Winter Harbour is small community located on the uppermost tip of Vancouver Island. The village original name was ‘Queenstown’, and was deeded back in 1891. The name Winter Harbour was name that was given to the general area due to its sheltered harbour that gave refuge to passing ships. The name changed formally in the 1940’s. Houses along the waterfront are connected by a long wooden boardwalk, which lends to the village’s quaintness.
Quatsino Sound, the most northern of 5 major sounds on the west coast, is a vast expansive waterway that cuts deep into the tip of the Island. Supporting the five communities of Winter Harbour, Quatsino Village, Port Alice, Holberg and Coal Harbour with protected waterways, the Sound also offers many natural wonders. Quatsino Formation limestone deposits host many of the Island’s most magnificent underground caves. Of Vancouver Island’s 1,050 known caves, most of them are located in the Quatsino Sound.
Winter Harbour is located within boating distance to 3 of the Island’s Provincial Parks, Quatsino Provincial Park, Lawn Point Provincial Park, and Raft Cove Provincial Marine Park, which preserve the truly magnificent areas of coastal Vancouver Island. One can experience a hike through endangered old-growth rain forests or explore the abundant marine life of the inter-tidal beaches. There are hidden inlets and river estuaries ideal for eagle viewing. There are abundant opportunities to get close to a plethora of marine life within the Sound. Sea lions, otters, eagles, orcas and grey whales frequent the area, giving both professional and amateur photographers plenty of photo prospects.