EXPLORE GABRIOLA

EXPLORE GABRIOLA

START your journey at the
Gabriola Visitor Centre

When you disembark from the ferry, just drive, walk, or bike straight up the hill, turn left when you reach the top and you'll find us in the first building on your left. We'll be happy to provide you with information about the places to go and things to see on our island.

Map with Gabriola Visitor Centre marked

#6 - 480 North Road,
Gabriola BC V0R 1X0
Phone: 250-247-9332
Toll-free: 1-888-284-9332

Gabriola Island Distances:

♦ Length of the island = 14.5 km (9 mi)
♦ Width of the island = 4.5 km (2.8 mi)

Road Distances from the Gabriola Ferry Dock

♦ To Visitor Centre & Village core = 1 km (.6 mi)
♦ To Orlebar Point = 5.3 km (3.3 mi)
♦ To Silva Bay via North Rd = 12.7 km (7.9 mi)
♦ To Silva Bay via South Rd = 15.4 km (9.6 mi)
♦ Full circle via North/South Rds = 28.1 km (17.5 mi)

Exploring Gabriola Island…

Looking for fun and interesting things to do on Gabriola Island. Move your cursor over the map and click on a star, or check out the list below.

Malaspina Galleries

Visit the famous Malaspina Galleries.

Just a short walk from the end of Malaspina Drive, you can explore the 8-9 ft. high sandstone "wave". Also enjoy spectacular views of Taylor Bay, Snake Island and Nanaimo.

Gabriola Sands Provincial Park

Photo of beach with people having fun

These two beautiful sand beaches feature shallow water with a soft sandy bottom that is ideal for swimming, kayaking, exploring tidal pools, or just enjoying the day with a family picnic. (aka Twin Beaches)

Day-use only, picnic tables, pit toilets. No potable water available.

Descanso Bay Regional Park (Campground)

Descanso Bay Regional Park has 32 campsites and a day-use area. Two oyster bays provide many delights for kayakers, picnickers, and campers.

Picnic tables, pit toilets and potable water available.

Orlebar Point

Entrance Island

Scenic view of Entrance Island lighthouse. If you're lucky, you could see sea lions, seals, eagles, otters and whales from this location.

Sandwell Provincial Park

At the end of a 10-minute walk from the parking lot, you'll find yourself at a sunny secluded beach overlooking Lock Bay.

Day-use only, picnic tables, pit toilets. No potable water available.

Drumbeg Provincial Park

This park overlooks scenic Gabriola Passage. It is a favourite spot for swimming, diving, hiking, picnicking and viewing nature.

Day-use only, picnic tables, pit toilets. No potable water available.

Coats Marsh Regional Park

This park was the first protected wetland on Gabriola Island. A rough trail network within the property lets you explore the sensitive habitat.

Gabriola Village Core

Straight up the hill from the ferry dock you will find our Village Core with shopping, dining, banking, and recreation facilities. It is easy to reach by car, bike or on foot. You'll also find the Gabriola Museum here and our local library. On Saturdays during the summer, visit the Farmers Market - a focus of art, food, & fun!

Gabriola Golf & Country Club

This a challenging 9-hole golf course with full club facilities. Come out and enjoy a round! Everyone is welcome!

Brickyard Beach

Here you'll find a rocky beach, littered with broken bricks. This is the site of the Gabriola Brickyard, which operated from the 1890s until 1952.

Please leave the bricks on the beach. - Thank you

Dinner at the Surf Lodge

Enjoy a fabulous meal while watching the sunset over the water, or take in the music scene in a unique loghouse pub.

The Commons

The Commons

The Gabriola Commons is a place where sustainability, community and agriculture meet. The property includes connecting pathways, open vistas, meditative spaces, vibrant community gardens, learning and meeting facilities for the use and enjoyment of the public. Join us for the Spring and Fall fairs which are held here.

707-acre Park

This 707-acre park has many trails for hiking, biking, or horse-back riding. There are over 100 klms. of trails on Gabriola Island. Drop into the Visitor Centre to buy a GaLTT map (Gabriola Land and Trails Trust). The cost is $5 and all proceeds go to support GaLTT.

Public Access Beaches

Multiple short trails extend from the roadways to the shore to provide Public Access to many of the beaches around Gabriola Island.

Please enjoy, but be respectful of neighbouring property owners.

Elder Cedar Nature Reserve

Photo of Elder Cedar Forest Trail

The Elder Cedar Reserve includes both young and mature forest, including the last remaining stand of old-growth trees on Gabriola. When walking under the gnarled branches of the old cedars, keep your mind open to the possible presence of ancient spirits housed in these cedar giants.

Please stay on the trails. Do not walk on exposed roots.

Silva Bay

Photo of boats moored at Silva Bay

A beautiful protected bay surrounded by the Flat Top Islands. Here you will find several marinas, a motel, cabins, camping, kayaking, scooter & bike rentals, and the Pier Gallery Artists Collective.

Gabriola's TOP 25 "Must Do and See" List

1. Dine on delicious food at a choice of restaurants & pubs.

Photo of Drumbeg Shoreline

Enjoy the selection at Robert's Place, Woodfire Restaurant, Mad Rona's Coffee Bar, Skol Pub, The Kitchen or the Surf Lodge. You'll find something to delight everyone's taste.

