Gambier Island is the largest of four islands located in Howe Sound, British Columbia, Canada (not to be confused with the 14 small Gambier Islands, located 1600 km southeast of Tahiti). The BC island is approximately twenty-five square miles with only 125 permanent residents, primarily located in New Brighton, Gambier Harbour and West Bay. That number swells to over 600 in the summer. BC Ferries provides passenger service between Langdale and New Brighton and there are gravel roads connecting the three communities. They have electricity and telephone and some even have high-speed internet access. There is no car-ferry access – something most residents want to preserve.
The island currently does not have any commercial enterprises. The Gambier Community Centre is the only public facility. There is no ATM on the island! That said, you are welcome and encouraged to explore! Places to stay include cottages, vacation rentals, and B&Bs. There is also superb hiking.
-information in part courtesy gambierisland.org
Getting to Gambier Island
If you’re coming for a visit to Gambier, you’ll need to check schedules as they can change frequently. If coming from Vancouver, you’ll need to first get on BC Ferries from Horseshoe Bay to Langdale, and then from Langdale terminal you can take the passenger ferry to Gambier. Have your own boat? Fantastic! Keep the tide tables, Howe Sound marine weather report, and the local boat traffic report handy and you’re all set.
Keats Island is one of the smaller islands in Howe Sound, located offshore from the community of Gibsons on the Sunshine Coast and directly west of Bowen Island.
Other than a few cleared fields, the entire island is covered in forest. There are several beaches scattered around the island, and a prominent rocky outcrop called Salmon Rock at the Southwest tip.
Visitors to Keats Island can take a BC Ferry vessel from Horseshoe Bay north of Vancouver to Langdale Ferry Terminal on the Sunshine Coast. Keats Island and nearby Gambier Island are served by foot passenger ferry from the ferry terminal at Langdale, and Keats is accessible by water taxi from Gibsons and Horseshoe Bay. For years, Keats was served from Langdale by the ferry “Dogwood Princess” and is now served by the ferry “Stormaway”.
There are a few rough roads connecting locations on the island, but there is very little vehicle use. A high proportion of the residential properties are accessible only from the water. Plumper Cove Marine Provincial Park – one of the oldest marine parks in BC – is a popular overnight destination for boaters and kayakers from nearby Gibsons and Vancouver.