My planes were like Russian stacking dolls – slowly getting smaller and smaller as I made my way closer and closer to Nimmo Bay and the Great Bear Rainforest in British Columbia Canada. The third and final plane was the smallest, so small that only 9 people could fit in it. Everything and everyone had to be weighed, earplugs were provided, and one person had to sit in front next to the pilot.
Excitement swept over me as I got my first view of the fiords from above. We flew out of the bay and started over the inlets of this remote region. Hills were covered in pine trees looking like a beautiful world of triangular shapes stacked upon each other from my vantage point.
I could see them out my window as we maneuvered our way to the dock – the welcoming committee from Nimmo Bay Resort. It was sort of like landing on Fantasy Island, but less tux, and more fleece. They helped us out onto the floating dock with people bustling around unloading the plane. Fraser extended his hand and introduced himself and welcomed us to Nimo Bay Resort. He could have been a young, modern, outdoorsy version of Mr. Roarke I muse to myself as he tells me about the resort and his family’s history in starting it and building it to one of the top 10 Eco Resorts in the World.
The are no roads in this part of the southern Great Bear Rainforest so the only way in is boat, float plane, or helicopter. This remoteness of the location was the first thing that drew me in. I turned off my cell phone, there really was no need for that here. This was a real vacation.
That first night I sat in the hot tub sipping wine and enjoying the sound of the waterfall in front of me. I closed my eyes and imagined all of the stress oozing out of me in little droplets of sweat forming on my forehead – by wiping my brow I was in essence wiping away the stress. Life was pure and good. The waterfall is the centerpiece of the ecolodge. It provides all the water for the resort as well as the power that lights the buildings. And considering we are in a temperate rainforest – there’s plenty of water to keep the lights on.
After morning yoga, I could smell maple syrup wafting through the air; I practically skipped along the floating walkway from my cabin to the lodge. The sound of the waterfall is always present – varying in sound and strength depending on what has happened miles away in the rain forest. This morning it was roaring after a night of rain. I went past the helicopter pads and watched the pilots get ready for the day, but eventually the maple smell pulled me into the floating lodge for breakfast.
After that first night of decompression, I was ready to try the myriad of outdoor activities that Nimmo Bay offered. Fraser and his team greeted us for breakfast and provided us a list of all-inclusive resort activities to choose from:
1. Kayaking Day Trip: Load the kayaks onto our boat and head out to the Broughton Archipelago’s remote islands and explore this unique part of the BC coast.
2. Whale Watching: Take a 25min open Zodiac boat trip to where the whales are feeding. Watch in awe as the playful Orcas and Humpbacks put on an exciting show.
3. Bear Watching: Take a 45min open Zodiac boat trip to watch black and grizzly bears fish for salmon as they run up the river to spawn.
4. Waterfall Tours: Tour around in our 38ft fully enclosed aluminum hull boat and discover the plentiful and massive waterfalls as they crash right into the ocean.
5. Ocean Fishing: Bottom fish for halibut, troll for ocean salmon, drop a line in the kelp to catch a Ling Cod.
6. On Water and Land: Take a boat to one of the surrounding inlets, head out for a hike, discover a hidden lake, maybe even go for a swim.
Heli-fishing was an additional activity, but with the initial inclusive list I think I had plenty to choose from!
I chose to go out to see the whales and was treated to quite the pre-show as a school of dolphins came to swim and jump in the wake of the boat. I stood at the front of the boat in awe watching dolphins jump out of the water at top speed. The day was full other wildlife sightings; diving hump back whales, sunning sea lions, and we even spotted a pod of Orcas along the coast.
As we glided back through the beautiful fjords, I felt as if I were in a fantasyland, untouched, remote, and magical. The sun was starting to go down as we arrived back at the resort dock. But there was still plenty of time to do some sunset kayaking or stand up paddle boarding. I was seriously overwhelmed with options, so I simply chose a glass of wine on the dock watching the sun go down.
Great Bear Gastronomy
Cocktails were served on the floating fire deck followed by a coastal appetizer and four-course gourmet dinner and mouth-watering, in-house-made dessert. Even in this remote location, everything was made fresh and on-site (including all baked goods). Chef Sandi must have the nicest view out of a kitchen I’ve ever seen. Her kitchen had a big picture window looking out on the water and the floating dock. She was always found working in front of it talking to people as they pass by and providing the general vibe of the lodge.
The menu was all about the fruits of the sea as we feasted on oysters, scallops, prawns, smoked salmon, and the other tuna. After dinner, take a seat next to the bon fire and gaze at the twinkling stars in this dark sky area where few humans has left their mark.
I sat in my Adirondack chair swaddled in my red wool blanket soaking it all in. The smell of the wood fire was soothing, the stars twinkled, and the waterfall roared. Forget the luxurious cabins, I could have just spent all night out there on the floating deck.
There’s a reason why Nimmo Bay is one of the most luxurious eco-resorts in the world; from the location, to the staff, to the activities, to the food. And even though staying at the Nimmo Bay Resort is a splurge, it will be one of the most memorable places you’ll ever go. In fact, it’s the sort of place where all of your outdoor fantasies may come true!
Sherry Ott is a long term traveler, blogger, and photographer with one goal in mind – to make you wish you were somewhere else. She seeks out epic adventures to intriguing places and writes about her around the world adventures on Ottsworld.com. You can also follow her live travels on Instagram and Twitter.