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Queen Charlotte Islands - Simply Unforgettable

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By Suba Subramanium

 

Queen Charlotte Islands – how do I begin to describe these Islands?  - a dream, a mythical, illusive dream? – that should just about be the closest description.

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Queen Charlotte Islands, one of the most beautiful and diverse landscapes in the world, lie on the edge of the British Columbia Province of Canada and are nestled under the Alaska panhandle. The Islands are the ancestral home of the Haida - the West Coast Aboriginals who have lived here for thousands of years.

According to Haida legend, Haida Gwaii, as it is now known - is the place where time began. Haida Gwaii - islands of the people - has been home to the Haida people for at least 7,000 years.

Would you guess? there are 1,884 islands in the archipelago - snow-top mountains, fiords that plunge into the sea, mist-enshrouded forests, windswept sandy beaches, could you ask for more?

Langara, Graham, Moresby, Louise, Lyell, Burnaby, and Kunghit Island are the seven largest Islands and they rise as peaks of a submerged mountain chain, with the tallest peaks perpetually capped in snow.

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Sport fishing, hiking, camping, kayaking, boating, whale watching, beachcombing or just sightseeing there is something for every one and every thing for someone.

If Camping is your forte then you have the Naikoon Provincial Park in the north, and the remote Gwaii Haanas National Park in the south.

If canoeing and kayaking is your passion then the southeastern side of the Charlottes, rife with tiny islands, secluded coves, and lots of sheltered coastline, should be your destination. The entire cluster of islands has been circumnavigated by kayak, and is open to the seafaring explorer.

If it is Beachcombing for the heck of it, all you have to do is stand on the west coast of the Charlottes and lo and behold, nothing lies between you and Japan except the great expanse of the North Pacific Ocean. Currents from across the ocean kiss the shores of Haida Gwaii, washing up all kinds of interesting treasures.

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If it is whale watching you are hooked on, you are at the right place - no visit to the Queen Charlotte Islands will be complete without whale watching. Killer whales and Humpback Whales can also be seen on the surface, engaging in spy-hopping, flipper-flapping, tail-slapping, and breaching. Lo, what a sight!!!!!

The Queen Charlottes are rich in wildlife in the sky and sea, and on the ground. Blacktail deer, elk, beavers, raccoons, wild cows, black bears, river otters, bald eagles, falcons, jellyfish, starfish the list is long enough to impress any wildlife fan.

Have you made up your mind to visit the Queen Charlotte Islands? One thing I can promise you – you will never forget your visit.

 




 

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