2. Enjoy a picnic in a park or on the beach.

Pick something up at the deli in Wishbone or the Village Food Market and enjoy a picnic in one of our parks.

3. Rent a scooter or bike and discover the paths less travelled. 

Contact Page's Dock 'n' Roll at Silva Bay and they will be to help you with all you need to travel on two wheels.

4. Attend a live concertPhoto of the crowds at outdoor concert

Whether it is a jam night at the local hot spot or a large outdoor concert, there is no shortage of live music on Gabriola. Check out the Community Events calendar and the Gabriola Sounder for what's happening on the island.

5. Visit a garden nursery

Drop into the Wild Rose Garden Centre for all your gardening needs. You'll also find they have a delightful selection of gift items for the home and garden.

6. Attend a theatre productionPhoto of two clowns

Gabriola boasts several theatre groups offering productions throughout the year. The Gabriola Arts Council also sponsors the Gabriola Theatre Festival - three days of fabulous and diverse entertainment in August.

7. Kayak with seals and ottersPhoto of two kayakers

There are several kayak rental establishments on Gabriola that also offer guided tours. For more information visit Silva Bay Kayak Adventures. If you've brought your own kayak, the Visitor Centre has information on the best places to launch.

8. Build a sand castle

There are many beaches on Gabriola Island, including Gabriola Sands Provincial Park, Sandwell Provincial Park, and Drumbeg Provincial Park.  Also, discover our "Public Access" trails that will take you the shore. The Whalebone area is a narrow exposed stretch of sandy shoreline on the northern shore of the island, perfect for sandcastle building, but also offering peaceful walks and an opportunity to see seals and shorebirds.

9. Spot eagles on a beachcombing expeditionPhoto of eagle perched in a tree

A drive along South Road in the El Verano area is a great place to look for eagles. The Whalebone area is another popular spot.

10. Bike or hike our extensive network of trailsPhoto of YOGI trail marker

The Island offers many great trails to explore.  Check out the Gabriola Land & Trails Trust (GaLTT) website for an interactive map of trails. You can also purchase a paper version of the map at our Visitor Centre.

You can also ride your bike around Gabriola Island following the North/South Road circle route. This route is 27 km long (17 miles).

11. Swim and scuba dive

With over 30 beach access points around the island there is no shortage of places to "jump in".

The natural and artificial reefs around Gabriola Island boast some of the best marine life diving on British Columbia's coast.

12. Keep an eye out for the wildlife

Gabriola offers an abundance of wildlife, including deer, whales, sea lions, seals, otters and bald eagles to name but a few.

13. Play soccer, tennis, volleyball or baseball, or dance or... the list is endless

Man holding up a fish he caught

The Gabriola Recreation Society offers classes in everything from dance to soccer, gardening to basketball. Check out our local newspaper for more information or go to their website.

14. Visit the museum

The Gabriola Museum is full of interactive exhibits depicting the history and culture of the island.

15. Go fishing

Recreational fishing licenses are now purchased online, remember to plan ahead. One of the best places to begin your fishing trip is from Silva Bay at the south end of Gabriola. Thrasher Rock is a hotspot to fish for salmon. Silver Blue Charters can help you plan your perfect fishing trip.

16. Check out the sandstone formations

Explore many of our beaches to discover the variety of sandstone formations. Malaspina Galleries showcases one of the most spectacular sandstone formations on the Gulf Islands. It was made famous in the 1790's by Spanish explorers. For more information please visit the Gabriola Museum.

17. Play a round of golfPhoto of Golfer taking a swing

The island has a challenging nine-hole golf course overlooking Hoggan Lake. Gabriola Golf & Country Club offers a full-service clubhouse where everyone is welcome.

18. Check out the Farmers' Markets

Dozens of local farmers and artisans display their wares every Saturday and Wednesday at our Farmers Markets from the May long weekend to Thanksgiving.

19. Visit the local library

Open Tuesday through Saturday with a variety of events. The Gabriola Library is located in the Folklife Village.

20. Tour the farm gatesPhoto of a barn

Around the island there are many farmstands offering fresh produce and goods for purchase. Visit the wonderful Paradise Island Alpaca Farm  for the opportunity to meet the alpacas and miniature horses. Their shop sells alpaca products, perfect for a one-of-a-kind gift idea. Visit Ravenskill Orchard in September to November for their delicious heritage apples.

21. Shop for treasures at GIRO

The Gabriola Island Recycling Organization is open Wednesdays and Saturdays from 9:30am to 4pm.

22. Relax

Gabriola is a tonic for body and soul. It is a naturally inviting setting for physical, mental and spiritual therapies such as massage, reflexology, and yoga.

Photo of two sheep in the field

23. Experience Gabriola's Phosphorescence

During July and August enjoy a midnight swim among the phosphorescence - an experience you will never forget!

24. Visit Orlebar Point

For a spectacular view of the Entrance Island Lighthouse take a beautiful scenic drive to the end of Berry Point Road.

and lastly, don't forget to ...

25. Book your return trip!

Didn't get to do all the things you wanted to do, don't worry, we'll still be here ... having fun!

© 2017 Gabriola Island Chamber of Commerce - PO Box 249, Gabriola BC V0R 1X0 - Ph: 250-247-9332 - Toll-free: 1-888-284-9332 - Email: info@gabriolaisland.org