Gambier Island (Chá7elkwnech) is the largest island in Howe Sound and truly exudes relaxed island vibes. It’s located offshore from the community of Gibsons, within the traditional territory of the Skwxwú7mesh Nation.
The island is home to approximately 100 permanent residents, primarily in New Brighton, Gambier Harbour, and West Bay. Gravel roads connect the three communities, and BC Ferries offers convenient foot passenger service between Langdale and New Brighton.
Visitors to the island should be self-sufficient. The Gambier Community Centre is the only public facility, and since there are no stores or restaurants, you’ll need to bring adequate supplies (including enough drinking water). Respectful visitors are welcome—be Wildsafe and practice the principles of Leave No Trace.
Things to Do
Day trippers can take a ferry or water taxi to Gambier Island’s New Brighton on the western side of the island to visit the seasonal Gambier Island Farmers Market, Anavets Park, or a pop-up art event from one of the talented Artists of Gambier Island. Experienced paddlers can kayak to the island from Gibsons Landing Harbour—depending on your destination, a return trip can take between 4 – 9 hours.
On the eastern side of Gambier Island, Halkett Bay Marine Provincial Park is a prime spot for boaters. Here, you can spend the day picnicking, hiking, and swimming. Fishing opportunities are limited because the park is home to a glass sponge reef conservation initiative. Scuba divers can explore the nearby HMCS Annapolis, a former helicopter-carrying destroyer that’s now an artificial reef.
Also in Halkett Bay, visitors can follow a hiking trail from the shoreline up through coastal forests to the peak of Mt. Artaban. A moderate to high difficulty trail that takes about 2 hours to summit, spectacular views of Howe Sound reward hikers who are up for the challenge.
Where to Stay
Gambier Island is home to a handful of small accommodations, including vacation rentals, cabins, and several summer camps that offer seasonal options for children and families.
There are also three boat access-only campsites in Halkett Bay Marine Provincial Park. Facilities include a pit toilet, along with a buoy and dinghy dock. Note that campfires are prohibited in the park, and there are no garbage services, so you’ll be responsible for packing out your garbage. The BC Marine Trail network has identified other backcountry marine picnic and campsites around the island.
Food & Drink
There are no restaurants or grocery stores on the island. There may be occasional roadside vendors in the summer months, but visitors need to plan ahead to ensure they have adequate supplies—including a supply of drinking water.
Getting to Gambier Island
Visitors to Gambier Island will need to take a ferry from the Langdale Ferry Terminal or charter a water taxi from the Gibsons Landing Harbour.
BC Ferries operates a foot passenger ferry from Langdale (Gibsons) to Gambier Island (New Brighton). The sailing duration varies depending on the number of stops but typically takes approximately 10 minutes.
Other options include the Gibsons Harbour Ferry and Sunshine Coast Water Taxi, both of which offer chartered water taxi services from Gibsons.
- 611 School Road
Offering a Water Taxi and Tour service from Gibsons to Horseshoe Bay and everywhere in between. Two boats, one slow 10-passenger and one high-speed water taxi.
- 2463 Austin Road
Sea Cottage seasonal vacation rental on Gambier Island is a delightful, private beach bungalow which accommodates a maximum of four people. It is self-catered so you can bring your own special foods and beverages. Sorry, there is no WiFi or pets. Access is by BC Ferries, boat or…