All summer I’d been wanting to go on a whale watching trip especially knowing that July and August are the peak seasons for seeing orca whales in this area. Jean Robert spotted a special voucher on one of those daily deal websites, which was offering a four hour Zodiac (fast boat) tour for $60 each, instead of $110. Bargain!

Whale watching in Campbell River

So we found ourselves heading up to Campbell River for 8.30am, pretty early for us, since we were both working night shifts at the time. Suited up in our lifejacket/wetsuit combinations, we were soon heading off into the Strait, travelling at what felt like hundreds of km an hour.

Johnston Strait Vancouver Island Campbell River

gemma whale watching tour campbell river

Approaching an abandoned Native settlement….what could we find here?

abandoned native settlement johnston strait

Oh, just a hungry black bear

black bear whale watching tour

Heading up towards Bute Inlet – lots of posh resorts in these parts, where guests get flown in by helicopter and/or seaplane! Also a lot of celebrity houses…

Bute Inlet whale watching tour zodiac

What a nice life (sealions)

sealions whale watching tour

Stopping for a snack and a walkabout on Stuart Island

eagle eye adventures whale watching boat

Amazing views from Stuart Island! What a paradise, can’t believe it’s so close, yet so far!

stuart island bc coast

Amazingly clear water too….

bc coast stuart island

Our first orca whales!! Turns out that they’re really not easy to spot – the big giveaway is of course air being shot up from their blowhole. Can you see the air and dorsal fin here?

orca whales campbell river


orca whales mother baby campbell river

Whale watching rules

They have quite strict rules about whale watching here, you’re not allowed to go particularly close, and definitely not anywhere in their path. Sometimes they play up for the tourists, jumping up and giving a bit of a show. We were unlucky in this respect, but I’m just lucky we got to see some!

There were so many beautiful islands and inlets. Even without the wildlife, this trip would have been worth it just for the scenery. On the way back we went all the way around Quadra Island and through some really narrow passages

bc coast inlets whale watching tour


bc flag whale watching tourRead Next: 9 Things You Didn’t Know You Could Do in British Columbia, Canada


One half of a Canadian/British couple currently based in New Brunswick, Canada. Gemma is happiest with a kayak/canoe paddle in her hand, on the trail or planning the next big adventure.