- Best of Vancouver and Victoria
- Vancouver Island: High Tea to Low Tide
- Vancouver’s Totem Poles
- Vancouver’s Best Hiking
- Family Fun in Vancouver & Victoria
- Focus on Vancouver and Victoria
- Vancouver Weekend Getaway
- Victoria Weekend Getaway
- A Tour Through Time
- Inside Passage Cruises
- Outdoor Adventures
- Winter Fun in Vancouver & Victoria
A 10-minute ferry ride across Discovery Passage from downtown Campbell River takes you to Quadra Island (population 2,500), which blends beautiful scenery, native culture, and upscale fishing lodges to create a unique and worthwhile detour from your up-island travels. The ferry docks in the south of the island, where most of the population resides.
This narrow peninsula widens in the north to an unpopulated area where provincial and marine parks protect a wealth of wildlife. Marinelife around the entire shoreline is widespread; orcas cruise Discovery Passage, and seals and sea lions are commonly spied in surrounding waters.
Sights and Recreation
Learn about the island’s long and rich native history at Nuyumbalees Cultural Centre (Cape Mudge Village, 250/285-3733, Tues.–Sat. 9 a.m.–5 p.m. May–Sept., adult $15, senior $10, child $5). This excellent facility displays a wide variety of ceremonial dresses used in potlatches, as well as masks and other native artifacts. At the island’s southern tip, Cape Mudge Lighthouse was built in 1898 to prevent shipwrecks in the wild surging waters around the point.
On the east coast is Heriot Bay, the name of both a cove and the island’s largest community. Narrow Rebecca Spit protects a beach-lined bay from the elements. Roads lead north from Heriot Bay to the island’s wild northern reaches, where you can go hiking to the low summit of Chinese Mountain (three km/1.9 mi; allow one hour each way), or around Morte Lake (five km/3.1 mi; allow 90 minutes for the loop).
The centerpiece of Tsa-Kwa-Luten Lodge (250/285-2042 or 800/665-7745, www.capemudgeresort.com, camping $25–30, $145–280 s or d) is the foyer, built by the local Kwagiulth people in the style of a big house (a traditional meeting place) using locally milled woods. Each of the 35 spacious rooms is decorated in northwest native theme, and each has a private balcony with water views. The lodge coordinates fishing charters and cultural activities, and its restaurant specializes in native foods.
Another option for campers is the charming We Wai Kai Campsite (250/285-3111, www.wwkampsite.com), set along a pleasant beach at the head of Heriot Bay. Regular sites are $23, or pay $3 extra for water views.
Getting to Quadra Island
BC Ferries (250/386-3431) offers services from Campbell River to the island, every hour on the hour 6 a.m.–11 p.m.; round-trip fare is adult $7.90, child $3.95, vehicle $18.50.
© Andrew Hempstead, from Moon Western Canada, 3rd Edition