Gambier Island is situated in Howe Sound just north of Bowen
Island with the east coast of the island located around 15 km
(9.5 miles) from Horseshoe Bay in
West Vancouver. Gambier Island
is the largest island in area in Howe Sound and can be plainly seen
from the 'Sea to Sky' Hwy 99, Lions Bay or from near Gibsons
at Langdale and Port Mellon.
To visit Gambier Island you have to take a private boat, float plane,
water-taxi or the passenger-only ferry offered by BC Ferries. The
ferry leaves from the BC Ferries' terminal at Langdale to the small
settlement of New Brighton.
For water-taxi service you can use Gambier Water Taxi out of Gibsons
or Mercury Launch & Tug which has a year-round schedule from
Horseshoe Bay in West Vancouver. Cormorant Marine Water Taxi also
offers scheduled service throughout the year on the weekends.
New Brighton is situated on Gambier Island's south-west coastline
in Thornbrough Bay and represents the island's main meeting area
for the local residents especially with the Gambier Community Centre
located there. Besides New Brighton, there are also the smaller
settlement areas of Gambier Harbour and West Bay.
Island Store & Diner
The Gambier Island Store & Diner is the island's only public
business and is located in New Brighton right near the public wharf
where the passenger-only ferry docks. The store sells limited items
including some basic staples and has a small café. Please
phone the Gambier Island Store & Diner for varying hours of
operation (604) 886-3838, depending upon the season.
Although Gambier Island is situated very close to the larger communities
of Bowen Island, West Vancouver, Gibsons and Squamish,
it is like a world apart. Rather than the hustle and bustle of a
city, Gambier Island offers a nice quiet setting away from vehicular
traffic and makes a perfect getaway for boating, hiking or just
camping out and looking at the stars.
The gravel roads on Gambier Island are ideal for quads, small dirt
bikes, mountain biking or just plain walking or hiking. Make sure
you get an up to date map, follow the directions for the local paths,
avoid private property, respect Gambier Island residents, be prepared
and hike, walk or bike carefully as there could be unforeseen dangers.
Remember the weather could change at any time so expect different
trail demands and time requirements.
For a beautiful view of Howe Sound and the surrounding landscape,
especially the 'Sea to Sky' highway corridor, take a walk up to
the top of Mount Artaban. Now part of Gambier Island's first protected
nature reserve, there are hikes up Mount Artaban from either Camp
Fircom or Halkett Bay Marine Park. The walks are filled with a wide
range of viewpoints along the way to the top while protecting and
going through sections of old-growth trees and biologically diverse
Gambier Island is also a great place to explore if you have any
kind of boat. On the south side there are three distinct bays called
West, Centre and Port Graves. Then, on the south-east side past
Hope Point is Halkett Bay, the site of a provincial marine park.
With the winds generally flowing out of Howe Sound south from Squamish
these distinct bays provide plenty of moorage protection for your
boat because of the way they face the south.
Several yacht clubs have recognized this fact and have established
private moorage docks along the coastal regions on the island. Centre
Bay Yacht Station is one of the most prominent and was first purchased
in 1962 by businessman Frank Griffith and Alexandra Island which
is controlled by the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club.
If you are planning to use a private boat from the 'Sea to Sky'
there are a number of marinas along Hwy 99. Sewell's Marina is in
Horseshoe Bay, Sunset Marina, Lions Bay Marina and Thunderbird Marina
near Eagle Harbour in West Vancouver. From Gibsons Landing there
is Hyak Marine Services, Gibsons Landing Harbour Authority and the
Gibsons Marina & Chandlery and in Snug Cove on Bowen Island,
Bowen Island Marina.
When you happen to be visiting on the island and would like a place
to camp out overnight, there is some walk-in wilderness camping
found at Douglas Bay and Brigade Bay. Douglas Bay features a small
waterfall that is worth the view. You can also find three boat-accessed
wilderness campsites at Halkett Bay Provincial Park.
There are a number of youth camps located on Gambier Island helping
to guide people through support, relationship building and biblical
teachings of Jesus. Camp Fircom is located on the east side near
Halkett Bay while Camp Artaban is in Port Graves Bay and Latona
Beach Camp is on the north side near Ekins Point.
on Gambier Island