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Travel Diary

Nimmo Bay, British Columbia, Canada

I’ve been busting to share my latest ‘Travel Diary’ with you from Nimmo Bay in Canada from when I visited last year. This is an exciting one, and I have been waiting a whole year!

I was asked by Qantas Magazine if I would like to go away on an assignment to photograph Nimmo Bay Wilderness Resort, hidden in the Great Bear Rainforest and the Broughton Archipelago of British Columbia, in Canada.

The location so remote it’s only accessible by seaplane or boat.

Remote? Seaplanes? Canada?  Count me in!

Above left: some of my essential travel bits / Above right: the view from the window seat.

So I packed my bits and made the 13.5 hour journey to Vancouver with writer Vanessa Fazzino, then boarded a smaller plane bound for military airport Port Hardy.

From there we squeezed into a robust seaplane, or as the Canadians like to call them –  ‘floatplane’ – onwards to Nimmo Bay.

Above left: looking below, a large boat dwarfed by the archipelago / Above right: the view from the seaplane.

Above left: the snaking rivers and low hanging clouds / Above right: the seaplane coming in for a landing.

Flying above the landscape in the old seaplane felt a bit like something from a film.

Flying high and then low, around the mountain ranges, as we followed the bends of the snaking rivers and pine tree fringed lakes below, with the constant sound of the small planes single engine buzzing.

Above: the incoming vista to wilderness lodge Nimmo Bay from the seaplane.

This was the very first glimpse of Nimmo Bay which greeted us as we gently skimmed across the water to land in the seaplane.

The timber cabin second from the right would be where I would call home for the next three nights, floating on the water – literally, rising and falling with the tide.

Above left: the outdoor floating dock lounge room, complete with chandelier and waterproof Chesterfield sofas / Above right: kayaks line the floating dock ready for adventure.

I’m always one for a great interior and one of my favourite aspects to Nimmo Bay was the floating dock.

The floating dock is where guests gather for breakfasts and dinners on communal tables. It’s an indoor / outdoor experience.

There are chesterfield sofas upholstered in oilcloth to keep them dry from the elements (clever), chandeliers hang from the exposed timber rafters and there are lots of classic red and black buffalo plaid blankets to keep you warm from the cold winds which come off the water.

Above left: looking in on the dining room on the floating dock / Above right: the communal dining table where guests gather.

Above: the Adirondack chairs around the fire on the floating dock

The major drawcard here is nature. If you want to dive into nature then Nimmo Bay is for you.

Glaciers, waterfalls, rivers, fjords ( I didn’t even know what they were), heli-fishing,  grizzly bears, orcas, seals, dolphins, humpback whales, the list goes on.

This pocket of British Columbia is abundant with nature, so if you want to be outnumbered by the animals, then this is your homeland.

Above left: the Adirondack chairs around the fire on the floating dock/ Above right: cocktails on the floating dock.

Above: the vista from the wooden cabins down to the floating dock and restaurant of Nimmo Bay

Above left: the view on dusk out over the Mackenzie Sound / Above right: a guest about to jump into the pristine water of Nimmo Bay.

Above left: the Adirondack chairs around the fire on the floating dock/ Above right: a dessert made by pastry chef Rachel.

The lodge receives two drops of food each week, other than that everything else is gathered wild from either the woods or the sea, which I absolutely loved.

Above left: the smooth river pebble/ Above right: the lanterns on dusk acting as beacons on the floating dock.

Above: the Adirondack chairs around a roaring fire on the floating dock. This woman made the best fires!

Each evening I would look forward to sitting by the outdoor fire in the night air on the timber Adirondack chairs.

With a sheepskin throw warmed by the fire, I would watch the stars dance across the northern sky and the sap from the firewood spark and think about all the incredible things I had seen that day, until about 8.30pm when the jet lagged Australians would have to head off to bed.

Above left: a sheepskin being heated by a guest on the floating dock/ Above right: the fire roaring.

Above: pine tree lined Mackenzie Sound.

Above left: me, photographing from a zodiac looking for orcas and whales/ Above right: from the air in a helicopter, photographing milky coloured glaciers.

Every mode of transport is utilised to get very close to nature here; helicopter, zodiacs, kayaks, paddle boards.

Whatever it takes to be able to admire the unspoilt ecosystem. We landed on glaciers and flew up to waterfalls in the helicopter, followed humpback whales and visited colonies of seals in the zodiac within the archipelago.

Above left: the lush rainforest of the region/ Above right: a friendly Nimmo Bay wilderness guide.

Above left: bear signs remind you at each turn the forest is alive with bears/ Above middle: a guest heading off to go heli-fishing / Above right: the heated boot room, filled with every size hiking boot

Above: the autumnal colours of the sunset drenched shoreline of  Nimmo Bay

Above left: details around the lodge/ Above right: Rachel, the resident talented pastry chef.

Above left: the day spa within the treetops/ Above middle: the hot tub perched by a nearby waterfall within the lodge/ Above right: the view off the veranda of the luxury wooden cabins.

Everything was so considered and thought out at Nimmo Bay, I suppose you have to be like this when you are so remote.

It was here I learnt about negative ions – and how they change your mood.

Everyone was like – ‘Kara, you have to try the waterfall’, and I was like, what do you mean, try the waterfall?

‘Try it for the negative ions? ‘ The what? You Canadians are crazy!

Turns out, negative ions have a positive effect on the human body, basically you feel better when water is breaking on your body – in the surf, in the shower or under a waterfall. I’m now all about the negative ions.


Above left: a waterfall as seen from above in a helicopter / Above right: interior details of the day spa within the treetops

Above: Mackenzie Sound on dusk

Above left: Conservationist Adrien Mullin, one of Nimmo Bays talented and knowledgable guides out on the water/ Above right: the pristine landscape of the region

Above left: Adrien Mullins, conservationist/ Above right: cheeky dolphin out in the waters.

One of the best days out on the ocean was when conservationist Adrien Mullins took us out to spot wildlife on the waters. Orcas, humpbacks and colonies of seals clustered over rocks.

What impressed me the most was that each person at Nimmo Bay was so knowledgeable in their field and so very generous.

Above left: a Black Bear in the wild eating mussels and crustaceans/ Above right: a forceful waterfall

Above left: a bloom of jellyfish / Above right: Mackenzie Sound on daybreak

Above left: textures of seaweed and crustaceans/ Above right: Adrien Mullin and our zodiac, moored on an island

Above left: colony of seals on the rocks/ Above right: the beautiful waterways of the area

So, after our whirlwind four days, we climbed back in the seaplane and said farewell to the pristine landscape of Nimmo Bay and the Great Bear Rainforest.

I felt so energised by what I had seen and experienced, or maybe it really was the ions in the water, either way I still feel so incredibly lucky to have experienced and photographed this secluded paradise in British Columbia, overflowing with sacred nature.

If you would like to read the story from Qantas Magazine, click here for the digital version.

K x



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8 Comments to “Nimmo Bay, British Columbia, Canada”

  1. What an adventure Kara! You really have the best working life!

    Good places to eat in Newcastle:
    Lemon crumble ‘Ground Floor’ 103 Hunter st (CBD -such as it is!)
    Smashed avo & scrambled eggs on sourdough toast ‘Talulah’ 52 Glebe Rd The Junction

  2. Loved your photos Kara, very inspirational, what an amazing trip! So much to see and do. Negative ions work for me with my morning swim, sets me up for the day!

  3. Once again Stunning photography capturing the most beautiful shots of nature and life in these special places…. a beautiful blog Kara…definitely on the bucket list to travel here in the near future X

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