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“Orcas and more Orcas”

Wildcoast Adventures - Day Tours
Ranked #1 of 8 Tours in Quadra Island
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Providing quality guided kayak tours from Quadra Island, BC. Join our comfortable Orca Base Camp tour in Johnstone Strait, next to Robson Bight Michael Biggs Ecological Reserve. Kayak in waters where Killer Whales play! Spacious Safari tents & cots, close enough to hear the blows of the Orca! Or experience the un-ending channels and wilderness of Desolation Sound, the Discovery Islands, or the Coastal Inlets on an expedition! Rentals and day tours also available daily at our location
Reviewed 10 September 2015 via mobile

What a great trip with great people and guides. It certainly exceeded my expectations!

We had helpful, fun guides that remained focussed and calm when needed. They are fabulous cooks and saw to our every need.

We had 11 people literally coming together from around the world and without a doubt we could not have had a better group of people. We immediately bonded, laughed, joked, and learned about reach other. I feel as though I have made friends for life - whether teasing each other about dancing or sea cucumbers we all got along famously without any issues.

This is certainly more camping than glamping but in hindsight what else could it have been. It was safe, catered, a cold sink for washing, a hot shower and the tents were dry - what else do you need? Oh yeah - Orcas!

Everyday, multiple times a day we saw these magnificent beings. For me, it was a truly spiritual experience. Whether hearing the blow or seeing the grace that they move with I found I never had a dry eye when they were near.

Damon was fabulous, fun and helpful when setting everything up for me - no complaints at all.

Wanting to reunite with 9 strangers in 2 years says exact,y how much fun we all had!

Dorsal fin UP!!

2  Thank Rhonda C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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44 - 48 of 128 reviews

Reviewed 10 September 2015

Taking a trip with Wildcoast is a "have to do" if you are on Quadra Island and like nature and adventure. You get an awesome kayak tour (possible even if you have no experience just like me) with amazing wildlife/landscape, camping in the wild (but delicious meals) and a possibility to meet new interesting people. The guides were great and all equipment is provided (so nothing to care about). I had a wonderful week and memories will last a lifetime. Thank you Wildcoast-Team!

Thank Iris J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 September 2015

Wildcoast Orca Camp was a trip of a lifetime! We did the five day, four night Orca Camp and from start to finish it was a trip I will never forget. The guides, Clay, Julie and Nolan (aka McNolan) were fantastic. They went above and beyond to make sure we had a wonderful trip and I could not have asked for better guides to take care of us. The guides cooked amazing food for us every day, they took us out in the kayaks on explorations daily. We had nightly fires and the beach sauna was a treat after a cool day on the water.

We saw Oracs daily as they swam by the beach where we were staying and the experience of being there with the Orcas so close by was magical in every way. At night you could hear the Orcas as they came up for air as they passed by camp it was so peaceful! Orcas were not all we saw we also saw dolpins, seals, sea lions, sea otters, mink, starfish, sea urchin, eagles, king fisher, ravens, sea gulls, shore birds, salmon, and so much more. On one of our kayak excursions we were even given a beautiful salmon that a fisherman had caught and our guides cooked it up for usto eat.

The group of 11 of us at Orca Camp got along so well, we laughed, joked, picked on each other and had a marvelous time together. We came from various parts of the world, some close by and some far away but we came together and shared this amazing experience together and it has bonded us for a long time to come! We will hopefully come back together in two years for another amazing time together.

This trip is a camping trip you are in tents, sleeping on cots in sleeping bags, it does get cool at night, you have to watch what you leave out for food so mice do not take off with it. However it is camping in the wild and remember that and you have a hot shower, your food cooked for you, a fire to warm by what more could you want. You are in the wilds of British Columbia enjoy your trip and have an amazing adventure as I did! Wildcoast and its guides did an amazing job at making my once in a lifetrime trip a reality! Thank you all so very much also to the group who was with us! Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

