North Island Explorer

3 Day Photography Tour on Northern Vancouver Island

Detailed Information for Day 1

Detailed Information for Day 3

Day 2:

Enjoy a hearty cooked or continental breakfast this morning with your hosts before starting a full day of discovery. We depart Port McNeill around 9:00am and head north on the main highway.

black bear

We may make a few brief stops along the way to photograph wildlife and scenery, if time permits. Turning off the main highway and leaving the paved road behind, we enter the heart of Northern Vancouver Island. We will pass natural lakes, stunning rainforest, "unique" west coast sights, and if we're lucky a black bear or two. There will be plenty of photo opportunities along the way. We pass through the town of Holberg, which was named after a distinguished Danish historian and dramatist - Baron Ludwig Holberg.

ronnings garden

Once boasting the site of the world's largest floating logging camp, Holberg is now home to 200 land based residents. From Holberg we drive directly to the historic Ronning's Garden. We will spend some time here to enjoy the many unique and exotic plants that Bernt Ronning planted here, after clearing 5 acres of rainforest to make way for his garden. Originating from Norway, Bernt Ronning established his homestead here in 1910, and his garden is best known for the the two monkey puzzle trees at the entrance to the house site. A native of Chile, these trees are among the oldest and largest monkey puzzle trees in British Columbia. We will have lunch at Ronning's Garden - picnic style (weather permitting). After lunch we continue our journey, and put on our hiking boots.

Raft Cove is accessed by a 30-40 minute walking trail which is suitable for most fitness levels. You will be well rewarded for your efforts as we exit onto the beach of Raft Cove. (Note: if there has been substantial rain fall in the area in the days prior to our tour, we may opt to go to an alternate beach).

tidal wave

Here, tide permitting, you will see an abundance of diverse marine life such as starfish, crabs, and sea anemones, that have been caught in rocky hollows where pools of water have collected as the tide ebbs. The crashing waves against the outer perimetre of the rocks, form a dramatic backdrop for these calm tide pools.

We will spend some time here to enjoy the rugged beauty of the west coast, before heading back out on the same track. If you still have a yen for more, after our visit to Raft Cove, a short drive will bring us to the end of the road. With an easy 2 minute (100 metre) walk, we will find ourselves on an open pebbly beach. We may be lucky to see Grey Whales far out at sea, making their extraordinary migration to or from Alaska. Their journey begun in the protected lagoons off the Baja Peninsula in Mexico. We return you to your Port McNeill accommodation around 6:00pm. Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Detailed Information for Day 1

Detailed Information for Day 3

Day 4:

Enjoy a full breakfast again this morning, then check out of your room.


North Island Explorer - Round up:

  • Daily Departures: From Port McNeill at times stated.
  • Includes: Transfers from anywhere within Port McNeill (outside Port McNeill transfers can be arranged)
  • Transportation (by boat or vehicle)
  • Accommodation: Bed & Breakfast - 3 nights
  • Entrance fees
  • Photography workshop
  • Meals as indicated - no dinners are included.


The North Island Explorer tour may not operate in the daily order as stated above. We reserve the right to adjust the order of activities subject to weather forecasts, tides, and water conditions. We reserve the right to cancel tours due to bad or stormy weather.


To reserve space on this tour, please contact us.

A 50% deposit is required to hold this booking, with the balance due 14 days prior to departure. Cancellations are accepted up to 8 days prior to departure of the tour, however a $100.00 cancellation fee applies.

Other Photography Workshops:

Kiwiana - New Zealand:
On this 17 day organized photo tour, we will circumnavigate the South Island of New Zealand. Our mission .. is to photograph stunning scenic vistas, rugged coastlines, and discover this land of diverse cultures, and artistic landscapes. Join us on a trip down-under to Aotearoa - land of the long white cloud.

Sunset, Wildlife and Islands:
A 4-5 hour workshop, putting you in the action for a fabulous sunset shot with naturally beautiful landscape and wildlife as the backdrop. In the late afternoon other tours are returning from their day out, leaving the waters peaceful, and more or less to ourselves.

West Coast Discovery:
With so much to see and do on Northern Vancouver Island, this photography workshop allows you to maximize your experience by combining a full day of photography with the splendid sights of the west coast. You will travel from lush rainforest, past inland lakes to pebbly beaches. Most often we pass a wide variety of wildlife along the way, and black bears are seen on almost every trip.

Hidden Secrets:
Allow us to take you where no photographer has been before. Port McNeill is fringed by old lush rainforests and the sparkling waters of the Broughton Strait. Over the years Rolf has discovered many of this area's nearby hidden secrets and the photo opportunities abound with different techniques put to use.

Aurora Borealis - Alaska's Brooks Range:
During this 8 day tour you will be stunned by the magnificient arctic scenery and wildlife of the Brooks Range of Alaska. Evenings will be spent photographing the mystical veils of dancing lights known as the aurora borealis. The days will be spent scouting locations and photographing the incredible scenery of this arctic wonderland.

Kiwiana - New Zealand:
Booked till end of 2008 - no new dates set yet!

Footsteps of Vikings - Newfoundland & Labrador:
Please inquire... contact us for details

Aurora Borealis Gold Rush from Dawson City:
Please us for details

Bald Eagles of Brackendale:
Please us for details

Customized Tours:
We are also able to provide customized tours. Please contact us for details

Tourism Info

Links to Photography Workshops