In 1912, Telegraph Cove was a one room telegraph station and the northern terminus of a telegraph line that began in Campbell River and stretched from tree to tree along Vancouver Island's east coast. The father of community pioneer Fred Wastell purchased most of the land around the cove. Together with Japanese investors, he established a salmon saltery and a sawmill. Many of the buildings of the day were built over the water on stilts and connected by a boardwalk.
Today, Telegraph Cove's economy is based primarily on tourism. Telegraph Cove serves as the send-off point for kayakers and whale-watchers who are interested in sightings of the large number of Orca Whales that spend the summer months in the nearby Johnstone Strait, which separates the northern part of Vancouver Island from the rest of British Columbia. The old fishing village of Telegraph Cove has been turned into the Telegraph Cove Resort, where numerous small businesses head up operations that take tourists into the Johnstone Strait.
Telegraph Cove is located on the eastern coast of Northern Vancouver Island, 26 km (16 mi) south of Port McNeill, 200 km (125 mi) North of Campbell River via Highway 19.
Originally an old fishing village, the Telegraph Cove Resort is now home to a number of small businesses. The many unique cabins have kept their original charm from the past with the old "unimproved" look on the exterior but with modern decor on the interior. There is also the Resort campground, which is located a ten-minute stroll up the hill. There are two small creeks running along either side of the campground and a short trail through the woods leads to Bauza Cove.
Robson Bight (Michael Bigg) Ecological Reserve was established to provide a sanctuary for killer whales. The reserve protects key habitats for killer whales and prevents their harassment while at the same time providing unique opportunities for killer whale research. Robson Bight (Michael Bigg) Ecological Reserve also protects a pristine estuary and forested shorelines.
The Whale Interpretive Centre was founded in 2002 to increase public awareness about the biology of marine mammals and the anthropogenic threats facing their populations. The atmosphere of the Whale Interpretive Centre is informal and highly interactive. Visitors can view an invertebrate Aquarium, enjoy a "kids corner" of activities, view marine education videos and presentations and view articulated skeletons and other displays.
The fishing areas around Telegraph Cove are not only surrounded by spectacular scenery and sheltered waters, but also contain some of the most consistent salt water sports fishing on the BC coast. The waters are calm for the majority of the season.
If you're just interested in viewing the local scenery and wildlife from a boat, then the guides will be happy to cater to your needs. From Knight Inlet to Sointula, the guides will show you the sights and where to fish.
The waters around Telegraph Cove are full of killer whales during the summer. Book a whale-watching tour and see not only these fascinating and complex creatures, but bald eagles, otters, porpoises, and a score of other marine animals.
Maybe you want to spend a little more time on the water, even overnight on a deserted shore somewhere. Single or double kayak rentals and tours can be reserved for as little as a short half day trip up to a full length tour of 3 to 4 days paddling enjoyment.
Divers visiting the North Island will soon discover why the Pacific Northwest is rated as one of the best diving locations in the world. Temperate waters along with some of the strongest tidal influences have provided this area with its unique marine life. There are a couple of superb shore dives on the North Island, but to experience the full beauty of inner space northern style, one must get out with a charter boat and an experienced dive master.
Background Photo Credit: Destination British Columbia