Along with Australia, New Zealand and Africa, one of the most naturally beautiful countries in the world is Canada. From its wide-open landscapes to its sprawling cities, it’s an impressive place to either visit for a vacation, or take the time to travel around properly. Yet it’s probably more famous for its stunning scenery and lush natural surroundings, especially in the north of the country, and nowhere is this more the case than in the Inuit territory of Nunavut.
Although it’s arguably one of the most spectacular of all the Canadian territories, Nunavut has only actually been an official part of the country since 1999. Located in the eastern part of the Northern Territories, Nunavut is the home of the ancient Inuit people.
Descended from the historic Inuit tribes of over 5,000 years ago, the Inuit people have a long and proud tradition in this area – indeed, when settlers from Europe first came to Nunavut centuries ago, it was the Inuit people who helped them settle, and prepare for the harsh winters ahead. It’s this sense of camaraderie and frontier spirit that’s so alive today in Nunavut, and lends the area well to those seeking a different kind of holiday.
Since it’s based in the northern part of Canada, which is closest to the Arctic Circle, Nunavut isn’t exactly a sun-seeker’s paradise – however, what it lacks for in tropical temperatures, it more than makes up for in winter nirvana.
If you’ve ever been to Australia, there’s a good chance that you visited “the bush”, the sprawling wilderness that is Australia’s outback – miles upon miles of rugged terrain, where only the strong manage to survive. Nunavut is the Canadian equivalent. Called “going out on the land”, if you’re looking for an adventure-led holiday, then the barren yet beautiful landscapes of Nunavut are the ideal companion.
One of the best ways to enjoy Nunavut in all its glory is to sty in either an all-inclusive lodge, which offers a cozy atmosphere ready for planning your day. Or even better, look into a “homestay” option – this is where you can actually arrange to stay with an Inuit family for the duration of your stay. Not only does this offer the authentic Nunavut experience, it’s also ideal for getting to see the types of places that normal tourists would never find.
No matter what type of vacation you’re looking for, you can be pretty much guaranteed that Nunavut has something to offer you. Whether you wish to take in some wild fishing, or explore some of the area’s natural geography, you’ll be more than spoiled for choice when it comes to what kind of holiday you have:
* Fishing. Since the Inuit people see fishing as the natural way to feed their families, there are many areas in Nunavut that a keen fisherman will enjoy. Because of the vast amount of lakes and smaller rivers that merge into the area, Nanavut is ideal for catching a myriad of fish – for instance, Walleye pickerel and Northern Pike can be found in the south-western part of Nunavut, whilst the Arctic Char and Grayling can be found in the north.
* Hunting is also well catered for in Nunavut (although it may not be too everybody’s taste). Since the area lies within the Arctic region, there is plenty to choose from when it comes to wildlife to hunt. Although hunting can be unpopular, here it’s actually sanctioned by the Government as part of its natural culling process. If hunting is for you, then you can choose from musk ox, caribou and polar bears.
If you are a wildlife fan but averse to joining a hunting expedition, there are many trips you can partake in that allow you to enjoy the local wildlife close up:
* Whale watching is an ever-popular pastime, and in Nanavut it’s even more so, due to the waterways that feed this part of Canada. There are three specific types of whale that are most common to see here – the snowy white beluga whale; the large bowhead; and the beautifully strange narwhals, which are the whales that have the unicorn horn on the tip of their nose. If you’re looking for the best place for whale watching, the coasts just off Baffin Island offer some excellent opportunities.
* Polar bears are also native to this part of the world, and there’s nothing quite like seeing one of these magnificent creatures close up to appreciate its beauty. If you choose to stay with an Inuit family during your stay, they can show you the best places to view the polar bear in its natural habitat.
If wildlife trips aren’t quite your cup of tea, one of the most adventurous trips that Nunavut can offer you is the North Pole Expedition. Following in the footsteps of the great explorers like Robert E. Peary, this is not for the faint-hearted. Not only do you have to be in peak physical condition, you need to be mentally prepared for such an arduous trek. However, if this is something that interests you, Nunavut is the place to do it from.
One of the most beautiful natural occurrences anywhere in the world is the aurora borealis, or the Northern Lights, to give it its more common name. An amazing light show in the sky, where gases combine with light thousands of miles above the earth in a stunning show of colour, it can truly be appreciated in Nunavut, since thee borealis is at its best in cold atmospheres.
Whatever your holiday plans, if you’ve always just thought of hot summer places to visit, then you’re truly missing out on a magical land. With nature, wildlife, adventure and spectacle, Nunavut is a destination that you should visit at least once in your life.
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