sointula & malcolm Island
Not far from Farewell Harbour Lodge lies Malcolm Island, a heavily forested and largely uninhabited 24km long, 28,000 acre island in Queen Charlotte Strait. In addition to its its long Indigenous history, Malcolm Island has a more recent, yet very fascinating pioneer history as the site of a small Utopian Finnish community called Sointula or Place of Harmony in Finnish.
Aside from the quaint seaside village of Sointula and the smaller outpost at Mitchell Bay, Malcolm Island is beautifully forested and boasts some spectacular outer beaches that give out towards Queen Charlotte Strait and the awe-inspiring Coast Mountain Range along the BC mainland. It is on one of these beaches that the Northern Resident Orca are known to rub their bodies on the smooth pebbles, a unique behaviour seen at nearby Robson Bight but not seen anywhere else in the world.
Farewell Harbour Lodge offers full day excursions to Malcolm Island where we hike out to the rubbing beaches for some beach combing and coastal exploration. We may even get lucky with the occasional Orca or Humpback whale sightings. We can also take in the small village of Sointula and learn about the intriguing history of its turn-of-the-century Utopian roots and its charismatic yet conflicted leader. The Finnish culture still exists today on the island - one can see this in the signage and if you listen carefully while exploring the village. Depending on the day of visitation and guests' interests, we may also take in the Sointula Museum, which speaks of the long and varied resource history of the early island pioneers. We can also take in an active lighthouse station at Pulteney Point. For guests who may be interested, we can make appointments to visit some of the local crafts and artisan studios that dot the island.
We depart the lodge at 8am and travel 30 minutes to Mitchell Bay on Malcolm Island where we climb into our 4 wheel drive vehicle to explore the island. This tour has many options that can be tailored to individual guests' needs and can include a wide range of activities from hiking to beachcombing, to art studio visits, to museum visits and much more. Discuss with our manager to customize your tour. We spend the day on the island before returning to the lodge about 4.30pm.