Must See

Alberni Aquarium and Stewardship Centre

West Coast Aquatic Stewardship Association was created in 2002 by a group of concerned citizens in order to preserve, protect and enhance aquatic species and their natural habitat. In the last three years the organization has conducted over a million dollars of habitat restoration projects as well as salmon enhancement improvements. The WCASA runs with four primary pillars including; habitat restoration, species enhancement, protection and education/stewardship. The Alberni Aquarium was developed under the Education branch and opened to the public on May 1, 2016. 

Stay in touch with the Aquarium and its programs right here:  https://www.facebook.com/AlberniAquarium/

The video attached was produced by Peter Mieras of Rendevous Dive Adventures 

https://vimeo.com/246040876

Alberni Pacific Railway

 
The Alberni Pacific Railway has long been a top feature of the Alberni Valley. Operated initially by the Western Vancouver Island Industrial Heritage Society alongside an agreement with the City of Port Alberni it is currently (2019) not operating for financial reasons. The WVIIHS (IHS) are working tirelessly to return the 1929 Baldwin Steam Engine to service as it had a boiler issue in 2018 that made it inoperable. The locomotive is currently undergoing a complete rebuilt largely via Volunteer efforts to bring it back to life.
 
In the past and hopefully in the near future the train with a passenger capacity of +/- 185 people will travel from the Port Alberni Train Station at our harbourfront to the McLean Mill National Historic Site.
 
Many in Port Alberni are optimistic that Train Service may reopen on a limited basis in 2020 and on a full scale basis in 2021. We sure hope so! In the meantime come for a visit to the Train Station and/or the McLean Mill where you can learn more about our historical activities on the CP line servicing Port Alberni for many years.

Alberni Valley Heritage Network

The Alberni Valley is home to a host of Heritage Tourism attractions that are sure to impress anyone and everyone. The McLean Mill, the Maritime Museum, Alberni Steam Train & the Alberni Valley Museum are just a few of the impressive places to visit. The Steam Train is the only one of its kind in operation on all of Vancouver Island and is one of five in the entire Province. The AV Museum is considered one of the finest community museums in all of British Columbia. It uses a unique and experimental visible storage system to make almost the entire collection available to the visitor all the time. You can see temporary exhibits about Local and International Art, History, Culture and Science over the course of the year. The Museum also offers many varied and challenging school programs for a wide range of grades. It is a must see while in Port Alberni! The McLean "Steam" Sawmill was operating up to the end of 2016 when it was a feature demonstration at the site. While still in an operational mode the Sawmill is now being used as a Static Display due largely to the high costs of operation. Tours are available during the summer season and because it's no longer operating our guests can actually go to the inner workings of the sawmill. It's quite amazing!

You'll see the old original buildings and lots of restored logging equipment around the site including a steam donkey, logging trucks, graders, and lumber carriers. The McLean is a National Historic Site that provides its visitors with a step back in time. A wonderful place to visit! Port Alberni's Maritime Discovery Centre, constructed from an actual coastal lighthouse, is a unique maritime museum, situated on the waterfront adjacent to the city's deep-sea harbour.  With its companion Hutcheson Gallery this museum is dedicated to exhibiting and interpreting our fascinating cultural, environmental and industrial maritime history. 

These attractions are a must see for all who visit the Alberni Valley. Sense the raw adventure, tales of heroism and moments of mystique, grandeur and romance that tell the story of our intriguing west coast.

Included in some of the pictures below are shots from the No. 7 Challenge an annual 10 km road race vs. the Steam Train pitting athlete against the mighty 1929 Baldwin. Check us out at:http://www.no7challenge.ca

Picture credits on this page go to Russ/Brenda Widdess, and Dan Fredlund. Used with permission and THANKS!

 

 

 

 

Cathedral Grove

Cathedral Grove is a rare and endangered remnant of an ancient Douglas fir ecosystem on Vancouver Island in British Columbia (BC), Canada. The biggest trees in the Grove are about 800 years old and measure 75 m (250 ft) in height and 9 m (29 ft) in circumference. 

Della Falls

Located in Strathcona Provincial Park, Della Falls is the tallest water fall in Canada, with a vertical drop of 440 meters! While it is a beautiful hike to Della Falls, keep in mind that it takes about 7 hours each way, and requires a water taxi to the trail head:

"Hello from Doug and Chris of Della Falls Water Taxi.

Welcoming in 2018! 

If you are thinking about planning a hike to Della Falls get your booking in early as a few people were disappointed last season because the dates they wanted to go were already booked up.

Our boat is a 20' Hourston hardtop powered by a Suzuki 225HP outboard motor. It can carry 7 passengers plus gear plus the skipper. We have the boat moored at the marina in Great Central RV Park and Marina.

 

The Meeting address is 11000 Central Lake Road. Head west out of Port Alberni on Highway #4 and after about 12 km turn right onto Central Lake Road. Go another 8 km and pass through the buildings and tanks that belong to the fish hatchery. About 100 meters further you will come to a T intersection where the pavement ends and the entrance to the resort is straight ahead. There is no parking inside the resort so once you reach the T intersection and see the entrance sign, turn around and park against the chain link fence. It's just a 2 min walk from there to the boat in the marina."

Please visit our website for prices and schedule: https://alberni.ca/business-directory/della-falls-water-taxi#sthash.czM8...

CONTACT INFORMATION:

  • Email  doug@dellafallswatertaxi.com
  • Cell phone; 1-250-720-5363 (Doug)
  • Cell phone, 1-250-290-0062 (Chris)
  • Facebook (Della Falls Water Taxi)

Contact us for reservations or any other questions you may have and we will do the best we can to help make your trip be the best it can be.

