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“The Gulf Islands of BC”

Gulf Islands National Park Reserve of Canada
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US$1,522.71*
and up
Victoria Full-Day Private Tour
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US$347.10*
and up
Seaplane Flight to Vancouver with Fully-Narrated Bus Tour
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US$339.01*
and up
Vancouver to Victoria Whale Watching with Return to Vancouver by Speed Boat
Ranked #14 of 26 things to do in Sidney
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Attraction details
Owner description: Experience the park, an archipelago of sheltered islands, islets and reefs in the Salish Sea. Breathe in the sea air and the Mediterranean-like climate while exploring stunning beaches, peaceful coves and lush forest trails. Take in the spectacular ocean views with glimpses of seals, sea lions, porpoises and Orca whales. Connect with fascinating local culture and people, or enjoy boating, kayaking, hiking and an extensive interpretive program, including a multi-route geocaching program for all ages.
Sidney, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
17 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“The Gulf Islands of BC”
Reviewed 7 August 2013

If you are a boater or kayaker, bird watcher or leisurely hiker...be sure to take in when possible the beauty and solitude of the Gulf Islands. Portland Island offers a kayakers joy on a low tide day, paddle through the kelp beds on the east side of the island. Camping is possible on the island and there are outhouses! :). Russell Island offers beautiful trails and history, Sidney Island as well. These islands are accessible by kayak, private vessel or water taxi. The larger Gulf Islands are accessible by ferry, SaltSpring, Mayne, Pender, Gabriola and more. If you are looking for quiet and village charm, these islands are for you.

Visited October 2012
Helpful?
2 Thank Pauline O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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15 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    13
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    1
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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Victoria, Canada
Level 4 Contributor
37 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“A gem gift from mother nature.”
Reviewed 24 July 2013

The Gulf Islands are a gift from mother nature. And, it is wonderful that some areas/islands are preserved from the pressures of development. The National Park itself requires water transportation. However, some ferries (e.g., to Sidney spit) allow fun day-long trips for unique explorations. Sidney Island park is great for long strolls on a first-class sand beach.

Some areas of the reserve are either closed or difficult to use for kayaking/camping.

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
Thank Amrita A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sidney, Canada
Level 4 Contributor
45 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“gulf islands are++++++++”
Reviewed 23 July 2013

sidney & its island # 1........sand beaches wild deer,,,beautiful yachts....sunny outdoors ...washrooms what else could you ask for...............other islands equally interesting but different,pender,again a gem.............

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank redline41
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sidney, Canada
Level 4 Contributor
34 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Always a treat!”
Reviewed 10 March 2013

No matter the time of year, getting out in this marine park always provides a treat - seals, whales, eagles, hawks popping up here and there. Lots of public islands to explore from the water or on the land. A gem in the Salish Sea!

Visited February 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Steve D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Victoria, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
5 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Spectacular spaces, special people”
Reviewed 29 January 2013

This is a unique National Park in that it is spread out over a number of islands and islets in the Southern Gulf Islands of British Columbia, Canada. I have spent much time on Saturna Island (which represents the largest portion of the National Park) as well as on Tumbo, Cabbage and Mayne Island. On Saturna, the National Park offers lots of different walking trails (nothing challenging enough to qualify as a "hike"), and plenty of opportunities to see wildlife. In the summer months, the orcas go by East Point almost every day (although its still luck of the draw whether you're there at the right time). While we were there, we also saw porpoises, sea lions lounging on the rocks (and making quite the ruckus!), seabirds, seals and eagles. The Lyall Creek Trail was absolutely beautiful (like a primordial rainforest), and we were fortunate enough to be guided by an exceptionally talented and sweet National Park interpreter who taught us all about the salmon-bearing stream. Mt. Warburton-Pike (which the locals call the T.V. tower-- lol!) has some of the most stunning views I've seen anywhere. You get a near panoramic of the Southern Gulf Islands, Vancouver Island and the San Juan Islands from this view point. While we were there we also saw a herd of about 100 feral goats. They were loud and smelly and my niece just loved them. There are lots of great places to stay on Saturna (from lodges to campsites), and there are wonderful restaurants and art galleries to explore. The community here is very friendly and VERY inquisitive about visitors (and seem to want us to move there!). We traveled from Swartz Bay (Victoria) on BC Ferries, and it took a little over an hour to arrive on Saturna (much more accessible than I had been lead to believe). There are also seaplanes that fly in and out on a daily basis. I've also camped on Cabbage Island (which is only accessible by private boat). There are lots of mooring buoys to tie up on, and between Cabbage's sandy white beaches and neighboring Tumbo's Garry oak and arbutus forests, there was lots of exploring for us and the kids. We can't recommend Gulf Islands National Park enough!

Visited August 2012
Helpful?
6 Thank Katie J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Francine B, Public Relations Manager at Gulf Islands National Park Reserve of Canada, responded to this review, 31 January 2013
Thank you for sharing your experience to the park with us! We are glad you had a great visit. Thank you for your support.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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