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“Top class bears and many others!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Aboriginal Journeys: Wildlife Viewing and Adventure Tours

Aboriginal Journeys: Wildlife Viewing and Adventure Tours
3 -1371 Island Highway 19A, Campbell River, British Columbia V9W 5T5, Canada
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Certificate of Excellence 2014
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Owner description: A locally and family owned tour company located in Campbell River, British Columbia. See Killer Whales, Dolphins, Eagles, Black Bears and other Marine Wildlife in their natural environment on our Marine Wildlife and Whale Watching Journeys. In late summer and early fall we offer Grizzly Bear Journeys on Aboriginal lands at Orford River in Bute Inlet. Viewing is done from the safety of bear viewing platforms located at various locations along this beautiful river. Travel through some of the worlds strongest Ocean Rapids and learn a little about the local First Nations history and culture as well. Enjoy breathtaking Nature viewing boat tours throughout the Discovery Passage, Johnstone Straits and Mainland Inlet areas. We have a 27 foot covered vessel with a open viewing deck and onboard washroom and heater. Our experienced and locally born Transport Canada certified guides have a minimum 35 years experience working and traveling within these waters. We look forward in creating long lasting memories for you and your families.*Guaranteed Sightings!- see website for details.Our floating office is located at the Discovery Harbour Marina (G Dock)in Campbell River. Please use the South ramp. "A Spectacular Adventure Awaits!" CAMPBELL RIVER's longest running Whale Watching and Grizzly Bear tour company. Established in 2000.
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Activities for older children
Bristol, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
20 attraction reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
“Top class bears and many others!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 10, 2012

Well I'm sure you have read the other very positive reviews, many of which specifically mention Gary, so I wil start off by adding my own view. We called quite late in the day after changing our plans to see if we could get a space on the bear watching trip from Campbell river the next day, half expecting it to be a no. However Gary was very accommodating and asked us to give him a short period to see if someone on the trip would mind dropping out in favour of us (it happens that one of his employees was down to go with her boyfriend) and a short while later we were booked in, thanks to both Gary and her (really sorry I have forgotten your name but we are very grateful and hope the champagne helped make up for it!). We arrived the next morning, an early start for us at eight o'clock as this was our honeymoon and liked our sleep ins! Gary instantly made us feel welcome, and in fact from the very first to the last second of the tour his gentle wry humour made the whole experience just that little extra special. I think the success of his tours, whilst undoubtably due to the amazing wildlife and scenery, can in no smal way be accredited to his style and personality. I hope he continues to run them for many many years and we will be back.

Of the tour itself, it would take more time and space than I have here to give a full accounting but I will pick out my three favourite highlights. The tour was of course to go up to the Bute inlet and transfer to land to watch grizzlies feeding on salmon in the river, perfect timing as this was the right season for this, but within 20 mins of us starting the boat trip Gary heard that a pod of Orcas had been seen and then we spent the next hour finding and observing them from a respectful distance. I've seen them on TV, read about them and even sadly seen one in a an aquarium, but there is nothing quite like the thrill of seeing them with the unaided eye so close and free, something that will be a very happy memory for the rest of my life. It says a huge amount about Gary and his tours that even though we were "bear watching" he took this time out to find and show us these magnificent creatures.

My second was oddly enough another aquatic find, this time on the way home, where Gary again found a large school of Pacific White Sided Dolphins, who treated us to some amazing displays as they sped along in our bow wave, a superb sighting and again due to Gary being willing to go that extra mile (nautical mile of course!).

And thirdly it had to be our last bear sighting, having already seen a mother and cub plus another grizzly taking advantage of the salmon run, our last was special. The bear was about ten feet away, on the opposite bank of the river (maybe a bit further) happily picking through the salmon caught in a section of very tangled river where roots and branches of trees apparently trapped them. What I thought was a huge male I'm told was an average size female but she certainly looked much bigger that close! It was obvious that we weren't disturbing her or any of the other bears, we were well mannered, quiet and well shepherded by Gary and our first nation guides so both ourselves and more importantly the bears were safe.

So our grizzly trip included seals, dolphins, eagles, bears and orcas as well as a beautiful scenic boat trip, it also lasted about two hours over what we paid for, as we also followed the orcas on the way home, and we were never hurried from location to location. Our inclusive lunch was tasty and filling! Much needed on a long day out, but you won't go wrong if you pack a few sweets and a bottle of water.

I have no hesitation in recommending Aboriginal Journeys and Gary, and I hope you are lucky enough to have a group along with you like ours who we were lucky to share the trip with.

Visited September 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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234 reviews from our community

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English first
Upstate NY
12 reviews 12 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“Great grizzly bear tour!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 10, 2012

On Sept. 20 I went on the grizzly bear tour with Aboriginal Journeys. Garry was our captain and provided an interesting and educational commentary throughout the tour. On our boat trip enroute to Bute Inlet we saw Pacific White-sided Dolphins and other marine life. At the viewing platforms on the Orford river we had the incredibly good fortune of having bears in sight steadily for the three hours that we were allotted there. Obviously, that is not the norm and is out of the control of the tour operator but it was totally enjoyable! One sow and her two cubs provided most of the photo opportunities but there were several other adults, at least two with cubs, that were also feeding on the spawning chum salmon in the river.

On our return trip, we were able to photograph Orcas (killer whales) very near the marina in Campbell River. Garry is very willing to take extra time when these opportunities arise. He is thoughtful to both his passengers and the wildlife when he skillfully maneuvers his boat in these viewing situtations.

All in all, a wonderful experience and this tour is highly recommended!

Garry made safety of the passengers a high priority. His enthusiasm for his work is obvious and his ability to communicate and educate is very helpful.

Visited September 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“What can we say??”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 9, 2012

Stunning. Pod of orcas, grizzly bears, dolphins, porpoise, & bald eagles. A great day, great flexibility (when spotting all of the above, we would detour to suit!) an extremely fulfilling adventure. Highly recommended. Thanks Gary!

Visited October 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Birmingham, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“incredible trip”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 1, 2012

This tour was the highlight of our trip to the west of Canada. Gary the tour guide is very knowledgeable and happy to answer any questions. He made the tour very interesting, We spent over 3 hours watching the bears catch salmon from raised platforms by the river. Also saw a pod of dolphins and some sea lions whilst on the boat. Lunch and drinks are provided to eat on the bus.

Visited September 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lexington, Kentucky
Top Contributor
74 reviews 74 reviews
39 attraction reviews
Reviews in 37 cities Reviews in 37 cities
77 helpful votes 77 helpful votes
“Excellent wildlife tour through amazing scenery!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 30, 2012

My wife and I joined Gary and 10 others on the tour in mid September leaving from the Campbell Rive Marina. We got started just after 8:00. Gary was very friendly and knowledgeable. We were expecting to see bears, but were not expecting to see a school of about 150 dolphin swimming toward us and eventually all around us. We also saw about 10 orca whales throughout the day. The trip to the Butte Inlet was very scenic with wonderful mountain vistas all around and worth the price of the tour alone. When we arrived at the Orford River, we docked the boat and hopped on a bus for a bumpy ride to the grizzly viewing platforms. Lunch was provided on the way. We were fortunate enough to watch a mother and cub for over an hour as they feed on salmon. Gary was great and he said we would be in no hurry to return. He stopped several times on the way back for us to watch Orca whales. The entire trip ending up be 10 enjoyable hours and you do get a couple of restroom breaks. Don't miss out on this trip if you are any where near Campbell River.

Visited September 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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