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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

Virtual Traveller

A woman perched on the Mt. Warburton Pike during sunset Mt. Warburton Pike, Saturna Island
© Parks Canada / Josh McCulloch

Tending not to travel very often, you prefer the comforts of home to the uncertainties of new places or cultures. Often very active locally, you usually find enough to satisfy your sense of exploration within your community. Rather than being restricted to the confines of pre-packaged tours, you prefer the flexibility of being able to decide what you want or don’t want to do on your own. Your trips tend to be shorter, close to home and centered on family events.

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 your time browsing the second hand bookstores. On Thursday evenings in summer, the famous outdoor market is worth a visit.

Need a mini-getaway? Enjoy a relaxing afternoon with your nearest and dearest on the famous 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. Get away from it all without going far from home.

Come to a place where tranquil scenery is only a few minutes away from all the amenities of modern life. Enjoy a leisurely weekend “in your own backyard” while camping at McDonald Campground (a 25-minute drive from Victoria). Breathe in the clean air, admire the beautiful forest setting and roast marshmallows over a crackling campfire with your family.

For the Virtual Traveller, we suggest…

Float your boat – Cruise to Cabbage Island and enjoy the peace and quiet or circumnavigate Princess Margaret (Portland Island) for 360 degrees of stunning views. If you don’t have your own boat, hire a kayak guide for the day or treat yourself to a guided eco-tour.

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.

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).

Mediterranean on a shoestring – With its warm sandy beaches and inviting blue waters, Sidney Spit is the closest thing to the tropics on the west coast. Lie back on your beach blanket and be transported to paradise!

Soothing Strolls – Stroll along the warm sandy beaches of Sidney Spit, admire the picturesque view of the lagoon and dip your toes in the Pacific Ocean. Or, slip away from the afternoon sun on Saturna Island to ramble along the shoreline of Winter Cove to a breathtaking view of Boat Pass and the Strait of Georgia. Sit back, relax and be mesmerized by the tides.