Sointula - Place of Harmony on Malcolm IslandAlthough Farewell Harbour Lodge has become known for our signature wildlife viewing program, we also offer a variety of other activities for our guests. One of the activities we offer is a day excursion to Malcolm Island about 30 minutes away from Farewell Harbour.
Besides being a beautiful island with many special spots for nature lovers, Malcolm Island has a fascinating connection to Finnish culture. In the early 1900s many Fins had emigrated to Canada to work in the coal mines on central Vancouver Island. It was dirty and dangerous work. A group of these early settlers came together to plan a Finnish colony where they could live a healthier life, engaged in fishing, farming and forestry. They formed a community corporation with a large crown land grant and settled into their new commune in present day Sointula in 1901.
Alas, the visions of Utopia dissolved amid financial difficulties and a variety of other setbacks. Despite the setbacks and the dissolution of the community corporation, a number of determined Fins remained and continued to call Sointula home as they engaged primarily in fishing and forestry.
Today, Sointula is small, quaint fishing village with a population of just over 500 people, while the rest of the island remains largely wild and heavily forested.
Farewell Harbour Lodge offers full day excursions to Malcolm Island. We take guests about 25 minutes from the lodge to the small outpost of Mitchell Bay on the south end of Malcolm Island. Along they way we are quite likely to get side tracked by Humpback whales who actively feed just off Donegal Head on the very southern tip of Malcolm. Once we dock at Mitchell Bay, we’ll jump in our 4x4 off road vehicle and take the gravel road for 30 minutes into Sointula.
From there we have a variety of options for guests to choose from including the options below:
- We can take a leisurely stroll through town and chat with the friendly locals before visiting the fascination pioneer museum, followed by a mug of coffee or hot chocolate at the local cafe Coho Joe's.
- We can head out to Bere Point Regional Park where we can walk the beautiful beaches which offer spectacular views of the Coast Mountain Range whilst keeping an eye out for Northern Resident Orca who are sometimes seen rubbing on the steep sided, pebble beaches - one of only a few spots in the world where this behaviour is known to occur.
- We can head out to Pulteney Point Lighthouse. Pulteney Point on Malcolm Island’s northern tip was named in 1846 for Admiral Pulteney Malcolm, a British Naval Officer. The lighthouse itself began operation in 1905. Parks Canada has designated it as a heritage lighthouse because of its historical, architectural and community values. The scenic beaches around the lighthouse make for great beachcombing!
- Learn about the incredible bog ecosystem on the Mateoja Heritage Trail hike
- By special request, it may be possible to do some pug viewing with Matt and Keshia Preston. Matt and Keshia were long time staff at Farewell Harbour and now live in Sointula with their two pugs, Rhubarb and Otis. Ruby and Otis were always big hits at Farewell Harbour. We now have to travel further afield to get our pug fix. Matt and Keshia are also very knowledgeable about all things Malcolm Island.
This tour is a perfect opportunity to experience a place that epitomizes the word ‘bucolic’ - Sointula and Malcolm Island offer an authentic slice of British Columbia coastal life which combines nature, pioneer history, friendly people and beautiful scenery. And the Humpback whales we see to and from the island are a bonus!
-- By Tim McGrady
Past Blog Posts
Jun 13, 2022
Forest FungiForest Fungi are an important part in any forest ecosystem. Read more about how they reproduce, recycle nutrients, and work in symbiosis with others!
Apr 23, 2022
Staff Highlight: Daryl DancerFind out more about one of our most experienced guides, Daryl Dancer, from her love of sailing to her passion for Grizzly bears, she's got it all.
Mar 25, 2022
Sea Otter Success StoryDiscover more about the turbulent history of sea otters in British Columbian waters.
Mar 10, 2022
Wild Pacific Salmon EcologyFind out more about Pacific wild salmon. This post covers their diverse, intriguing ecology and why they're so important for our ecosystem!
Feb 20, 2022
How Hammerhead Got a NameFind out how the humpback whale, Hammerhead, got named! This is one of our favourite stories to tell at Farewell Harbour Lodge.
Feb 1, 2022
Tomato Basil SoupCheck out Chef Dylan's recipe for his delicious homemade tomato basil soup!
Jan 14, 2022
Rainforest EcologyJoin us on an imaginary journey into the Great Bear Rainforest, and maybe along the way you'll learn some ecology!
Jan 3, 2022
Reflecting on 2021Winter is the time of year when we reflect on the past before looking ahead.
Dec 13, 2021
Winter at Farewell Harbour LodgeMeet Cecil and Marisa, our winter caretakers, and get a glimpse into their winter life at Farewell Harbour Lodge.
May 1, 2021
Wildlife Guide - BearsWe put together a quick, easy guide to help you better understand what to expect when you go bear viewing with Farewell Harbour Lodge!
Apr 24, 2021
Farewell Kitchen - Paul's CioppinoWe uncovered a recipe from the past and had to share it with you! Enjoy with a crisp white wine in the sunshine!
Apr 19, 2021
Top Tips for Photography at Farewell HarbourWe are lucky to have some very talented friends, who also happen to be professional photographers! We asked them for some of their top tips!
Apr 10, 2021
Wildlife Guide - WhalesFind out more about whale watching in the Broughton Archipelago, from what you should bring with you to the best time of year to visit!
Mar 24, 2021
The Rest of the StoryThere are many stories that came together for Farewell Harbour Lodge to be where it is now. Ryne Brockway, co-owner and friend, tells us his.
Mar 11, 2021
Sweet Potato CookiesChef Robyn's easy and delicious sweet potato cookie recipe! Perfect for a boost of energy when out on the trails or just need a little pick me up.
Mar 2, 2021
Staying Jung on Berry IslandHave you ever taken a personality test? We talk about how MBTI is used to create better working relationships and strong connections.
Feb 25, 2021
Engage all your sensesThere are many ways in which we find escape. We look at how engaging all of your senses can help to switch off the outside pressures in a more mindful way.
Feb 11, 2021
A Love StoryTim tells us a Valentines Day story of how he and Kelli met and fell in love on this wild west coast.
Feb 2, 2021
The Forest Floor with MarlieOur rainforests are home to so much life! One of our guides, Marlie, helps us to notice the smaller things that are vital to its survival.
Jan 27, 2021
Going, going, SCONE!One of our guests' all time favourites! We get asked for this recipe more than any other, so here it is to enjoy from home.
Jan 17, 2021
A different perspectiveA wonderful way to see more of the vast landscape is by air! Read about one morning we took to the skies and experienced everything from mountain tops to sandy beaches.
Dec 21, 2020
Sea Kayaking with BeccaOne of our kayak guides, Becca, tells us why this is her favourite way to get even closer to nature and experience the Broughton Archipelago at its best.
Dec 18, 2020
Sointula - Place of Harmony on Malcolm IslandThings to do in Sointula! Full day excursions to Sointula and Malcolm Island. Pioneer history, whale rubbing beaches, historic lighthouse and more!
Nov 1, 2020
Differences between black bears and grizzliesA few things to look out for when bear viewing with our guides at Farewell Harbour. We look at some of the main differences between black bears and grizzlies.