Denman Island is a 15-minute ferry ride from Buckley Bay, 20 minutes south of Courtenay and an hour
north of Nanaimo.
The area has some of the loveliest hiking trails, beaches and quiet retreats. Hike the trails through old
growth fir at Fillongley Provincial Park or bring a canoe or kayak and paddle to Sandy Island Marine
Park. Boyle Point Provincial Park is located at the very south end of the island and is for day-use only.
Follow the trails through old growth Douglas fir, and watch for eagles and sea lions as you look over
Eagle Rock and the lighthouse on Chrome Island. The view from here is coastal classic - red-rimmed
clapboard buildings set against snow-capped mountains and ocean backdrop. Guided tours, kayak and
canoe rentals are available.
There are many quaint artisan studios to visit as Denman & Hornby Islands boast the highest number of
artists and artisans per capita in Canada. The art gallery and museum in Denman Village has a collection
of works by island artists as well as local history.
Hornby Island is accessible by BC Ferries from Buckley Bay: take the ferry to Denman Island, drive
across Denman and take another ferry to Hornby Island, taking about 50 minutes in all.
Hornby is called the jewel of the Gulf Islands, with the finest of sand beaches, diverse forests, abundant
sealife, and its own unique culture. The diverse forest ecology ranges from dry arbutus (madrona) and
oak groves on the south shores to coastal rain forest inland. Cycling is a good way to explore as most
roads are paved. A map of Mount Geoffrey Regional Park trails can be picked up at the Hornby Island
Co-op grocery store.
Tribune Bay is one of the best sand beaches in the Gulf Islands. There are also fine sand beaches at
Little Tribune Bay and Whaling Station Bay. The rock and gravel beaches are perhaps more interesting
because of the abundant intertidal sea life, and are still swimmable. The two best accessible gravel
beaches are in Helliwell Provincial Park and at Grassy Point. A five-kilometer walk circles the park along
the bluffs and through the old-growth forest of weather-beaten fir, pine and oak trees.
The annual Hornby Festival features world-class entertainers, and runs
for a week at the beginning of August. The Festival office number is 250-335-2734.
Next to the beaches, the most popular attraction of Hornby Island has been the artists, particularly the
potters. The potters, and those of Denman Island, offer products at a full range of quality and price.
Pottery and art are for sale at the potters' studios or at the Marketplace at the Co-op store. There is an
art gallery at Fords Cove.
A recent activity on Hornby Island is mountain biking. Local enthusiasts have developed a network of
trials in the centre of the island, based on fire access roads and old logging trails. It is now considered
one of the best biking venues in BC, and summer BikeFests have been held for several years. The biking
trails are in use year-round.
Transportation to Denman & Hornby Islands
The Denman Island Ferry departs from Buckley Bay at hourly intervals.
Flights into nearby Comox (located about 30 km north of the Denman) make getting to Denman Island by
air even easier. The flight from Vancouver to Comox is approximately 25 minutes. For more information,
schedules and fares, contact Pacific Coastal,
or West Jet.
Bus Service to Denman Island
Grayline offers direct transportation to the Buckley Bay ferry landing. There are 2 daily buses that go
straight from the Departure Bay ferry terminal in Nanaimo to Buckley Bay. Check
the Grayline schedules
for complete information.
Local Bus Service
There is also a local bus,
The Comox Valley Transit System,
that will take you to/from Buckley Bay and to/from Courtenay/Comox.