Nunavut is an Adventure Like No Other

North America - Editor - 07 May 2008

Nunavut is an Adventure Like No Other

The vast territory of Nunavut, which was incorporated as a territory of Canada in 1999, is an area of fascinating contrasts, sparsely populated by friendly, peace-loving Inuit people referred to as Nunavummiut. Visitors to Nunavut are assured of an unforgettable experience as they explore this untamed, unspoiled territory, the majority of which falls within the Arctic Circle. Realizing the potential for tourism to contribute toward sustainable economic growth, and having the desire to share the natural wonders and unique Inuit culture of the territory with others, Nunavut tourism offers a number of interesting options for visitors to enjoy.

Boat cruises are a relaxed and luxurious way to explore Nunavut in Canada and there are a number of options to choose from. With the added advantage of not having to tote luggage around, visitors can look forward to traversing wide open seas and magnificent fjords, accompanied by whales - including the fascinating narwhal with its 3 meter tusk - and with the possibility of encountering swimming polar bears. Cruise boats stop off to visit remote communities where tourists have the opportunity to interact with members of the community and gain insight into Inuit culture, as well as buy top quality Inuit artworks directly from the artists. Some communities host a welcoming ceremony in honor of visitors, whereas others continue with day-to-day life, unperturbed by onlookers.

There are 24 national and regional parks in Nunavut and local guides are eager to take tourists hiking on the tundra, through colossal valleys carved by ancient glaciers and along sparkling, clear streams of fresh water. Birdlife is prolific throughout Nunavut, making it an ideal birding destination. Trained guides in the eleven bird sanctuaries of Nunavut will assist birders to spot sandhill cranes, snowy owls, gyrfalcons, jaegers, plovers and more.

Nunavut’s camping and hiking opportunities are endless. Rankin Inlet and Chesterfield Inlet, the birthing grounds of the great caribou, are favorite camping areas. Whale Cove, teeming with chirping white whales, is an incredible place to enjoy Nunavut nature at its best, as is Polar Bear Pass on Bathurst Island. Cambridge Bay on Victoria Island offers easy access to busy bird habitats, fascinating archaeological sites, great fishing and the vast Arctic Ocean. The Auyuittug National Park on Baffin Island is considered to be a world-class hiking, camping and climbing destination.

Canoeing and Kayaking along Nunavut’s vast network of rivers is a fun way to enjoy the many protected areas that are home to a variety of animals, including caribou, musk-ox and grizzly bears. Canoeists and kayakers never fail to be astounded by the scenery of waterfalls and rugged rocks, as well as the variety of micro-climate habitats supporting diverse plant and bird life.

During the warmer weather, from April to July, visitors can take advantage of the Floe Edge Tours and witness the sea meeting the retreating ice edge, while whales swim meters from the shore, walrus and seals bask in the sun, and polar bears and their cubs enjoy a dip in the ocean. As the ice breaks up, icebergs arrive – magnificent chunks of ice, sculpted by water and wind. The east coast of Baffin Island offers one of the best vantage points to watch the summer long migration of these sparkling white giants. This is the time too, when thousands of caribou and musk-ox venture out on the tundra, while millions of migratory birds arrive from their summer in the south to start their families. Spring is a time of great festivity among the Nunavummiut communities as they welcome the warmer weather and the rejuvenation of the frozen ground. Dog sledding, snowmobile races and community feasts are all part of the festivities.

If you are looking for the holiday of a life-time, clearly Nunavut has all the ingredients for an unforgettable experience.


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