Things to See & Do in Nunavut

• A WorldWeb.com Travel Guide for Nunavut, Northern Canada.
Nunavut, Canada's newest and largest territory, is still somewhat of a mystery to many Canadians. Harsh long winters, a sparse population and few roads make the journey to Nunavut an effort, but also a well-rewarded one. The territory, which stretches from the Manitoba border to the northern tip of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, is a colossal land of untouched Arctic splendour. A strong Inuit culture and history, a rich art scene, numerous parks and the chance to see exciting wildlife like polar bears and beluga whales are just a few of the incentives to brave the remote northern area and explore Nunavut.

BAFFIN REGION

Baffin Region, also known as Qikiqtaaluk Region, is Nunavut's largest and most populated area. In Iqaluit—Nunavut's capital—Arctic living collides with modern day conveniences. Visitors to Iqaluit can enjoy a hearty meal in an assortment of restaurants, relax in comfy hotels and tour various sights and attractions. Iqaluit's attractions include museums such as the Inuit artifact-packed Nunatta Sunakkutaangit Museum and art galleries like the Iqaluit Fine Arts Studio, which has Inuit paintings, sculptures and other art work. Although Iqaluit is Nunavut's most urbanized centre, visitors can still experience the alluring beauty of the Arctic in parks and gardens such as Sylvia Grinnell Territorial Park, which features a tundra landscape with wildflowers and a variety of wildlife.

In addition to Iqaluit, the Baffin Region has a plethora of other communities worth the long journey. The community of Cape Dorset has an international reputation for Inuit art, which visitors can view and buy at the Kinngait Cooperative.

Pangnirtung is also a favourite amongst art lovers and a hit with outdoor enthusiasts. The Uqqurmiut Inuit Arts Centre boasts colourful prints, crafts, carvings, tapestries and hand-carved signs. Auyuittuq National Park near Pangnirtung is a hiker's delight with rugged mountain peaks (the highest in the Canadian Shield), glaciers and picturesque shorelines.

Resolute is one of the country's most northern communities and one of the coldest places to live in the world. Visitors in Resolute can charter a plane to Quttinirpaaq National Park to view a captivating Arctic desert landscape with mountains, basins, plateaus and glaciers.

KIVALLIQ REGION

Bordering Manitoba and the Hudson Bay, the Kivalliq Region is the gateway to Nunavut. Rankin Inlet is the largest centre in the Kivalliq Region and is the region's business and transportation hub. Rankin Inlet has a dynamic art scene with attractions like the cross-cultural gallery and workshop—Matchbox Gallery—and the highly photographed inukshuk—Rankin Inlet Inunnguaq. Only about 10 km (6 mi) northwest of Rankin Inlet is Ijiraliq Territorial Park, which is great for hiking, bird watching, berry picking and fishing. History buffs will be intrigued by nearby Marble Island's dark past. The graves and ruins of the Knight Expedition (led by captain James Knight) that set out from England in 1719 in search of the Northwest Passage can be found on Marble Island, as well as wrecks from 19th Century whaling ships that used to frequent the area. The Kivalliq Region is also a terrific place to view wildlife with highlights like Arviat for beluga whales and Repulse Bay for birds.

KITIKMEOT REGION

Although the Kitikmeot Region is the least populated of Nunavut's three regions, its lack of people doesn't extend to its variety of sights and attractions to tour. Cambridge Bay, the region's business and transportation hub, is a great centre to get a taste of the Kitikmeot Region's beauty. The nearby Ovayok Territorial Park is a wonderful place for a hike and to view Arctic critters such as muskox and Barren-ground Caribou. The park's focal point, Mount Pelly, is over 200 m (656 ft) high and is a prime spot for a sweeping vista of the park and wildlife watching. Another fabulous wildlife watching attraction is the Queen Maud Gulf Migratory Bird Sanctuary, home to the world's largest population of the Ross Goose.

Located close to the Northwest Territories' border is Kugluktuk, the region's second largest centre. Visitors to Kugluktuk will want to tour Bloody Falls Territorial Park for its gentle tundra landscape, gushing falls, wildlife and traces of Inuit occupation dating back thousands of years.

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