Nelson Island sits just between the north and south portions of the Sunshine Coast, in the traditional territory of the shíshálh Nation. The island is accessible by private boat or floatplane, primarily from Egmont or Pender Harbour; it also sits along the BC Ferries route between Earls Cove and Saltery Bay, so you can take in views of the island during your ferry trip.
With only a handful of summer cabins, the island is hardly inhabited, and there are no public amenities on the island—it’s truly an escape for those who want to get off the grid.
Hotham Sound, Agamemnon Channel, and Malaspina Strait surround Nelson Island. It’s primarily forested, although there are some clear-cut areas inland. Lakes and large mountainous hills define the island's geography. Logging operations and granite quarries were early features of the island, and many buildings in BC were built out of Nelson Island granite, including the Parliament Buildings in Victoria.
Things to Do
Boaters and paddlers will find sheltered coves and bays when exploring the island's ocean waterways. Nearby Nelson Island are two Marine Provincial Parks, Hardy Island and Harmony Islands. Both offer ample opportunities for kayaking, swimming, and snorkelling. Hardy Island allows for wilderness camping, while the Harmony Islands are situated just one mile south of Freil (Harmony) Falls, a towering 1500 ft waterfall that plunges into Hotham Sound.
Where to Stay
Nelson Island is home to a few private cabins/vacation rental accommodations. Vacation rentals include Out There, located on a small islet next to Nelson Island. You can book accommodation on this private island to experience off-grid eco-living, including solar and wind power.
Food & Drink
You won’t find any restaurants or grocery stores on Nelson Island, so you’ll need to come prepared. Check with your hosts to see what you need to take to your vacation rental, and experienced paddlers must ensure you bring adequate food, water, and supplies to the island.
Getting to Nelson Island
Nelson Island is accessible only by private boat, chartered water taxi, or floatplane. Confirm with your hosts how you will get to and from your accommodation if booking a vacation rental property.