Haida Gwaii: What to see & do!
Chosen as one of National Geographic's 20 Best Trips 2015, the serenity and cultural richness of Haida Gwaii make it a one-of-a kind, unforgettable destination.
Located 770 km north of Vancouver, Haida Gwaii [meaning ‘Islands of the People’] is an archipelago of islands, offering pristine beaches, temperate rainforest, endless recreational opportunities such as fishing, kayaking and hiking, and a diverse array of wildlife and flora.
It’s also home to a number of indigenous sites. The local Haida people suffered terribly after Westerners arrived; however over the past couple of decades their culture has risen and can be found across the islands beyond the iconic totem poles.
For those looking at visiting this destination, here are a few of our must-see sights.
Haida village site of K’uuna Llnagaay [also known as Skedans]
K’uuna Llnagaay is outside the boundaries of Gwaii Haanas but it is within the Haida Heritage Site. It is one of the larger First Nation villages in the southern point of the islands that was abandoned in the 1880s near the end of the smallpox epidemic.
At one time, there were many totem poles in this village, but now they’re in varying states of deterioration with only several carved memorial and mortuary poles still standing. The heart of this, now derelict village is still evident, you can feel the spirit as you wander through it.
Golden Spruce Trail
The Golden Spruce Trail offers a gentle walk through the lush old-growth forests. This picturesque
winding track ends overlooking the Yakoun River. This site was the once home to the famous Golden Sitka Spruce. A rare tree that was renowned for its unique colour mutation. The tree was 50 metres tall and had golden colour needles. It was estimated to be approximately 300 years old when it was felled illegally in 1997 by a logging protester.
Haida Heritage Centre at Kaay Llagaay
This award-winning Aboriginal cultural experience is definitely worth visiting. Located on the site of the old Haida seaside village of Kaay Llnagaay, or "Sea Lion Town", this centre showcases the living culture of the Haida, which dates back to over 12,000 years.
The magnificent facility consists of five contemporary timber longhouses, with six monumental cedar totem poles carved by Haida artists. These houses are home to the Haida Gwaii Museum, temporary exhibition spaces, the Performing House, Canoe House, the Carving Shed, a gift shop and a small restaurant/cafe.
WANT TO EXPERIENCE HAIDA GWAII?
Experience Haida Gwaii on our new 2015 Haida Gwaii Cultural Escape
journey. To find out more or to enquire about a booking, please contact one of our experienced travel experts on AU: 1300 295 049 | NZ: 0800 238 368
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