Bella Bella is a small First Nations community on British Columbia's remote Central Coast, situated on the east side of Campbell Island on Lama Passage, in the heart of the Great Bear Rainforest.
We are accessible only by air and sea. Getting here is often an adventure in itself.
Location: 98 nautical miles (181 km) north of Port Hardy, and 78 nautical miles (144 km) west of Bella Coola. See our map!
Coordinates: 52° 9' 43" N, 128° 8' 42" W.
If you're cruising up or down the west coast via the Inside Passage on a private boat, Bella Bella is right on your way! Be sure to stop by our office at the Koeye Café while you're exploring our beautiful territory.
Our small airport is serviced by Pacific Coastal Airlines, offering daily flights from Vancouver's south terminal to Port Hardy, on the northern end of Vancouver Island, and onward (weather permitting) to Bella Bella. The flight from Vancouver, with a brief stopover in Port Hardy, takes a little over two hours and can be very scenic.
Contact Pacific Coastal by calling 604-273-8666 or toll free 1-800-663-2872.
Contact the Bella Bella Airport (ZEL) by calling 250-957-2285 (Mon-Fri 08:00-16:30; Sat/Sun 09:00-14:00).
Additionally, you can arrange a float plane charter from Prince Rupert, on the north coast of British Columbia, with Inland Air (1-888-624-2577).
Bella Bella (McLoughlin Bay) is serviced by BC Ferries year-round on their Inside Passage schedule, which offers passenger and vehicle service aboard a large, relatively modern ferry. The ferry can be caught at either Port Hardy or Prince Rupert.
Contact BC Ferries by calling 250-386-3431 or toll free 1-888-223-3779.
From the South - Port Hardy, located on the northern end of Vancouver Island, is about a 6-hour drive from Victoria, on the southern tip of the island. From Victoria, take Highway 1 to Nanaimo and then Highway 19 from Nanaimo to Port Hardy. Bus service is offered by Greyhound. Nanaimo and Victoria are both connected to Vancouver on the mainland by BC Ferries.
Note: there are no ferries that connect Port Hardy to points south.
From the North - Prince Rupert is located on the northern mainland coast of British Columbia and is connected by road (Highway 16) and by VIA Rail to the rest of Canada and North America. Prince Rupert is also serviced by the Alaska State Ferry system.
The northbound ferry ride from Port Hardy (Bear Cove) to Bella Bella (McLoughlin Bay) takes about 7 hours. The southbound journey from Prince Rupert takes about 8 hours. Both itineraries usually arrive at Bella Bella in the middle of the night in the non-summer seasons. Service between Bella Bella and Prince Rupert is infrequent (once every two weeks each way) in the summer.
The ferry terminal at McLoughlin Bay, on an ancient village site, is a few kilometres south of Bella Bella on our local road system.
Summer Day Service - Additionally, BC Ferries offers their Discovery Coast Passage schedule from mid-June to mid-September. This schedule connects Bella Bella with Bella Coola, as well as Port Hardy (but not Prince Rupert). Bella Coola is connected by road (scenic Highway 20) to Interior BC and the rest of the mainland. This schedule also services the similarly remote communities of Ocean Falls and Klemtu.
The Discovery Coast Passage is marketed as a "soft adventure travel experience" because there are no cabins on this smaller ferry. However, on this schedule you can usually see the coast by day and arrive at Bella Bella at a reasonable hour. The passage from Port Hardy to Bella Bella on the smaller ferry takes about 11 hours. From Bella Coola the passage takes about 7 hours.
We look forward to seeing you!