When you stay at Waterlily Bay, you have a home base to visit some of our neighbours for the day!
Nass Valley Lava Beds and Nisga’a First Nations Villages (100 km north of Terrace)
Waterfalls, hot springs, villages, lava beds, a suspension bridge, a modern museum and more…
When you think of British Columbia, you probably don’t think about lava beds. But, the Nisga’a Memorial Lava Bed Provincial Park is the most amazing experience you can have while in the northwest, blending incredible scenery, wildlife, history and culture. Canada’s last volcanic eruption occurred in the Nass Valley over 260 years ago, and the vast lava beds serve as a memorial to the 2,000 Nisga’a people who lost their lives. The park is jointly managed by the Nisga’a Nation and BC Parks – the first of its kind in BC. The Nisga’a Nation signed the Nisga’a Treaty in May 2000, the first modern day treaty, which marked the beginning of a new start for the Nisga’a people who now have self-government over their lands. Tourism is one of their most promising economic initiatives.
There is an excellent self-guided auto tour route through the Nisga’a territory which takes you through the rich cultural treasures and natural wonders of the area. From Waterlily Bay, head south on Highway 16, then turn left on Highway 16 towards Prince Rupert, and turn right on the Nisga’a Highway (Kalum Lake Drive). The road winds gently past mountain peaks, lakes and rivers. There are 18 different sites to explore along the 100 km route, including waterfalls, lava flows, the Nisga’a Lisims Government building at Gitlax., a suspension bridge at Gitwinksihlkw a natural hotsprings and pool, the Nisga’a Museum at Laxgalts’ap with its repatriated cultural artifacts, and beyond to the coastal village of Gingolx, the farthest point on the self-guided auto tour where you can get the best fresh halibut fish and chips you have ever tasted!
Make sure you fuel up fully and leave Terrace early to make the most of your day. Bring in your own food and bottled water as restaurant options and times are limited. There is a full service gas bar and grocery outlet in Gitlaxt’aamiks (formerly New Aiyansh), the first village that you will come to.
For more information, visit Nisga’a Tourism.
Prince Rupert (145 km west of Terrace)
Discover the North Coast
The drive from Terrace to Prince Rupert is considered to be one of the most spectacular scenic drives in the province, with tall waterfalls trickling down the mountains, glimpses of eagles, bears, and sea lions. The road winds and curves along the Skeena River and the CN Rail track, until it opens up at the river’s mouth, and then suddenly…..there’s Prince Rupert and the Pacific Ocean!
So many things to do in this northern coastal town – charter a boat to go fishing for salmon or halibut, take a day trip to the Khutzeymateen Grizzly Bear Sanctuary or go on a whale watching excursion. Wander around Cow Bay Harbour and visit its funky shops and amazing fresh seafood restaurants, and be sure to check out Prince Rupert’s own craft beer brewery. A short drive away is the North Pacific Cannery National Historic Site in Port Edward, a 19th and 20th century salmon cannery complex, now operating as a cannery museum. For a refreshing hike suitable for every skill level, be sure to stop at the Butze Rapids Trail, located just outside of the entrance to Prince Rupert.
For more information, check out Visit Prince Rupert
Kitimat (62 km south of Terrace)
A Marvel of Nature and Industry
It’s a relatively short drive from Waterlily Bay Resort to Kitimat, a small community located at the head of the Douglas Channel next to the Kitimat River. Kitimat is famous for both freshwater and saltwater fishing, but there are a lot of other things to do in the community. Kitimat is also famous as a community that was developed in the 1950s to serve the aluminum industry. Over the years, forestry and methanol industries also existed in Kitimat, and currently, the LNG Canada export facility is being developed here – the single largest private sector investment in Canadian history.
Visit Giant Spruce Park, located on the shores of the Kitimat River flood plain. Sitka Spruce commonly grow up to 70 m tall and 2 m across when mature. The remains of a previously registered largest living Sitka Spruce tree in BC can be found in the park. Be sure to check out the fabulous Moore Creek Falls, located just across from Rio Tinto’s BC Works main office building. Explore the town’s history at the Kitimat Museum & Archives with the coming of Alcan’s aluminum smelter in the 1950s and the Haisla traditional arts and culture. The temporary gallery hosts rotating exhibitions of arts, culture and history. Rio Tinto offers tours of their state-of-the-art modernized aluminum smelter during the summer on Fridays.
For more information, visit Tourism Kitimat