In Zeballos, salmon fishing, kayaking, rock-climbing, caving, scuba-diving and fly fishing adventures attract visitors from around the world. Far from the noisy sprawl of the urban landscape, they come to explore the adventurous and wild west coast of Vancouver Island.
Zeballos has become a hot spot for kayakers with its access to Catala and Nuchatlitz Provincial Parks, the islands within Kyuquot Sound and the rest of the spectacular north western coast of Vancouver Island. A Forestry Recreation site at Fair Harbour allows kayakers to extend their foray to the other inlets of Rugged Point Marine Park. Though kayaking outside of the protected inlets is not for the faint of heart, as this is a sea-sprayed and windswept section of Vancouver Island, the rewards for making the journey are the solitude provided by the surroundings and the sight of magnificent stands of Sitka spruce, the only species of tree able to thrive under the constant salt and magnesium loaded spindrift that the winds whip from the tops of the swells and carries ashore in the breeze.
The Zeballos River estuary has been designated as a Wetland Reserve by the Ministry of the Environment and the Nature Trust of BC. Visitors taking a stroll along the trails or on the boardwalk easily spot kingfishers, woodpeckers, great blue herons and the occasional red-tailed hawk.
During the fall spawning season, the river teems with salmon. The bears and eagles, which arrive to partake in the annual feast, can be watched from the safety of Sugarloaf Bridge. The river also boasts a run of steelhead which lures many a fly-fisherman to the village.
The discovery of gold in Zeballos in the 1920’s resulted in a massive influx of miners and adventurers. The self-guided walking tour of the village’s historical buildings leads visitors to the picturesque Zeballos Heritage Museum where tales of the gold rush and the resulting boomtown are brought to life with pictures and artifacts. Visitors can drive into Zeballos along the well-maintained logging road which turns off Highway 19 north of Woss or they can fly in on one of the regularly scheduled float plane flights. Some may also be tempted to “sail the seas” on the weekly summer sailings of the MV Uchuck III between Gold River and Zeballos.
The municipal dock can comfortably accommodate oceangoing ships. There is also a small craft harbour with 400 feet of moorage for both commercial vessels and the many pleasure craft that stop in during the summer.