Isolated from British Columbia by Hecate Strait, the islands of Haida Gwaii are ecologically unique and provide a kayaking experience like no other. The jewel of the islands, Gwaii Haanas, provides the adventurous kayaker with stunning scenery, remote wilderness, fantastic wildlife, natural hot springs, and the opportunity to visit important Haida cultural sites. The 100 kilometres of open water has isolated the archipelago from the BC mainland, to the extent that there are at least 39 distinct subspecies of plants and animals that are found no place else in the world. 

Our Central Gwaii Haanas Explorer kayak tours operate within Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve, National Marine Conservation Area Reserve, and Haida Heritage Site. The Government of Canada and the Council of the Haida Nation cooperatively manage Gwaii Haanas through the Archipelago Management Board.

In light of the COVID pandemic we are currently only able to accept new bookings from Canadian residents. We will be opening new bookings to international visitors as soon as we receive some clarity on when the borders will be re-opening for tourism. We ask that international visitors email us with their preferred tour and dates and we will contact them when new bookings from international visitors are being accepted.

We were able to host a number of Canadian (“social bubble”) groups at our Base Camps in the summer of 2020 and have learned a lot about how to responsibly operate our tours with the additional safety measures. Based on these experiences, we are making some operational modifications in order to once again welcome a wider range of guests on both the Base Camp and Expedition tours this year (not limited to social bubbles).

Please view our COVID-Response page for more details on the changes we are implementing for the 2021 season.

In light of the COVID pandemic we are currently only able to accept new bookings from Canadian residents. We will be opening new bookings to international visitors as soon as we receive some clarity on when the borders will be re-opening for tourism. Please email us to be waitlisted.

For all Gwaii Haanas bookings: We have currently put a hold on bookings for our 2021 Gwaii Haanas season. Please contact us to be waitlisted for any tours after July 19, 2021. At this moment, Gwaii Haanas remains closed for visitors, and we are awaiting details from the Council of Haida Nation on how and when a safe re-opening of Gwaii Haanas would be possible.  We will update this page as soon as we have received updates.

The five day Central Gwaii Haanas Explorer tour has a more relaxed pace than our longer Gwaii Haanas Explorer kayak tours and is a great way to experience some of the best features of Gwaii Haanas without the same time and energy commitment.

During the zodiac boat ride into Gwaii Haanas to begin the kayak tour we have the opportunity to visit the Haida village site of K'uuna Llnagaay (Skedans), with it's big house remains and standing memorial and mortuary standing poles. Additional highlights of this tour include soaking in the natural pools at Gandll K’in Gwaayaay (Hot Spring Island) and kayaking the wildlife rich waters of Juan Perez Sound.

Gandll K’in Gwaayaay (Hot Spring Island) has traditionally provided food in abundance and waters that would comfort, heal and nourish body and soul. The hot spring water stopped flowing after a major earthquake struck off the west coast of Haida Gwaii in 2012. A year later, the Gwaii Haanas staff noticed some springs were beginning to flow again, and in the years since, several new ones have emerged at lower elevations, closer to the shore. In 2017, three new pools were built and the hot springs can once again be enjoyed by all visitors.

The central section of Gwaii Haanas provides numerous kayaking routes to choose between, and we may paddle sheltered channels, secluded bays, and exposed coastline. Being a more relaxed trip does not mean that we spend less time kayaking but that we can take the time to more fully explore the bays, inlets, and channels. We usually camp at three different sites during this tour and while the last site is less than ten miles in a straight line from our first site, there is over a hundred of miles of coastline and dozens of islands to explore along our circuitous route.

Wildlife viewing opportunities are abundant throughout Gwaii Haanas. Kayaking quietly along the shore we may come across deer, black bears, and pine martens. Humpback whales may be seen throughout Gwaii Haanas and are often seen feeding in Juan Perez Sound. With 750,000 nesting seabirds and more bald eagle nests per kilometre of shoreline than anywhere else in Canada, Gwaii Haanas is a birder’s dream.

