Quathiaski Cove, Quadra Island | Photo Carol Stathers
The largest and most populated of the Discovery Islands, Quadra Island is nestled between Vancouver Island and the mainland of British Columbia. Quathiaski Cove is the main hub and point of arrival for the BC Ferries service between Campbell River on Vancouver Island and Quadra Island.
Popular Cape Mudge village (Yaculta) is located nearby in a picturesque bay looking across Discovery Passage. Home to the Laichwiltach First Nations People, also known as the Kwakwak’awakw, their rich culture is showcased in the Museum at Cape Mudge. The adjacent Artists & Carving Centre provides a spectacular facility for the creation of new works. The Nuyumabales Cultural Centre has a significant collection of historical artifacts, ceremonial regalia, and carvings and is a major attraction for students of native history and culture.
Fishing opportunities attracts anglers to the waters around Quadra Island which has yielded some of the largest salmon ever caught on BC’s west coast. Popular areas to fish include the waters off Cape Mudge, Copper Bluffs and April Point, as well as at the entrance to Quathiaski Cove.
Hiking opportunities are plentiful on Quadra Island, whether you enjoy a gentle stroll or a more vigorous all-day hike. Hiking trails traverse a wide range of terrain, including beaches, broad open meadows, mountains, and forests. Pick up a copy of the Quadra Island Trails Map.
Boating, kayaking and diving attract visitors as does cycling, beachcombing and more. There are lots of activities on Quadra Island or you can just relax and do nothing.
Quathiaski Cove is located on Quadra Island opposite the community of Campbell River on Vancouver Island’s East Coast. Located 160 km (100 mi) northwest of Vancouver via BC Ferries from Horseshoe Bay to Nanaimo then Hwy 19 north. Quadra Island is served by regular ferry service via the city of Campbell River.
Quadra Island was home to the Coast Salish peoples until the arrival of Captain George Vancouver in the late 18th-century. He came to Cape Mudge in 1792 and found a settled community with long houses, boats, and approximately 350 residents. The Coast Salish abandoned the area and the Laichwiltach peoples took over. Today the Laichwiltach, now more commonly known as the Kwakwak’awakw people, continue to live and prosper in the village of Cape Mudge.
Quadra Island was named after Don Juan Franscisco de la Bodega y Quadra, the Spanish Naval Officer and close friend of George Vancouver. The island remained a pristine wilderness until the 1880s, when it became known as one of the few Gulf Islands where both logging and mining could be profitable. The Lucky Jim mine opened in 1903 and for a time yielded tonnes of gold and copper ore. A fish-canning plant also flourished in the early 1900s, at its heyday employing between 200-300 workers. It burnt down in 1941 and was never rebuilt. By 1904, Quadra had two post offices, a school, hotel, lumber camps, mills, and a mission. A passenger ferry started in 1949 and a car ferry in 1960.