Out and About Quadra Island

A quick BC Ferries ride from Campbell River, Quadra Island is best known for its natural west coast wilderness scenery, fishing opportunities, and unique arts and crafts. Quadra is the second largest Gulf Island and contains one of the most extensive pathway systems, as well as the greatest number of freshwater lakes. While the waters surrounding Quadra are known to be some of the most turbulent in the Island chain, there is only beauty and calm awaiting you when you step onto this beautiful northern Gulf Island. Quadra Island is also part of the Discovery Island Group.


Every Island has a story …

Quadra Island is the second largest of the Gulf Islands, with over 300 square kilometres to explore. Quadra Island was named after a Spanish naval officer. The Coast Salish were at home on Quadra until the arrival of Captain George Vancouver and his crew in the late 1700’s and the subsequent invasion of the Salish settlement by other First Nations people. With the Salish gone, the We Wai Kai band of the Kwagiulth continue to reside in the village of Cape Mudge to this day. Mining of Quadra Island was a profitable venture and Lucky Jim mine opened in 1903, yielding great amounts of both gold and copper ore. This mine was one of the unfortunate victims of a major forest fire in 1925 that wiped out much of the islands’ old growth timber, logging, homes, and of course, the mine. Many of these enterprises took until well after the Great Depression to recover.

Who lives on Quadra?

Over 4,000 residents make their home on the 300 square kilometres Quadra Island. The population is second only to its southern neighbour, Salt Spring Island. Many of the residents are involved in the arts, fishing, logging, and tourism. Most of Quadra’s residents are settled on the southern end of the island, while the north retains much of the rugged wilderness that has become well known for hiking and mountain biking adventure-seekers. 

Where is it and how do I get there?

Though Quadra Island is the northernmost Gulf Island, stretching beyond Georgia Strait into Desolation Sound, visitors will be pleased to find that there is still easy access by BC Ferries from Campbell River on Vancouver Island to Quathiaski Cove on Quadra Island. Jump aboard one of the 17 daily ferries – it only takes 10 minutes to get to Quadra (but it may feel longer in the tempestuous waters of Discovery Passage)! Check the BC Ferries web site at www.bcferries.com or call 1-888-BCFERRY (BC) or (250) 386-3431 (Victoria).

When should I go?

The mild, Mediterranean-like climate of Quadra makes this an ideal location for visiting year round. Warm winters and dry summers attest to the fact that Quadra and its northern Gulf Island neighbours lie in the rain shadow of Victoria. Visitors will note that the climate is much less rainy than that of Vancouver.

What should I do when I get there?

Shops, galleries, recreational activities, restaurants, and accommodations are all available for the traveler to discover on Quadra Island. The island features a variety of artist and craft cottages where you can purchase a unique gift. Other places worth visiting are the Cape Mudge Lighthouse and Kwagiulth Museum – a world class resort and fishery. Enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking, cycling, scuba diving, canoeing, and kayaking. Take a swim in one of the local lakes. Visit the following links for more information: Quadra Island Community Centre Campbell River & District Chamber of Commerce.

What are some of the Island’s unique features?

Fishing the Water ...

Quadra is best known for its spectacular scenery and excellent salmon and freshwater sports fishing. 

Quadra Island has three main centres: Quathiaski Cove, Heriot Bay, and Cape Mudge. Quathiaski Cove is the main shopping centre where travelers will find antiques, pottery studios, and galleries. Heriot Bay, located on the east side of Quadra Island, has a pub and marina. Here, you can also grab the ferry to Cortes Island. Cape Mudge is home to the Kwagiulth First Nations.

Recreation Opportunities ...

Dive, whale watch, canoe, fish, kayak, take a wildlife tour, an art classes, trek, sail, swim, mountain bike, and trail ride – these are just some of the many options for getting out and getting active on Quadra Island. 

Eat, Drink, and Be Merry!

Quadra Island has a variety of great restaurants, pubs, and dining.
Here are a couple for you to check out: visit: April Point Lodge and Fishing Resort, Yak Shakck, Dockers, Heriot Bay Inn and Marina, The Landing Neighbourhood Pub, Lovin’ Oven, Marilyn’s Take-Out, Old Floathouse Restaurant, Taka Mika Restaurant, Tsa-Kwa-Luten Lodge, Yum Yum Tree.


Where should I stay? 

No matter what your budget will allow there are a number of  accommodation options available to you! Gulf Island Accommodations


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