Sunset on the Gulf Islands Photo SimonSees.com

Hornby Island

Hornby Island has been nicknamed the “Little Hawaii” of Canada. The region is well known for white, sandy beaches stretching around Tribune Bay to meet an aquamarine sea. With close to 1 km (0.6 mi) of fine white sand beach, the south-facing Tribune Bay is easily one of the most spectacular places on the east side of Vancouver Island. Shallow waters here meet near tropical temperatures during the summer, being one of the warmest salt water swimming areas in BC.

This area offers numerous opportunities for water activities, especially during the summer season. Boating activities include kayaking and even hydrobiking. Depending on the time of year, wildlife such as eagles, seals, and sealions can be seen in the area. There are also many beautiful areas to go hiking.

Location

Hornby Island is located off the eastern shore of North Central Vancouver Island, east of Denman Island and opposite Buckley Bay, 20 km (12 mi) south of Courtenay and 86 km (53 mi) or one hour drive north of Nanaimo.

Ferry service is from Buckley Bay to Denman Island, then a drive across Denman Island to the Hornby Ferry Terminal and then ferry to Hornby Island.

A Step Back in Time

Prior to the arrival of European settlers, Hornby Island was the territory of the Pentlatch, a Coast Salish First Nations band. Being semi-nomadic, they used the island seasonally, gathering resources and fishing from its shores. In 1791, the Spanish named the island ‘Isla de Lerena’, but the British later renamed it ‘Hornby Island’, after Rear Admiral Phipps Hornby, who was at that time the Commander of the Pacific Station.

By 1850, there were practically no Pentlatch left due to sickness, slave raids, and the movement of people into their territory from the north. At the end of the 1860s, George Ford, one of the earliest recorded settlers, moved from his settlement in Comox to Hornby Island. Other settlers followed. By the turn of the century, Hornby Island had become a fairly prosperous farming community, although many who came to farm found the sale of logs from the clearing of land more profitable than the farming itself.

Contact Information

Hornby Island

Hornby Island & Nearby Accommodations

21 Listings

Bradsdadsland Campsite

Bradsdadsland Campsite

Hornby Island

A family campground, a family experience. We offer spacious, unique and private campsites. Each site has it's own unique qualities and charm. ... Read more
Tribune Bay Campsite

Tribune Bay Campsite

Hornby Island

Family camping in a treed setting, adjacent to Provincial Park Reserve at beautiful Tribune Bay. Sheltered, safe, sandy beach. June 15-Sept 15. Unserviced $32.00, serviced $38.00, max. 6 people per site and max 2 vehicles per site. Price includes 4 people. Additional person $3.00. ... Read more
TeePee Park Campground

TeePee Park Campground

Comox

Beautiful ocean front camping with sandy beach. Family oriented military campground. Easy access to all the recreational opportunities in the Comox Valley. Special rates for military. General public welcome. Leashed dogs only. 20 sites available for winter camping November - February. ... Read more
Sailcone's Grizzly Bear Safari Lodge

Sailcone's Grizzly Bear Safari Lodge

Knight Inlet

Situated on the small island, Minstrel, on the edge of Knight Inlet, Grizzly Bear Lodge welcomes you to discover the gems of nature. Our pristine location allows us to have easy access to grizzly bear sightings and whale watching. Enjoy our cozy lodge or charming cottage hosted by our friendly staff ... Read more
Cumberland Lake Park Campground

Cumberland Lake Park Campground

Cumberland

Located on beautiful glacier-fed Comox Lake, Cumberland Lake Park offers sandy beaches, swimming float, concessions, campground with 18 serviced sites, 41 unserviced sites, group campsite, boat launch, dock and hiking trails. The park is operated by the Cumberland Lake Wilderness Society (CLWS) a no ... Read more
Galaxy RV (Courtenay)

Galaxy RV (Courtenay)

Courtenay

RV shoppers in the Comox Valley/Courtenay region can now come shop locally for RVs at our Courtenay location on the old Comox Valley Hyundai lot. ... Read more
Puntledge RV Campground & Nim Nim Interpretive Centre

Puntledge RV Campground & Nim Nim Interpretive Centre

Courtenay

Puntledge RV Campground is a family friendly orientated campground with quiet, clean facilities. Our sites are spacious, grassy sites. We are adjacent to the Puntledge River which is great for swimming, tubing and fishing. We are located minutes from downtown Courtenay with sports, recreation, shopp ... Read more
Maple Pool Campground & RV Park

Maple Pool Campground & RV Park

Courtenay

Secluded Getaway on the Tsolum River by the City - located the heart of the beautiful Comox Valley on Vancouver Island, Maple Pool Campground is minutes from Courtenay's city centre, shopping, theatres, golf courses, ski resorts, boat rentals & fishing, and recreational sports centres; it is an idea ... Read more
Seal Bay RV Park Ltd.

Seal Bay RV Park Ltd.

Courtenay

Spacious treed sites in peaceful setting. Sites all fully serviced with hydro, water, sewer and cable. WiFi is also available. A trail leads directly into Seal Bay Nature Park. Boat launch, fishing, golf, biking and hiking all close by. 40 minutes to Mt. Washington. ... Read more
Bates Beach Oceanfront Resort

Bates Beach Oceanfront Resort

Courtenay

Enjoy the spectacular view of the Inside Passage to Alaska at Bate Beach Oceanfront Resort. Located just north of Courtenay, adjacent to Seal Bay Nature Park on Georgia Strait, there are excellent hiking and cycling trails, canoeing, beach-combing and more. We offer different styles of accommodation ... Read more
1 2 3
Travel Spotlight
Camping Lodging

The Super Camping / Select Lodging Guide

First Published in 1989