We provide high quality three season tents. For couples we provide three person tents and for solo travellers a slightly smaller tent. Therm-a-rest sleeping pads and warm mummy style sleeping bags with liners are all provided to ensure a good night’s sleep. A library of natural history books is on every trip.

On the water we use stable single and double fibreglass kayaks and lightweight carbon/vinyl paddles. Waterproof kayaking jackets and neoprene kayaking mitts are provided to keep you warm and dry while kayaking.

Price: $1995 CAD per person plus 5% Goods and Services Tax (GST). Other currencies: Click for £ GBP / € EUR / $ USD and taxes Group Size: Maximum of eight guests and two guides. Participants: This tour is adult-oriented but participants as young as 15 may be accepted. Suitability: Intermediate to advanced kayakers. Is this tour right for you? Departs: Sandspit, Haida Gwaii (Queen Charlotte Islands)

Includes: We provide you with all the necessary kayaking and camping equipment, including kayaks, paddling jackets, PFD (life jacket), group shelters, tents, sleeping pads, camp chairs and sleeping bags (you may bring your own). A comprehensive list of required personal items can be read by clicking on the “Preparation” tab above. All meals during the kayak trip are provided and prepared by your guides. We’re proud of our menu that includes abundant fresh fruits and vegetables, a wide variety of international dishes, and freshly baked treats. Most dietary restrictions can be accommodated given sufficient prior notification. Transportation is all-inclusive from Sandspit by our network of vans and water taxis. Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve and Haida Heritage Site Fees. What is not included: We do not provide transport from your home to Sandspit, nor do we provide airport transfers. Accommodation in Sandspit is not included. Any meals outside the kayak portion of the tour are your responsibility. Travel insurance for accidents or emergency evacuation is not provided; we recommend you purchase a policy before leaving home. The trip price does not include guide gratuities; should you feel that the service was exemplary, it is always appreciated.

Day 0: Guests need to arrive in Sandspit the day before the trip departs. At 7:00 PM there is a pre-trip meeting with a Kingfisher guide at Moresby Explorers’ office, next to the Seaport B&B. At the meeting your guide(s) provide you with an overview of the trip, provide a mandatory Gwaii Haanas orientation, distribute dry bags to pack your gear, and answer any last minute questions you may have.
Meals Included: None

Day 1: You are picked up at your accommodation at approximately 7:30 AM by van. We travel over logging roads for about one hour to Moresby Camp where we then board an open zodiac (rigid hull inflatable boat) for an approximately two hour exhilarating ride into Gwaii Haanas.

On our way, we will stop for a visit at the Haida cultural site of K'uuna Llnagaay (Skedans), with it's big house remains and standing memorial and mortuary standing poles.

Upon arrival at our first remote campsite, we set up camp and have a kayak and safety orientation. After lunch we try out the kayaks for the first time, exploring the waters surrounding camp.
Meals Included: Lunch – Dinner

Days 2 to 4: We will explore the central part of Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve, National Marine Conservation Area Reserve, and Haida Heritage Site. This section of Gwaii Haanas provides numerous kayaking routes for us to choose, from the open water of Hecate Strait to more sheltered inner waters.

We spend most of our time in the waters of Juan Perez Sound. The sound and the surrounding bays and inlets provide plenty of great wildlife viewing opportunities and great beaches for camping.

The actual kayaking route depends on the weather, sea conditions, and abilities of the group, but while each kayak tour is unique, we believe all are spectacular.
Meals Included: Breakfast – Lunch – Dinner

Day 5: On the last day of the kayak tour, you have time to reminisce about the previous days over a leisurely breakfast. The zodiac generally arrives shortly after lunch for the journey back to Sandspit where you have the opportunity to get together with the rest of your group for a no-host farewell dinner.
Meals Included: Breakfast – Lunch

This tour departs from Sandspit on South Moresby Island, Haida Gwaii (Queen Charlotte Islands).

It is imperative that guests arrive in Sandspit no later than the day before the kayak tour’s departure date. At the end of the trip, the earliest guests should plan to head home is the morning after the tour ends. Better still, spend a few more days to explore more of the islands. The Haida Heritage Centre is worth the visit.

