When Is the Best Time
Consider the tide as walking on the beach is much easier at low tide. You must use the path with many larger rocks at the upper part of the shoreline at high tide. You can visit the lighthouse all day long, but the light is best to take pictures in the afternoon.
Weather Details Vancouver Island
The precipitation of Vancouver Island's east coast is just 700-800 mm per year. In contrast, the west coast of the island is exposed to moisture-packed winds blowing from the Pacific Ocean and receives plenty of precipitation from October to March. The summers, in general, is relatively dry.
Spring is always a great time to visit Vancouver Island. Daily temperatures range from 11-15 ºC. It's a great time for wildlife viewing as well. The Pacify grey whales are on their route to Alaska though I have never spotted any in my life yet. Grizzly and black bears finish their hibernation looking for food along the shoreline.
From June through September, Vancouver Island is typically sunny and mild, the temperature at Malcolm Island ranges from 15-17°C but can occasionally reach 25°C.
Autumn (late September-October)
In fall you may experience fog, especially in the morning, which could last until mid-day or even afternoon. The temperature is on average, around 12°C during the day.
Vancouver Island enjoys a moderate and mild winter in most regions. Therefore outdoor activities such as fishing and hiking in the south-coastal areas are possible, even in January.
Best Months to Visit
Location and Tips
The lighthouse is located in the most western part of the island. You can reach it via the Pulteney Point Road. The road is gravel but good to go with a standard car. The Lighthouse still operates and is manned. To get there, you must park your car before the gate on the right and take a short path through the forest. After a view minutes, you reach the beach where you have to walk another 10-15 min to the left to reach the lighthouse. You cannot get inside the building but walking around gives some great views of the building.
The lighthouse itself is a combined lighthouse and fog alarm building. It was built in 1934 although the light station was established since 1905. The Pulteney Lighthouse is heritage because of its historical, architectural and community values. Finnish immigrants were the first two lightkeepers like the other settlers who arrived from Finland on Malcolm Island in 1901.
The lighthouse's architecture is a precursor the buildings created in the 50s and 60s along the Canadian coastline. It is still in good condition due to the quality of the material used and the craftsmanship.
Facts about the Island
"Malcolm Island is a place where humans go to create lasting memories." Situated off the northeast shore of Vancouver Island, you will find this hidden gem. It's relatively small in size (24 km (14 miles) long and 3 km (1.8 miles ) wide at its narrowest point. But Malcolm Island offers breath-taking scenery, tranquillity, great outdoor experiences, many wildlife viewing opportunities, and fascinating history.
How to get to the Island
The ferry at Port McNeil departs year around several times to Sointula, the main town on Malcolm Island. The trip takes about half an hour and costs around 55 CAD (car + 2 person)
If you want to leave the Island, you should arrive early at the ferry terminal because the cars' space on the ferry is limited. To get the early morning ferry at 7:55 am it's almost impossible because many people park their car in the queue the day before. BC Ferries uses a small ferry (~25 cars) during the summer months compared to the wintertime when a larger ferry (~40 cars) is in use. This makes the situation even worse.
Where to stay
You can find 11 possibilities to stay overnight on Malcolm Island, including the Harmony Shores Campground and the Bere Point Regional Park. Most of them are guest houses, cottages, or B&B's.
If you get hungry, don't miss the Burger Barn at the Marina, Open seasonal from Thursday to Monday. They offer fresh local seafood with Burgers with fries and homemade coleslaw.
The Co-Op store is closed Sundays and Mondays but you may get what you need at the Co-Op Gas Station which is open every day.
Spotting Orcas rubbing at the beach or seeing whales offshore is a memorable experience. You could see humpback whales swimming close to the shoreline and listen to breathing orcas enjoying the pebbled beach at Bere Point.