2  Thank Dannielle S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 September 2015

I booked the 7 day premium tour on a last minute promo without much research between companies. It had enough reviews for me to commit, with my primary purpose being to see the orca whales. From a business standpoint, my payment and travel/medical insurance paperwork was collected in a very timely and efficient manner, however I feel like this company could make some improvements in communication and customer service, given that it is marketed and advertised as a 5 star tour in partnership with Gowlland Harbour Resort. The resort is partly managed by one of Wildcoast owners, and is one of many options in the area to stay before and after kayaking depending on what you are looking for. The wildlife tour on the second day was also run by an independent tour operator, and in hindsight I would have preferred to independently choose from my options given that it was not a tour that Wildcoast offers or specializes in. Leading up to the tour, I was a also disappointed because I made a few phone calls looking for more information about the equipment provided, and general tourist information in the area, however the phone calls were not returned. On arrival at Gowlland I was also very surprised not to be greeted by anyone from the company to welcome me, or offer any additional help. On the third day, a hired water taxi picked up the group of 7 to travel 2.5 hours to camp. On arrival, we were introduced to camp. The safari tents were not as glamorous as I had anticipated or have seen in other jungle areas. There was no mosquito netting, and the beds were raised up on folding, small stainless steel cots with a camping pad and sleeping bag. At night rats could get in the tent if you left tissue or food in it. The tents did offer protection from the rain, were on raised platforms and big enough to comfortably walk around in. The bathroom was a drop toilet, up on a hill above the tenting area. They were self composting but like most you could smell the foul odour as you approached the top of the hill. The outdoor shower was very warm and the guides worked hard one evening to offer us a hot sauna using tarps, hot rocks and water from cedar brush to create the steam. The kitchen facilities were very nice and spacious and the food, partially prepared by Gowlland Harbour Resort was of top quality, the kind for which it is known for. The camp itself was ideally located next to the protected Robson Bight Ecological Reserve where the resident orcas frequent during summer months, across from the research station and other kayaking campsites. This area of Johnston Strait was ideally located to see the orcas on a few different occasions. We saw them many times including one night at sunset for a good part of the hour. This was magical, the highlight for me, more so than the kayaking experience itself. Kayaking was offered each night at sunset, and between approximately 9:00-2:30 daily. For me the day was long, because of the wide range of abilities and pace at which we could move along the coast to see things. I also felt like the guides on this tour had limited experience. They were very friendly sometimes joining the group at meals, and think they had the technical skills to manage the group safely. However, the guides in only their first or second season with this tour company , and non residents of Canada or British Columbia had limited local, native and interpretive knowledge of the area from an ecolgoical, historical, biological and geological point of view. As a tourist in the greater West Coast area, I expected them to have this kind of specialist knowledge given the ecolgoical nature of the tour and my experience with other tour operators on the ocean in this area. From a safety perspective, I assume there is a minimum certification required, but am not sure what they are. In the end I was very happy to have observed the orca whales, however in the future I would be doing a lot more research and asking a lot more questions about the technical, local and academic expertise from any tour operator.

1  Thank Lee-Ann H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Damon S, Manager at Wildcoast Adventures - Day Tours, responded to this reviewResponded 10 September 2015

Hi Lee-Ann,
Thanks for your review highlighting both the areas you thought we excelled as well as those you would have liked to see handled differently. Based on your feedback we think our 4-day Orca Camp option (whereby you book your own additional accommodations and activities) would have suited your style of travel better.

We apologize for any calls that may not have been returned as our policy is to get back to any inquiries within 24 hours even during the busiest parts of our season.

Regarding the concerns about camp, we assure you that there are no rats in the area of our basecamp. Our guides advise all guests not to leave food or other attractants in their tents to avoid being visited by other critters in the area including mice. We provide secure food storage at camp to ensure that guests do not encounter this issue - it is the wild after all. Within the outdoor adventure industry guides work seasonally throughout the world and from the many applications we receive each year, we hire the most qualified from all corners of the globe. Each hold certifications and training in sea kayaking, rescue, weather, wilderness first aid, local ecology, native history and have several years guiding in multiple wilderness fields. By employing a mix of cultures we aim to meet the needs of our many guests who also come from all corners of the globe.

Finally, we are glad you were fortunate to see so many Orcas while at Orca Camp and hope that all of your future travels provide amazing experiences like this.

Damon, Val and the entire team at Wildcoast

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 September 2015

I started my trip with a night (including dinner) a Gowlland Harbour Resort - likely the best food I have ever eaten - everyone was friendly and helpful - the room was comfortable with that touch of luxury... and the grounds - outstanding!

At Orca Camp we were hosted by Clay, Bender and Josh - amazing guides with endless patience and humor and very knowledgeable.... and they took such good care of us!!. Every detail considered - the things that really make a trip great.

We saw orca, seals, porpoises, even a little black bear!! I had planned this to be the trip of a lifetime - but it may just be the 1st trip to Orca camp of many - Thanks to everyone!!

Robin

Thank Robin L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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