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Telegraph Cove Vancouver Island BC
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Unveiling Telegraph Cove Resort Through the Lens: A Visual Journey

Surrounded by a stunning cove and scenic beauty, this secret spot, known as the fishing village of Telegraph cove, is just waiting to be explored. Immersed in a rich history and one of Canada’s most picturesque villages, this charming destination is one of the last boardwalk communities. 

Telegraph Cove Resort has an intriguing history and is a magnificent area that represents the breathtaking natural beauty of Eastern Coast of Northern Vancouver Island, making it a must-visit destination.

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What to expect when visiting Telegraph Cove Resort

Upon your arrival one should expect a warm and friendly welcome. Overall, visitors to the Cove can expect a charming and unique experience with comfortable accommodations and a variety of activities.

When visiting the village of Telegraph Cove, prepare to be enchanted by its rustic charm and breathtaking coastal beauty. Immerse yourself in the history of this former telegraph station turned picturesque village.

Getting to Telegraph Cove Resort

To get to Telegraph Cove Resort, you take a ferry from Vancouver to Nanaimo, and then drive north on Highway 19A for about 5 hours.

  • Take Highway 19A to Campbell River
  • Cross the bridge at Campbell River. Stay on 19 (338klm)
  • Turn right onto Beaver Cove RD (10klm)
  • Turn left onto Telegraph Cove RD (6klm)

Alternatively, you can fly from Vancouver to Port Hardy and then drive for about 40 minutes to reach the resort. Another option is to take a scenic seaplane ride from Vancouver to Telegraph Cove, which takes about 1.5 hours.

Map tp telegraph cove vancouver island

Fascinating History of Telegraph Cove on Vancouver Island

1. Early Telegraph Days:

Telegraph Cove is a small community located on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada. It was originally established in the early 20th century as a telegraph station to facilitate communication between the remote regions of British Columbia.

In the early 1900s, it served as a vital telegraph station connecting Vancouver Island with the mainland. Messages were transmitted via telegraph wires, relaying vital information and facilitating communication at a time when technology was rapidly advancing. Imagine the excitement and importance this tiny cove held as the gateway for information!

2. The Birth of a Community:

As telegraph technology became outdated, the cove’s significance evolved. Enterprising individuals recognized the area’s potential and transformed it into a bustling community. With the lush wilderness and abundant marine life, the area quickly became a hub for fishing and logging industries, attracting adventurous souls seeking new opportunities.

3. From Old Fishing Village of Telegraph Tourist Haven:

As time passed, the charm of Telegraph Cove spread, captivating travelers far and wide. Today, it has become a renowned tourist destination, while still preserving its historical essence. The old buildings, which used to shelter telegraph operators and loggers, have been restored and transformed into lodgings, restaurants, and art galleries. This allows visitors to see what life was like back then.

4. Preserving the Past:

To ensure the legacy endures, the community established the Whale Interpretive Centre. This centre showcases the amazing marina,  while also teaching about the significance of conserving and safeguarding our oceans.

Pano photo of telegraph cove vancouver island

How to get the most out of your visit

Step 1: Whale Interpretive Centre

If you’re visiting the Resort, be sure to check out the Whale Interpretive Centre. This non-profit museum strives to educate the public about whales, as well as other marine mammals in the area. Its mission is to raise awareness of the threats facing these marine animals.

The museum features an impressive collection of marine mammal skeletons, including a 20-meter-long fin whale skeleton and a 60-foot fin whale skeleton. For a better experience, take a guided tour or try interactive exhibits, and don’t miss the “kids’ corner”. The Whale Interpretive Centre offers something for everyone and emphasizes the importance of marine conservation and education.

Step 2: Whale watching by boat

For an unforgettable whale watching experience, I recommend reserving whale watchers tour with Prince of Whales. This is the best way to witness these majestic creatures up close and in their natural habitat. Visitors can expect to see orcas, humpback whales, porpoises, sea lions, dolphins, and eagles. The resort provides all-weather exposure suits, hats, gloves, and goggles for a comfortable and safe experience. Dress warmly and bring your camera to capture that perfect photo of the whales.

Step 3: Explore 

There is a wide range of activities to explore the area, including whale-watching tours, kayaker, fishing, hiking, and scuba diving. Morning is recommended for whale watching, afternoon for kayaking, and early morning or late afternoon for fishing. To fully enjoy the beautiful surroundings, take a walk on the boardwalk, check out the Whale Interpretive Centre, and stay in one of the lodge rooms for stunning views.

Step 4 Fishing 

Telegraph Cove Resort is a great spot for fishing enthusiasts. Before you head out, make sure you know the fishing regulations and seasons and have a license.

The sheltered islands and inlets offshore are home to five species of salmon. Chinook, Pink Salmon, Sockeye Salmon, Coho or Silver Salmon, and Chum. Bottom fishing includes halibut, lingcod, black cod, and rockfish.

Whether you bring your own gear or rent from the resort, ensure you have the right equipment. For salmon fishing, use a medium to heavy rod and reel with a line weight of 15-30 pounds.

For halibut, use a heavy rod and reel with a line weight of 80-100 pounds. Use bait such as herring, anchovy, or squid.

Step 5: Try one of their memorable adventures

Let the adventures begin. You will find a wide range of unforgettable adventures that will leave you in awe of the natural beauty of the area. Tide Rip Grizzly Adventures offers a full-day tour to spot black and grizzly bears in the tidal areas and estuaries of nearby inlets and bays.

