At over 300 square kilometres, Texada, Located on the Sunshine Coast of BC, is the largest of the Gulf Islands on the Sunshine Coast of B.C. The island, affectionately known as “The Rock,” has a wonderful colourful history that includes stories of Wild West gold fever days along with natural outdoor attractions not found anywhere else.
Friendly residents, warm Sunshine Coast climate and an amazing natural beauty all add to the variety of adventures and explorations visitors can enjoy here.
Welcome to Sah yeh yeen (Texada Island)
The Tla'amin people have used and occupied these lands since time immemorial with settlements throughout the Island. The Tla'amin Nation will own lands at Pocahontas and Raven Bay. All around the island are significant archeological sites, which are protected by the Heritage Conservation Act and subject to fines if disturbed or destroyed. The Tla'amin people welcome you to these lands to use and enjoy and ask that you assist in continuing to protect these valuable resources.
Things To Do
Hiking & Biking: An abundance of trails and old logging roads cover the island. Also, check out the “Nature Trail” at Shelter Point Regional Park for old growth forest, Mount Pocahontas for east island views and Stromberg Falls centrally located.
A lack of predators on Texada makes outdoor adventuring here even more attractive.
There are 10 lakes suitable for kayaking or canoeing with Priest, Spectacle, Kirk, First, Bob’s and Angle lakes being the favourites. As well there are wonderful bays and coves around the ocean sides, and in particular the trip across from Shingle Beach to Jedidiah Island Marine Sanctuary for avid paddlers.
There are as many as 265 species of birds that either reside year round or migrate -including the blue heron, eagles, loons, osprey, harlequin ducks, cormorants and scooters can all be spotted. While you are looking for that special bird species see if you can catch sight of the Westcoast Painted Turtle at Emily Lake in Van Anda.
Rock hounding, caving or geocaching
Look for sea agates and fossilized sea creatures. Find a “flower rock” (star porphyry volcanic) a black volcanic stone with white, flower shaped, crystals unique to Texada. In the late 1800s iron, gold and copper mines flourished at Marble Bay. You never know what you might find at the deactivated sites dotting the landscape. Geocaching is becoming a great pastime with over a dozen caches already posted on the Texada geocaching website geocaching.com – check it out! Who knew we have “karst caves” here on the island not far from Stromberg Falls. You might have to coerce one of the locals to find them but if you do, please tread softly through these delicate wonders.
Gillies Bay beach is the place to be for this popular sport for all ages.
Awesome salmon fishing at Coho Point or along the northeast and northwest ends of the island. The many lakes for trout fishing will tempt you to wet a line with your favourite dry fly. A fishing license is required for fresh or saltwater fishing.
See incredible corals, giant Pacific octopus, fish of all kinds in a rich diversity of habitats and walls dripping with marine life. Anderson Bay is a recommended site, as is Sturt Bay with its sunken wrecks from times gone by - Truly a diver’s paradise.
You can find gourmet meals, charming bistro as well as great pub food at the local hotel. The local Legion is known for its hospitality and craft beer on tap located in Van Anda. A summer concession at Shelter Point Park Campground is available for the hungry camper or day picnicker.
Gillies Bay: Visit the Sunday Farmers Market at Gillies Bay ball field from May through October. Groceries and liquor, propane, post office, and lotto are all available at the Gilles Bay Store.
The thrift store, which supports the local Girl Guides is open three days a week. A well-stocked Library is open often for the reading enthusiast.
Check out the local artisan’s home-based galleries for that special gift or souvenir to take home.
Van Anda: The village post office is open daily Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Texada Market for groceries and liquour needs is open seven days a week. Local artisans home-based galleries await you.
Blubber Bay: That Place Café and Curiousities sells local artists' and artisans' products just off the ferry. Or on your way home stop in for a memento of your visit.
Texada Airport with its 3,000-foot paved runway is exclusively serviced by KD Air with three daily flights on a triangle route from Vancouver South Terminal to Qualicum Airport to Texada - generally landing within an hour from YVR to YGB. Most local restaurants and accommodation providers offer free shuttle service to and from the airport.
BC Ferries operates ferry service from Westview terminal in Powell River to Blubber Bay terminal on Texada with a 35 minute crossing time. Sailing times and schedules can be found on the BC Ferries website at bcferries.com.
When planning a trip to Desolation Sound or points father north don’t forget to stop in at Sturt Bay for an overnight on the dock at the Texada Boating Club or on the anchor in the bay.
There is a wide choice of bed & breakfasts and cottage/cabins. There is also an RV park with full hook ups.
Fishing, kayaking, wildlife viewing, mountain biking and hiking in over 2,200 acres of wilderness. Four-wheel access or by boat.
Anderson Bay Provincial Park next door provides well-protected anchorage. No services.
Jedediah Island Marine Park: This 600 acre island paradise is located off the southern tip of Texada Island. Old-growth stands of Douglas fir, meadows, rocky coves, sandy beaches, nesting sites and deep anchorages. Boat access only.
Texada Art, Culture and Tourism Society (TACT) boasts a diverse array of local events such as the Texada Annual Fly-In at the airport, Texada AeroSpace Camp, Texada Bi-Annual Art Studio Tour, Blues and Roots Music Festival, Run the Rock Marathon, half marathon and 8k race, and Kids Saving Earth week.
Be sure to visit the Texada Island Heritage Society’s “Van Anda Museum” located next to the elementary school. Here you’ll find tales of scandal, intrigue, gold, copper and marble, devastating fires, prohibition and rum running, and rich First Nations history.
Hosted by the Texada Island Community Society (formed in 1939), Sandcastle Weekend is held at Gillies Bay annually on the lowest tide of the year (usually in July). Sandcastle Weekend is one family event you won’t want to miss. The weekend celebration includes a parade, music, food, games, artisans and a Legion Pig Roast. Be sure to plan your next holiday around this fun-filled weekend.