Vancouver Island Travel Guide Vancouver Island Travel Guide Vancouver Island Travel Guide

Gabriola

Gabriola Gabriola Island, "The Isle of the Arts" is about 14 km long by 4.2 km wide with an estimated population of 5000. A vehicle and passenger ferry from Nanaimo to Gabriola Island operates 17 times daily with a sailing time of 20 minutes. Boaters can find moorage, fuel, showers, marine repairs at Silva Bay; a government wharf located in Degnen Bay.

Descanso Bay is a 40 acre oceanfront park with 32 wooded campsites, some large enough for small RVs and is located only .9 km from the ferry terminal (the first left turnoff as you leave the ferry) and is open year round. There are picnic tables plus a launch area for canoes and kayaks.

Gabriola Sands Provincial Park features two sandy beaches - Taylor Bay Beach, well treed and shady with lovely views of the mountains and Pilot Bay Beach, safe swimming for the whole family. Take a walk along Taylor Bay to the perfectly sculptured limestone formations, called the Malaspina Galleries. The hooded galleries, carved out of sandstone by natural elements, are 4 metres high and stretch for about 100 metres along the rocky shoreline of the small park.

Sandwell Provincial Park features a secluded pebble and sand beach in Lock Bay. Old growth trees along a sandstone path lead down to the beach and a marsh which is home to many species of birds. Drumbeg Provincial Park is located at the southeastern tip of the island surrounding Drumbeg Bay. Picnic area and safe swimming from the pebble beach. Brickyard Beach - plenty of clams and a picnic area on False Narrows.

Things to do:
  • Golf on the scenic and challenging 9-hole course.
  • Shop at the farmer's market for fresh produce May through September, every Saturday from 10 am to 2 pm at the Agricultural Hall. Groceries, gifts and boating needs can also be found at several shopping centres on Gabriola.
  • Tour local craft galleries and private studios for unique gifts and see the works of Gabriola's noted artisans and craftspeople.
  • Experience Gabriola's long and colourful history, evidenced by local treasure such as the petroglyphs located near Degnen Bay and at Gabriola's own museum.
  • Study tidepools at Brickyard Beach or follow the sandstone-lined path to the beach at Sandwell Provincial Park.
  • Explore the amazing Malspina Galleries, world-famous cave-like sandstone formations, and enjoy the spectacular views of the Mainland and Entrance Island Light Station from Olebar Point.
  • Cruise, kayak or canoe in the natural harbours of Silva Bay and Degnen Bay.
  • Sign up for one of many tours available such as a Driving Tour, Scenic tour, Tours of Gabriola, or a Walking Tour.
Annual Island events include the Salmon Barbecue, Art Show in a Gabriola Garden, the Concert on the Green and the Pro-Am Gulf Tournament, all in August. In September enjoy the Cycle & Kayak Music Festival, Gabriola Days - features a pancake breakfast, parade, community events, chowder contest, firefighters salmon barbecue and a community dance. In October the Thanksgiving Gallery Tour includes a self-guided 'open studio' showcase featuring more than 80 professional fine artists and craftspeople living and working on Gabriola Island.

Accommodations of every kind are available on Gabriola from lodges, inns, B & B lodgings, cottages, vacation rentals to camping.

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