February 20, 2020
PLAN THE PERFECT HOLIDAY WITH OUR 2020 HAIDA GWAII FAMILY TRAVEL GUIDE
Comprised of 150 islands grouped within a protected archipelago off the west coast of British Columbia, Xaayda Gwaay.yaay Haida Gwaii's dramatic landscape looks like a fairy tale come to life. Filled with lush plants, majestic animals and remnants of ancient Indigenous villages, this remote part of the world is the perfect destination for families seeking a back-to-nature, educational and immersive holiday. Read on for our guide to the top family attractions and activities in Haida Gwaii.
BEGINNING THE JOURNEY: CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE
Many people reach Haida Gwaii by air, catching a 1.5-hour roundtrip flight either from Vancouver International Airport to Sandspit, or between Vancouver Airport’s South Terminal to Masset. However, families might prefer taking the more adventurous – and economical – car and ferry journey, with roundtrip boat service between Prince Rupert and Skidegate. The ferry trip takes eight hours, and allows families to stretch their legs while experiencing BC Ferries’ multitude of family-friendly amenities, including all-inclusive buffet, video arcade and play areas, and retail shop filled with locally sourced finds.
EXPLORE YOUR HOME-AWAY-FROM-HOME
Once you’ve arrived in Haida Gwaii, check-in at Haida House at Tllaal, a great base camp for families seeking a cozy home-away-from-home. Situated along the banks of the Tlell River, with scenic surroundings of dense forest and sandy beaches, Haida House at Tllaal is an intimate property with 10 rooms in the central lodge that guests can book as part of an all-encompassing three-, four- or seven-night eco-cultural package. Alternatively, you can book a by-the-night stay at one of the new oceanfront cabins opening in summer 2020, which are ideal for bigger families and cross-generational groups. Each Haida-style cabin can accommodate up to five guests and features a private deck and hot tub where you and your clan can relax after a long day of adventure in the wild.
You won’t need to wander far for fantastic dining either, with the casual Haida House dining room offering fresh farm-to-table food whose ingredients are sourced from the land, forest and sea (an ideal opportunity to teach the kids about sustainability!). If you’ve brought your car, drive north along the coast toward Gaw Masset, through Naikoon Provincial Park, where you’ll find Moon Over Naikoon Bakery, whose tantalizing baked goods and hearty soups are a hit among visitors of all ages.
IMMERSE YOURSELVES IN HAIDA CULTURE
Haida Gwaii is filled with rich Xaayda Haida culture, whose language, art and architecture are preserved throughout the region. The Haida Heritage Centre at Kay Llnagaay is a treasure chest of Haida history, comprising the Haida Gwaii Museum, which houses a comprehensive collection of archaeological artifacts, contemporary art and archives of rare documents and photographs; the Carving House, which exhibits monumental poles, canoes and other handcrafted marvels; and the Canoe House, offering a glimpse into the Haida people’s traditional mode of travel, transportation and resource gathering.
You and your family will enjoy an array of excursions led by Haida House at Tllaal. With options spanning tours of nearby Haida artisan studios, interpretive nature hikes, kayaking, forest trekking, outings to the K’uuna (Skedans) ancient village site, hikes to the iconic Pesuta shipwreck and many more, we’re confident your family will enjoy this unique experience together!
WAVE TO THE WILDLIFE
Haida Gwaii’s sky, ocean and land are home to abundant wildlife, some native – including Haida Gwaii black bears, humpbacks and orca (killer) whales, and river otters – and others introduced, such as sitka deer, elk and beavers. Our guests love to check out a region highlighted with wildlife, such as a Ts’aa.ahl (West Coast Tour) that includes a thrilling zodiac ride, bear-watching, forays into old-growth forest, and introductions to traditional stories and songs.
PICNIC AT THE BEACH
Ask the talented chefs at Haida House at Tllaal to put together a packaged lunch for your family, then bring your feast to one of the region’s many beaches. Kids will enjoy beachcombing for agates and vibrantly hued stones on Agate Beach, chasing crabs at North Beach or posing for photos with famous Balance Rock near HlGaagilda Skidegate. The Blow Hole is one of the best places in Haida Gwaii to view tidepools, which were created by lava forming hundreds of millions of years ago.
Xaayda Gwaay.yaay Haida Gwaii is filled with family-friendly activities that will keep your loved ones engaged throughout your holiday. Start your journey by booking accommodation at Haida House at Tllaal.