Travelling by Air
Flights to Sandpsit – YZP from Vancouver depart from the main terminal of Vancouver International Airport – YVR and are approximately 2 hours. These flights are operated by Air Canada.

Travelling by Ferry
BC Ferries services Haida Gwaii (Queen Charlotte Islands) from Prince Rupert. The crossing is approximately 7 hours. Once arriving in Skidegate on Haida Gwaii another short ferry ride is necessary to reach nearby Alliford Bay, a 15 minute drive from Sandspit. If you have the time an Inside Passage ferry runs between Port Hardy on Vancouver Island and Prince Rupert.

Via Rail offers train service to Prince Rupert from Jasper. Travel to Jasper from Vancouver or Edmonton by train.

Recommended Accommodations
Seaport B&B

Additional Accommodations
Bayview Garden B&B

Our Guest Handbook contains details on preparing for your kayak tour. Included in the handbook is travel and accommodation information, a list of what to bring, what you can expect while you are kayaking, wildlife viewing etiquette, and medical and release forms.

The handbook answers commonly asked questions. However, do not hesitate to contact us with any specific questions you may have. The handbook is in PDF format. If you do not have a PDF viewer one can be downloaded free from Adobe.

For quick reference, here is what you should be bringing on your kayak tour. We provide everything else.

The climate in Gwaii Haanas is typical of British Columbia’s outer west coast – cool and wet virtually any time of the year. The best weather is usually between mid-June and mid-August. During July and August the average temp is about 15°C with an average daily minimum and maximum of 12°C and 17°C. For maximum enjoyment on your trip in all types of weather please bring the items listed below.

What to Bring

It is important that your clothing be made of synthetic materials or wool to retain their warmth when wet. Most synthetics also have the advantage of being quick drying. Avoid cotton clothing because they lack warmth if wet and take a very long time to dry. All of the items listed below need to fit into four dry bags (which we supply). If you have any questions on what you need to bring please feel free to contact us.

Sleeping bag – fits into 20 litre dry bag
We supply sleeping bags, liners, and pillows to all guests but if you prefer to bring your own we recommend:
● A three season synthetic insulated bag

Clothing – fits into 20 litre dry bag
Please bring everything listed. There is duplication and you may not need everything, but in the event of getting wet or cold you will be glad you have it. While many people consider long underwear to be a winter item it can make a world of difference on a cool summer evening and can double as leggings under shorts during the day. The biggest heat loss area is the head and a warm hat can add immensely to your comfort.
● 1 pairs of short
● 2 pair of pants
● 2 long sleeve shirts
● 2 short sleeve shirts
● 2 sweater or sweatshirt
● 4 to 7 pairs of socks
● 2 sets of long underwear
● 4 to 7 pairs of underwear
● 1 swimsuit
● 1 fleece jacket
● 1 baseball cap or sun hat
● 1 wool or fleece cap

Rain gear – fits into 10 litre dry bag
We provide waterproof kayaking jackets but you still need rain gear for around camp. Rain gear does not need to be breathable but it should be be waterproof – not water-repellent.
● 1 waterproof rain jacket with hood or rain hat
● 1 pair of waterproof rain pants

Personal items – fits into 10 litre dry bag
● Toiletries
● Sun screen
● Sunglasses with a retainer
● Prescription eyeglasses or contacts
● Spare eyeglasses or contacts
● Wet Wipes
● Synthetic camp towel
● Medication
● Spare medication
● Insect repellent
● Book
● Flashlight and batteries
● Camera
● Extra digital storage and batteries

Footwear – either worn or packed loose
● sandals or shoes you can get wet
● Walking or running shoes (preferably waterproofed)

● Rubber boots (some guests prefer these instead of wet shoes or sandals for kayaking. But, if you go too deep when entering or exiting your kayak the boots will be wet for the remainder of the trip).
● Wool or fleece gloves or mitts (if your hands easily get cold these are good to have for the evenings)
● Paddling or cycling gloves (we provide kayaking mitts for warmth, but if you are prone to blisters you may find cycling or paddling gloves to be beneficial).
● Farmer Jane/John wet suit to wear kayaking.
● Drysuit or drypants to wear kayaking.

