The Most Overlooked Sight in British Columbia

There are many beautiful and amazing places to visit in British Columbia. Some have received worldwide attention while others have remained in the shadow yet they have so much to offer. One of the most overlooked sights or even place is Haida Gwaii. The Place is known as well as the Queen Charlotte Islands.

(Image by Murray Foubister)

Haida Gwaii

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As our zodiac coasted across the glass surface of the cold water off the coast of British Columbia’s Haida Gwaii, I knew that it was going to be a good expedition. It was my first time to Canada, and I was excited to be there with a bryologist searching for rare species to help them gain conservation listing status. This image was taken on our way to East Limestone Island, a tiny island with a small research shack, and some really great people doing good conservation work. While most of the time the work is centered around the migratory bird colonies, I was there with the bryologist and her assistant to document the amazing moss species! /// #BC #BritishColumbia #canada #water #ocean #mountains #rainforest #summer #natgeo #nationalgeographic #natgeoexplorer #canon #ilcp_photographers #moss #bryophytes #expedition #haidagwaii #adventure #nature #explore #landscapephotography

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Haida Gwaii is a remote archipelago of islands part of the British Columbia province. They are also known as the Queen Charlotte Islands. Located on the Pacific Ocean, this archipelago does not receive many tourists. Haida has been the habitat of the Haida people for 13,000 years.



The two main islands which make up Haida Gwaii are Graham/North Island and Moresby Island. The other islands include Anthony Island, Burnaby Island and Kunghit Island. The islands are protected under federal legislation and provincial jurisdiction



Haida Gwaii is home to several provincial parks and abundance of wildlife which includes the largest subspecies of black bear and the smallest subspecies of the stoat. The other introduced species that are abundant are the black-tailed deer and racoon.
The archipelago is also home to the Ta’an forest which boasts of a wide variety of large endemic trees.

Generally, the plants of the island are described as the Flora of Queen Charlotte. It is a mix of alpine and meadows.
Haida Gwaii has an oceanic climate with moderate snowfall quite good for tourist visits.


1 – Visual arts


One of the famous artworks of the island is the Spirit of Haida Gwaii work portraying a Haida chief in a canoe accompanied by the mythic passengers raven, frog and eagle. Monumental-sized cedar totem poles and dugout canoes have been used for Haida art. Moreover, you can get hand-crafted gold and silver jewellery in the form of Haida manga.


2 – Haida language


Though it is quickly becoming extinct, the Haida language is one that pleases the ear even if you don’t understand it.


3 – Popular culture


Haida Gwaii has a unique forest and ecosystem which has been featured in the nature of things documentaries. Haida’s wildlife has been featured in adventure tourism TV series. It has been portrayed as a global trekking location.
Haida Gwaii has been the subject of many documentaries and novels such as Generation A by Douglas Coupland or The Brutal Telling by Louise Penny.


Getting there

The archipelago is easily accessible through the Sandspit Airport, Masset Airport and the BC Ferries. You can stay in one of the few simple hotels in the area. What are the activities you can engage in? It is up to you! Every Lifestyle is a simply perfect fit!


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The Haida Heritage Centre is a good place to start. From here, you can learn more about the Haida First Nations history and culture. Moreover, Haida Gwaii is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Pesuta Shipwreck and SGang Gwaay are a must visit.

Without a doubt, Haida Gwaii is a remarkable sight to visit. It is unfortunate that it has gone unnoticed for many years. However, this only gives you more opportunity to enjoy the archipelago away from crowds and distractions.