Haida Gwaii Travel Information
Getting to Haida Gwaii
Our head office is located in Queen Charlotte City, British Columbia, and all transport to East Limestone Island departs from here. If you're not based in Haida Gwaii, you've got a few options for getting here.
Please note that sometimes weather and sea conditions will delay travel to Haida Gwaii and between our field camp and Queen Charlotte City. It is wise to book your onward travel at least 1 or 2 days before/after your scheduled Friday transport to/from East Limestone Island (ie. arrive in Haida Gwaii by Wednesday and depart on Sunday on later).
Air Travel from Vancouver
- Air Canada flies into Sandspit daily from Vancouver International. From Sandspit, you need to take a short ferry to Skidegate, which neighbours Queen Charlotte City. Or, you can stay in Sandspit and depart for ELI from there.
- Pacific Coastal flies into Masset daily from Vancouver International's south terminal. From Masset, it is a 2 hour drive to Queen Charlotte City.
- Inland Air has float plane service between Prince Rupert and Masset and Prince Rupert and Queen Charlotte City.
There is no public transit in Haida Gwaii. If you do not have a rental car, Eagle Transit provides connections between both airports and other communities. You can also rent a car from Budget - this will let you explore the islands with a little more flexibility!
Ferry Travel from Prince Rupert
- BC Ferries travels from Skidegate to Prince Rupert year round. The journey is roughly 10 hours and the schedule changes depending on the season. With notice, we can try to arrange a pickup for you in Skidegate.
There are a number of options for getting to Prince Rupert from elsewhere in Canada. They include:
- Road: You can drive from Vancouver via Prince George (approximately 1500km total)
- Ferry: You ca take the ferry from Port Hardy on the northern tip of Vancouver Island
- Train: You can take Via Rail from Jasper through Prince George
- Fly: You can fly between Vancouver and Prince Rupert
Getting to East Limestone Island
Your volunteer/internship fee includes transport to and from East Limestone Island. Every Friday, we charter a zodiac to take volunteers in and out of the field. The zodiac departs from Moresby Camp, which is approximately 1 hour drive on a logging road from Sandspit. This road travel is also included in your fee.
Volunteers staying in QCC will travel over to Sandspit on the first ferry of the day, where they will meet the truck driving to Moresby Camp. Volunteers staying in Sandspit will connect that morning with the vehicle and any volunteers on the ferry.
We will confirm all these logistics with you upon confirmation of your volunteer placement!
Accommodation Options in Haida Gwaii
GoHaidaGwaii.ca offers a comprehensive list of accommodation options in Queen Charlotte City, Skidegate and Sandspit. You'll find camping, B&Bs, motels and guest houses. Those located in the "heart of QCC" are generally within walking distance of our office and most shops. Otherwise, you might consider renting a car from Budget - this will let you explore the islands with a little more flexibility!
Food and Services in Queen Charlotte City
Queen Charlotte City (QCC) is a small but central community in Haida Gwaii. Here, you will find most basic services - but some flexibility is essential.
- Groceries: In QCC, there is a grocery store (City Centre), a natural food store and various convenience stores. There is also a grocery store in Skidegate (Co-Op).
- Restaurants: There are a handful of restaurants in QCC and Skidegate. Most are closed at least one day of the week.
- Laundromat: Located across from the City Centre grocery store
- Banking: The Northern Savings Credit Union has an ATM and there is another AM at the Co-Op grocery store in Skidegate.
- Shops and gas stations generally close earlier than you might anticipate - typical hours are from about 10am to 5pm. Many things are also closed on Sundays.
- Museum: The Haida Heritage Centre is a must-see when visiting the region. It offers a fantastic introduction to the region's history, culture and environment.