Suggested reading

All of our tours carry a small library of field guides and local history books. The two books listed below are larger “coffee table” books that are too big to fit in our kayaks. If you wish to learn more about the area prior to your trip these books provide a great narrative with stunning photographs. Each title is linked to Amazon.com and open in a new window.

The Queen Charlotte Islands Book 2: Of Places and Names
Ninstints: Haida World Heritage Site
The Golden Spruce: A True Story Of Myth, Madness, And Greed
Raven’s Cry
Islands at the edge: Preserving the Queen Charlotte Islands Wilderness
To The Charlottes – George’s Dawson’s 1878 Survey of the Queen Charlotte Islands
A Guide to the Queen Charlotte Islands
Chiefs of the Sea and Sky: Haida Heritage Sites of the Queen Charlotte Islands


Your guides have charts of the area and will review them with guests each day. If you wish to bring your own chart(s) they are listed below. Each chart is linked to the corresponding page on the Canadian Hydrographic Service’s website and you can search where to buy these charts locally (links will open in a new window).

Chart 3808 – Juan Perez Sound – 1:37,500

While each of our kayak tours and routes will vary based on possible wildlife sightings, currents, tides and weather the below map highlights the general area that our base camp kayak tour operates in.

Charts: You do not need to bring charts on this kayak tour. Your guides have charts of the area and will review them with guests each day. If you wish to bring your own chart(s) they are listed below. Each chart is linked to the corresponding page on the Canadian Hydrographic Service’s website and you can search where to buy these charts locally (links will open in a new window).

Chart 3808 – Juan Perez Sound – 1:37,500


We think our tours are pretty great and so do our guests.
Below are excerpts from a few TripAdvisor reviews.
Visit TripAdvisor to view all our reviews.

"We joined a Kingfisher Wilderness Adventures sea kayaking expedition in Gwaii Haanas last August. A truly spectacular and wonderful trip from start to finish. Our thanks and appreciation to Andrew Jones, the owner, who provided prompt feedback and excellent advice as we were preparing for our trip. Andrew also served as one of the guides on the expedition, demonstrating a superb understanding of the amazing intertidal life we saw over the course of the eight days. Our other guide, Angela, was equally knowledgeable and experienced, and with her terrific sense of humor succeeded in putting the less experienced kayakers quickly at ease. Close attention was paid to safety as well as ensuring that meals were on a par with those served by fine restaurants. What with the breathtaking scenery and the wonderful camaraderie that formed quickly amongst the group, our trip with Kingfisher Wilderness Adventures will never be forgotten."
Read the full review on TripAdvisor

Book Now - Risk Free

Use our secure online booking system below to secure your spot(s). Your deposit is fully refundable for 72 hours after your booking. This gives you three days to sort out travel plans and ensure you don't lose your spot(s). If you can't make the trip, let us know by phone or email within 72 hours of booking for a full refund of your deposit.

If you prefer to book by phone, please give us a call toll free in North America at 1-866-546-3437 or internationally call +1-250-956-4617. If you have questions on any of our kayak tours please give us a call or send us an email.

To prevent our e-mailed reply from going into your SPAM folder, please add info@kingfisher.ca to your Address Book or Allowed Sender List.


A $250 CAD per person deposit is required to permanently reserve your spots(s) on a base camp kayak tour, the remaining balance is due 30 days before the tour’s departure date.

A $500 CAD per person deposit is required to permanently reserve your spot(s) on  an explorer kayak tour and the remaining balance is due 60 days before the tour’s departure date.

Please note our cancellation policy

We accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express, and JCB cards. Please note that all prices are in Canadian dollars and that 5% Goods and Services Tax (GST) will be added to the price of each tour.

Group Discounts

Save 5% when booking 4 to 9 people on a base camp tour or 4 to 7 people on an explorer tour. Save 10% when booking 10 people on a base camp tour or 8 people on an Explorer tour. Discounts are applied automatically when you book based on the number of people. If members of your group are booking separately please let us know and we can manually update your invoices to reflect the group discount.

First click the name of the tour below that you wish to book and then select the tour's departure date from the calendar.

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