 

Harbour Quay

The Harbour Quay area in Port Alberni features a colourful collection of waterfront shops, galleries and eateries. You'll also find the impressive Clock Tower which grants panoramic views of the Alberni Inlet. The Quay is also home to Port Alberni's new Aquarium operated by West Coast Aquatics and Stewardship Society. Along the waterfront you'll find: Swept Away Inn - a 'watertop' B&B located on the water at Centennial Pier. The B&B is an historic 100 foot tugboat that now serves as the bed and breakfast and a year round dinner club for visitors and residents alike. Next door to the Swept Away is the lovely Starboard Grill which boasts a beautiful outside deck to enjoy the sounds and smells of the west coast while feasting on any of Brad's menu highlights. Next to that is a stunning creation of Salmon carved into a bench for must do picture opportunities. And just around the corner is the home base of Lady Rose Marine who are owner operators of the MV Frances Barkley. The Harbour Quay is Port Alberni's pride and joy. Visit the area to see why! 

The Harbour Quay is also home to Port Alberni's waterfront Air Taxi service to Vancouver and beyond. Pacific Seaplanes fly in/out regularly offering door to door or better yet, water to water service between our City and YVR.

In 2019 Harbour Quay hosted three trips from Holland America's Massdam welcoming more than 1200 passengers each visit. The guests of the Maasdam commented very favourably about the area!

 

 

 

 

 

Hole in the Wall

The Hole in the Wall is a Port Alberni feature that is fast becoming an attraction for the community. Located in the forest a short hike from the Visitor Center the 'Hole in the Wall' is a magical place. Featuring what appears to be a 'hole' in the rock face that allows water through to the river system nearby. The hole is actually the remnants of a long ago water line that fed the people of the Alberni Valley some decades ago.

It's a short walk, beautiful views and along the creek you'll find several instances of innukshuts that have been placed by many local area hikers.

Parking is difficult! We do not encourage any parking along the highway. Please come to see us at the Visitor Center where we can provide you with better and safer access points. Note that the Hole in the Wall is on private lands owned by Mosaic Forest.

Kiixin Tours - by Huu-ay-aht First Nation

Kiix̣in Village and Fortress National Historic Site of Canada is located on the west coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia, strategically set between the rugged outer coast and the protected inner waters of Barkley Sound. Kiix̣in is the site of a 19th-century village and fortress that exhibits evidence of occupation dating to 1000 B.C.E. It also remains a sacred site to present-day Huu-ay-aht First Nations. Official recognition refers to four distinct archaeological sites, which include the main village and fortress, and two related archaeological sites.

 

https://www.facebook.com/CityofPortAlberni/videos/1948928335198873/ 

 

Lady Rose Marine Services

The MV Lady Rose, built in Scotland and launched in 1937, was the first single propeller diesel vessel ever to traverse the Atlantic under her own power. Nowadays she is no longer in service and has had her route taken over by the MV Frances Barkley who ferries passengers and supplies for day cruises along the inlet from Port Alberni to Bamfield and Ucluelet. Passengers can see the Broken Group islands and stop in at Ucluelet, Bamfield and many other coves and bays. Black bears and bald eagles are often sighted along the shore, as well as a variety of marine life. The vessel is a vital means of communication and transportation for isolated communities along the Alberni Inlet. Lady Rose Marine Services also own and operate the Sechart Lodge which is located just off the boundary of the Broken Group Islands. The lodge is a coverted office building that was barged out to the area several years ago. A very comfortable setting with lovely rooms. Book a stay at Sechart and enjoy the included meals too! Home cooked creations that all guests rave about. The lodge also offers Kayak and Canoe rentals for those wishing to do some day trips from the area or those planning longer excursions through the Broken Group where camping is permitted. As a side note the Frances Barkley sails to Bamfield year round and to Ucluelet - June through August, and to Sechart Lodge June through August including a special Sunday route in July/August only. Bamfield is typically scheduled on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.

The MV Frances Barkley was named after the wife of Captain Charles William Barkley. Here is an interesting tidbit about her pulled from Wikipedia:

"Frances Barkley was the wife of Captain Charles William Barkley who traveled with him. She is considered to be the first European woman to have ever visited Canada's west coast. Frances was the first woman to sail around the world without deception. Only two women are known to have sailed around the world before Frances. Jeanne Bare, disguised as a man, and Rose de Freycinet, wife of Louis de Freycinet, as a stowaway."

PLEASE NOTE THAT CAMPING FEES MUST BE PAID IN ADVANCE AND ARE AVAILABLE AT THE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE IN PORT ALBERNI - VISITOR CENTER.

 

Maritime Discovery Centre

Experience the rich maritime history of the Alberni Valley, Alberni Inlet, Barkley Sound and Vancouver Island's rugged west coast. Port Alberni's Maritime Discovery Centre is a unique maritime museum, situated on the waterfront adjacent to the city's deep-sea harbour. Constructed from an actual coastal lighthouse, the museum is dedicated to exhibiting and interpreting our fascinating cultural, environmental and industrial maritime history.
 
This attraction is a must see for all who visit the Alberni Valley. It is both an educational experience and a fun, hands-on experience for all ages. Sense the raw adventure, tales of heroism and moments of mystique, grandeur and romance that tell the story of our intriguing west coast.
 
Outside of the center as of 2017 is the 'Swan' an old steamship that traveled the waters of the Alberni Inlet and the nearby lakes for decades in the early 20th century. The Swan was laid to rest at the bottom of Sproat Lake in the mid 1950's because it had served its time. Some 40 years later some local people decided that enough was enough and they arranged to bring it back to the surface and back to life. An impressive piece of Alberni heritage! 

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