Pender Island Travel & Tourism Guide

Pender Island is located in the Gulf of Georgia, just north of the American San Juan Islands, and in between Vancouver on the mainland and Sidney and Victoria on Vancouver Island.The largest Southern Gulf Islands are comprised of Galiano Island, Gabriola Island, Mayne Island, Saturna Island, Salt Spring Island and the Pender Islands. These islands are accessible by ferries from both Vancouver (Tsawwassen) and Sidney (Swartz Bay). Airlines also service these islands.

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Fawn Lilies at Roesland

Fawn Lilies at Roesland

The Pender Islands are made up of North and South Pender Island and are separated by a dredged narrow canal, linked by a one lane bridge. The canal was dredged in the early 1900’s to enable the ferry to travel from Hope Bay on the Pender Islands to Victoria, thus avoiding the treacherous waters off the south point and trimming hours from the trip.South Pender Island is more rural and less populated. Bedwell Harbour, the site of the customs dock and a flourishing marina and resort, is located on South Pender, as are two popular hiking trails, one leading up to Mt. Norman and splendid views and the other following ┬áthe canal over to Beaumont Marine Park with its white shell beaches and arbutus headland.┬áNorth Pender Island, with several subdivisions (Magic Lake and Trincomali), has by far the larger population. Here you’ll find a health clinic, an elementary school, a community hall, Driftwood Mall shopping centre, churches, the best second hand shop in the west, a library, and historic Port Washington and Hope Bay, with their government docks and heritage store.
With a permanent population at 2400 and rising, the Pender Islands census triples in summer, with visitors and weekend cottagers arriving to enjoy the sunshine, the beaches, the outdoor activities and the rural lifestyle.Penderites are well known for their community theatre, their arts activities, their fall fair, their crafts and their island grown festivals, of which the New Year’s Lantern Festival is one. Over fifty community groups, from Quilt Makers to Folk Dancers, meet regularly for fun, exercise, support, artistic expression and friendship.

Pender Island New Year's Lantern Festival

Pender Island New Year's Lantern Festival