broken island group kayaking

Sea Kayak Nootka Island and Nuchatlitz

Nootka Island and Nuchatlitz

6 days of Paddling

water taxi

$1100 + gst

Nootka Island is a sea kayakers’ paradise on the remote west coast of Vancouver Island.

The rugged coastline is broken up by hidden coves and stretches of sandy beach which make for ideal camping.

Intertidal life is plentiful and there is lots of opportunity for land exploration in the lush rainforest.  Sea otters are always a highlight and black bears sightings are common.

This is one of the more remote, less traveled west coast paddling destinations.


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No kayaking experience is required, although we do insist that you know how to swim, have a good fitness level and a good sense of adventure.

All kayaking and safety equipment is provided, including dry bags. We take along 6 to 8 single kayaks: Necky Teslas, Current Designs Solstive GTs, Arluk IIIs, Arluk IVs and Nimbus Telkwas and 2 or 3 double kayaks – Passats, Skanas, Tofinos and take turns in a variety of boats.

Our maximum group size is 12, including guides, often group size is smaller.

We paddle approximately 4-5 hours each day, leaving plenty of time for hiking in the woods, or just relaxing on the beach. Weather and sea conditions will ultimately determine our route.

The area offers some protected paddling between rocky islets as well as the opportunity, weather permitting, for paddlers to get a taste of the exposed west coast and ocean swells generated by the Pacific Ocean (This trip isn’t a good first choice if you have troubles with motion sickness, as it is generally more exposed than our other destinations). Our first day can be challenging, as strong headwinds can blow down Esperanza Inlet as we paddle out.

Our Nootka trips have water taxi transport at one end, to minimize inlet paddling and maximize the area we can cover.

For those interested in developing or improving their kayaking skills, our guides are always happy to provide paddling tips, practice rescues, or discuss the art of navigation.


Water Taxi to Nootka with Kayaks

We rendezvous early on day one of your trip in ZEBALLOS – approximately 5 hours (including one hour drive along a logging road) or 200 miles north of Nanaimo.

People are responsible for getting themselves to ZEBALLOS the night before (e.g., to join July 15th trip, arrive in Zeballos on the 14th). We can help arrange car pooling.

There is a campground here where you can spend the night, or we can recommend lodgings.

Breakfast is served early at Mason’s Motor Lodge, and that’s where our rendezvous will be. We head out early the first morning.

We typically break camp four out of our six paddling days. On all trips our travels will take us through Esperanza Inlet, to Nootka Island and, weather permitting, to Nuchatlitz Inlet.

Weather permitting, we plan to arrive back in Zeballos around noon on the sixth day, in time for people to catch ferries out of Nanaimo returning to Vancouver.

The order of your trip won’t be set until closer to the tour, but will run in one of two ways:

Kayak Start: Launch kayaks just outside Zeballos on day one, and take a water taxi home on day 6. The water taxi shuttle (often 2 trips) is early on the final morning, allowing you time to connect with ferries to Vancouver. There is an early morning paddle option on day 6.

Water Taxi Start: Some trips start with the water taxi at the front end. The water taxi shuttles out into the Nuchatlitz, on day one, where your kayaks & guides are waiting, and on day 6 the group paddles back to Zeballos.


Meals on Nootka

We have found from past experience that the most economical, fun, and greatest variety of meals comes from when the food effort is shared (this also keeps our guides fresh!). Each person is responsible for the purchase and preparation of a share of group meals (typically two or three meals depending on group size).

We organize the meal schedule and can forward you some suggestions about what keeps and packs well if you wish.

Reserve your Nootka Adventure

4 + 13 =

A $200 non-refundable deposit reserves a space. Full payment due 60 days before trip start.  If you cancel, you’ll get your balance back unless it is 14 or fewer days before trip start, in which case we’ll refund you 50%.

Payments can be made by e-transfer or cheque.
Send email transfer to

Cheques can be made out to Gabriola Sea Kayaking.  Send them to our Winter Office in Nanaimo – 1950 Bay St. Nanaimo BC V9T 3A5.

If these don’t work and you need to pay by Paypal or credit card, let us know.

Price Includes

  • Boat transport to or from the Nuchatlitz
  • All kayaking equipment
  • Cooking equipment
  • Two guides/outfitters
  • Dry bags (one 20 litre bag per person)

Your guides will be using nautical chart  #3676 (or if you’re borrowing a chart or using your own old one, discontinued chart #3663 also covers our route) available for roughly C$20.

Please visit  the Canadian Hydrographic Service website to find a location near you to purchase your chart if you would like to bring one along.

Does Not Include

  • Transportation to and from Zeballos
  • We share meal purchase & preparation
    (meals from lunch day 1 to breakfast on the final day)
  • Accommodations Zeballos the night before trip start (camping is almost always free)
  • Tents (rentals available for $45 if you reserve well in advance)
  • Sleeping bag & camping mat
  • Your travel insurance for evacuation costs in the event of an emergency. Although really unlikely, we highly reccommend purchasing travel insurance. You will be billed for water taxi/helicopter or other transport costs.