Sunshine Coast Desolation Sound, Photo Destination BC Andrew Strain
The largest of the Northern Gulf Islands, Texada Island is a favourite retreat for those looking to enjoy the outdoors and relax amid stunning vistas and the quieter life that island living provides. Situated in Georgia Strait between the BC mainland and Vancouver Island and close to Powell River on the Sunshine Coast in the Vancouver, Coast & Mountains region, this 50 km (31 mi) long, 10 km (6 mi) wide island provides opportunities for walking and hiking to the top of Mount Pocahontas, scuba diving in Anderson Bay and skim-boarding at Gillies Bay Beach. Biking, rock-hounding, golfing or just exploring some of nature’s paradise is all here for you to enjoy.
The crystal clear waters and sheltered bays around the coastline provide wonderful opportunities for scuba diving, kayaking and swimming. One popular location for diving is Anderson Bay where you can see an amazing array of sealife including sponges, giant octopus and corals. Other nearby diving locations are also popular with several having been recommended in scuba diving magazines. Boaters can launch their boats in either Shelter Point Park or Sturt Bay. There is limited moorage in Van Anda and unprotected moorage in many of the small bays around Texada Island.
Many artists reside on Texada Island and visitors will enjoy the unique items on display and for sale. Annually in August, an Artists’ Studio Tour is available where visitors can view and purchase items including those made of glass, wood, textiles, paintings, jewelry, and more. Every Sunday in the summer a Farmer’s Market is held at Gillies Bay and offers local fresh produce, baked goods and arts and crafts made by the locals.
BC Ferries provides several sailings a day on this short 35-minute service between Powell River and Blubber Bay on Texada Island. Visitors can also fly to Gillies Bay Airport from Vancouver’s South Terminal or from Qualicum Beach on Vancouver Island.
The First Nations inhabited Texada Island for hundreds of years before the Spanish discovered the island in 1791. This is evidenced by middens and fish weirs found on the west coast as well as arrowheads and shards of tools. In the late 1800s homesteaders ventured to Texada and started mining for copper, iron and gold. Rock-hounds can sometimes find a small treasure to take home. Today, mining is focused on limestone. The Texada Island Museum located in Van Anda depicts early life on Texada Island.