Common menu bar links

Gulf Islands National Park Reserve of Canada

Explorer Quotient

Authentic Explorer | Cultural Explorer | Cultural History Buff | Free Spirit | Gentle Explorer | No-hassle Traveller | Personal History Explorer | Rejuvenator | Virtual Traveller

No-Hassle Traveller

A park interpreter giving an exciting presentation on the beach Sit back and enjoy some time with a park interpreter!
© Parks Canada / Christian J. Stewart

As a bit of an escapist, you search for relaxation and simplicity when you get away. You prefer worry-free travel and spending time travelling with family and friends. Short breaks and getaways are preferred to long-distance travel. After planning the basics of the trip (accommodations, transportation), you like to fill in the details as you go. Along the way, you hope to see and expose your family.

Get off the beaten track and bring the whole brood for a “not-to-be missed” Gulf Islands experience– the Saturday market on Pender and Saturna Islands (just a short BC ferry “cruise” away from Sidney or Vancouver). Soak up the easy-going island charm while sampling local comfort food and browsing for treasures handcrafted by island artisans.

If you have only an afternoon to spare – take off with your nearest and dearest to the gorgeous beaches of Sidney Spit. Pack a picnic, build a sandcastle and catch up on your favorite book. Unwind on your beach blanket and be transported to the tropics by the warm sandy beaches and inviting blue waters.

Need a mini-getaway? Go on a weekend camping trip just a 25 minute drive from Victoria at McDonald Campground. Kick back and relax. You’ll find tranquil scenery just a few steps from all of the conveniences of the city. Breathe in the clean air, admire the beautiful forest setting and roast marshmallows over a crackling campfire with your family.

For the No-Hassle Traveller, we suggest…

Under the sea – The Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre is a Parks Canada partner that offers you the opportunity to touch local marine creatures and see the ocean environment normally hidden under the waves in the park reserve.

Sidney Stroll with a view – Admire stunning views of the park while strolling the waterfront boardwalk in Sidney. Stop in at the nearby shops for coffee or ice-cream, or take some time to browse the second hand bookshops. On Thursday evenings in the summer, drop by the famous outdoor market.

Scenic road trip – Drive to the top of Mt. Warburton Pike on Saturna Island and enjoy the breathtaking bird’s eye view. Or, cruise along the stunning ocean-side road to East Point on Saturna Island where you will find an unparalleled view of the Strait of Georgia (and your best chance to spot a whale from land).

Natural encounters – Touch a slug, smell a tree, hear the “poof” of a whale and get your feet wet while you discover the plants and animals of the park reserve on a free and fun nature program. Check the website or an information kiosk (at locations throughout the park) for a list of program locations and times.