Bear-Watching Tours go up Knight Inlet in search of grizzly and black bears foraging along the shorelines, passing through the protected waters of Broughton Archipelago. If you’re looking for a marine adventure, set off on a three-hour zodiac whale-watching adventure, led by a certified marine naturalist. Keep an eye out for orcas, humpback whales, porpoises, and more. These adventures are perfect for anyone seeking an exciting and unique outdoor experience.

Kayak with orcas

Kayaking with orcas is a popular activity in the area. In the summer, up to 100 Killer Whales visit Robson Bight Ecological Reserve. As you paddle through the sheltered waters and secluded inlets, you may hear the whales communicating through clicks and whistles.

The killer whales visit Robson Bight Ecological Reserve for a variety of reasons. Robson Bight is a designated sanctuary and protected area and only 12 miles south of Telegraph Cove. One reason for their visits is to forage for food. The waters surrounding the reserve are rich in salmon. It also offers a safe and quiet environment for social interactions, mating, and raising their young. The area’s calm waters and abundant marine life make it an ideal habitat.

The experience of kayaking with these magnificent creatures is awe-inspiring, as you witness their sheer size and power. Visitors can connect to the natural world and appreciate and protect marine life through this experience.

Best time to see orcas when kayaking Johnstone Strait:

The best time to see orcas when kayaking in Johnstone Strait is during the prime whale watching season, which is late July to early September.

A full- or multi-day kayaking trip would also maximize the chance of seeing whales. They enjoy rubbing their bellies, which are covered in barnacles, on the rocks and beaches. Although the rubbing beaches are not accessible, the Broughton Archipelago and the reserve area offer fantastic opportunities for paddling and whale watching.

Where to stay in Telegraph Cove

Old truck in front of an old house at telegraph cove on Vancouver island

Historic cabins and houses:

The resort offers a unique and historic accommodation experience, featuring scattered cabins and houses along the boardwalk. Some of these structures are over 100 years old and were once inhabited by workers and families who called this place home. Now, the land around the cove consists of boardwalk settlements on Vancouver Island

Today, thousands of visitors rent these rustic, charming tucked-away cabins along the scenic road, offering fully equipped kitchens and full bathrooms. Despite their historical significance, the cabins and houses have been updated with modern amenities to ensure guests’ comfort, including extra sheets and pet-friendly options. The cabins and houses provide an authentic coastal experience and are the most atmospheric place to spend the summer months in the village

Dockside Suites:

The Dockside Suites  are a luxurious and modern option for those seeking a comfortable destination during the summer months. These two-story suites are built over the water and offer stunning views of the marina and old boardwalk. Each suite comes equipped with a full kitchen.

Most of the suites have satellite TV for your entertainment. The wide and stable docks are easy to access and offer a lovely spot to watch the evening sunsets. Overall, the Dockside Suites offer a unique and comfortable stay for those visiting Telegraph Cove.

Hidden Cove Lodge:

Hidden Cove Lodge is a peaceful and eco-friendly oceanfront lodge on Johnstone Straits, just a 15-minute drive from Telegraph Cove. It offers nine fully accommodated rooms with two queen beds each, a mini-fridge, and bathroom, and a fantastic common viewing area overlooking the bay. Two self-contained two-bedroom oceanfront cottages with fireplaces are also available for complete privacy. The lodge is powered with wind, solar, and generator, surrounded by lush forest and wildlife. It also has a licensed dining room and is perfect for those who seek a remote and tranquil getaway.

Best Time to Visit Telegraph Cove, Vancouver Island

The best time to visit depends on your preferences. Summer months, from June to August, offer pleasant weather, wildlife sightings, and vibrant activities. However, shoulder seasons like spring and fall provide a quieter atmosphere, lower prices, and opportunities for whale watching and outdoor exploration. Winter months are less popular but can still offer a unique experience for those seeking tranquility and storm-watching. Choose the time that aligns with your interests and enjoy the beauty of Telegraph Cove throughout the year.

Frequently Asked Questions

Telegraph Cove Resort offers a rich wildlife experience. Visitors can spot orcas, humpback whales, dolphins, seals, sea lions, and various species of fish in the surrounding waters. The area’s diverse marine ecosystem makes it a prime location for wildlife enthusiasts and photographers.

At Telegraph Cove Resort, visitors can enjoy a range of activities such as whale watching, kayaking, sport fishing, hiking, and exploring the charming coastal village.

  • Whale watching tours during the summer
  • Grizzly bear trips to Knight Inlet and the Great Bear Rainforest 
  • Kayaking, fishing, hiking, and scuba diving

Telegraph Cove has been turned into a range of accommodation options, including cozy cabins, historic guesthouses, and waterfront suites. Visitors can choose from a variety of comfortable and charming lodging options to suit their preferences and enjoy the idyllic surroundings of this coastal retreat. The Forest RV Campground has over 100 serviced sites and all the facilities you need. All accommodations are well-taken care of and have unique features. 

To book a whale watching tour at Telegraph Cove Resort, simply visit their official website or call their reservation line. Choose your preferred date, time, and tour package to experience the captivating marine wildlife of Vancouver Island’s Telegraph Cove.

There is limited cell service in Telegraph Cove, and it can be spotty depending on your carrier. Telus and Bell have the best coverage in the area, while Rogers and Freedom Mobile have little to no coverage. It’s recommended to check with your carrier before heading to Telegraph Cove to see if they have coverage in the area.

Yes, Telegraph Cove Resort features a marina. It provides docking facilities for boats, allowing visitors to easily access the beautiful coastal waters of Vancouver Island for activities like fishing, wildlife tours, and exploring the scenic surroundings.

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