, Steller sea lions, dolphins, porpoises, bald eagles and so much more.
 
  Wildcoast Adventures Kayak Tours & Vacations, Quadra Island Listing Details 
Wildcoast provides memorable kayak vacations for adventure travellers that combine spectacular scenery, scrumptious food, and abundant wildlife encounters, including whales, dolphins, bears and eagles. Kayak with Killer Whales at our Orca base camp in Johnstone Strait, or take one of our kayak expeditions to Desolation Sound or the Discovery Islands. Our top-rated service caters to both local and international clientele. All kayak tours are fully inclusive and no kayaking experience is required. Only have a day? Visit our storefront for paddleboard and kayak Rentals or Day Tours in the stunning vistas surrounding Quadra Island.
 
  BC Oceanfront: Ed Handja & Shelley McKay, Campbell River Listing Details 
Live, Work & Play Coastal Style
“BC Oceanfront” - Coast Realty’s Residential and Coastal Experts specializing in selling local residential, recreational, unique oceanfront and commercial real estate throughout Vancouver Island, Discovery Islands, the Outer Islands and the BC Mainland Coast. From homes to small oceanfront recreational lots, lakefront, remote island acreages, private islands and resorts – BCO has the Coast covered!
 
  Black Bear Resort, Port McNeill Listing Details 
Black Bear Resort in the beautiful coastal community of Port McNeill is the newest property on Northern Vancouver Island, offering elegant accommodation on the fringe of a natural forest with beautiful ocean views. The stylish cedar resort boasts 40 tastefully decorated guestrooms each with stunning views of the protected harbour, Malcolm Island, and the coastal mountains of the BC mainland.
 
  Go With The Flow Adventures, Quadra Island Listing Details 
Kayaking tours from Vancouver Island B.C. Canada with Go With The Flow Adventures. Our luxury kayaking tours offer the perfect blend of relaxation and adventure. We include gourmet meals with wine, cozy cabin accommodation, hot showers, wood fired cedar hot tub, kayaking equipment, instruction and guiding. No experience necessary. Join us on an journey that washes away the every day!
 
  Haida Way Hotel, Port McNeill Listing Details 
Haida Way Hotel is Port McNeill’s largest and most popular accommodation and hospitality complex. Located near Port McNeill downtown, the Haida Way is within walking distance of shopping, the harbour and the ferry terminal. We have 70 cozy guestrooms and suites, and our own full-service Northern Lights Restaurant, lively pub, liquor store, and banquet and meeting room. Featuring killer whale and grizzly bear watching tours, salmon and halibut fishing, and kayaking expeditions.
 
  Hidden Cove Lodge, Port McNeill Listing Details 
A west coast cedar lodge on northern Vancouver Island, 20 minutes from the boardwalk Village of Telegraph Cove, with 8 fully accommodated rooms, a licensed dining room, and 2 self-contained ocean view cottages for those seeking complete privacy. Kayak to Robson Bight to view killer whales, or watch black bear, deer and river otter from our patio.
 
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