Pender Island is situated in the Southern Gulf Islands, west of
Saturna Island, just north of San
Juan Island in Washington State and east of Sidney
on Vancouver Island.
To get here you either arrive by a BC Ferries scheduled sailing,
water taxi, pleasure craft or floatplane. BC Ferries has a daily
schedule that leaves from Tsawwassen terminal south of Richmond
going through the other Southern Gulf Islands or direct via Swartz
Bay Terminal on Vancouver Island.
and South Islands
Pender Island is actually made up of two islands - North and South
Pender. The two islands are connected by a short, narrow bridge
south from the ferry terminal at Otter Bay on Canal Road. The crossing
was created by dredging a canal in 1902 and, later, a bridge in
1955 across from Port Browning through to Bedwell Harbour.
This land between the two islands has historically been called 'Xelisen'
meaning from the First Nations as the land 'lying between.' The
area between the two islands was a traditional food resource area
with archaeologists discovering historic findings. Xelisen has since
been declared a provincial heritage site.
and Fall Season
The population of Pender Island is around 2,200 full-time residents.
The numbers of people increase a lot in the summer and fall seasons.
Tourism is very popular and quite a few people return to enjoy summer
homes or waterfront condominiums.
To find the main business area of Pender Island, go to the Driftwood
Centre situated at the south end of Bedwell Harbour Road near Port
Browning. At the Driftwood Centre, you can find a Tru Value Foods
grocery store, the Visitor Info Centre, the Post Office, Pender
Island Realty, Driftwood Auto Centre and the very popular Pender
Island Bakery where you can have a coffee, sit down and enjoy some
freshly baked goods.
Pender Island is home to a number of artists, local authors, painters
and pottery makers and features a number of small art studios found
all over the island.
Browning Marina Resort
For beaches, try going to Port Browning, the site of a natural harbour
situated on the south side of North Pender towards Plumper Sound.
At Port Browning you can find a pub and marina resort with beautiful
southerly views towards Saturna Island. Port Browning Marina Resort
has been a local fixture since the inception of Pender Island and
is well worth the visit.
There are a couple of good walking trails on Pender, one going up
and the George Hill trail on North Pender, the other going up Mount
Norman on South Pender. Both trails are in parks and offer great
views of the Gulf Islands and some wildlife watching opportunities.
The parks belong in the Gulf Island National Park Reserve of Canada.
For the very best in resort living, try visiting the spa facility
at Poets Cove on South Pender Island. Poets Cove Resort also features
a marina with Canadian custom facilities, accommodation, a spa,
restaurant and a beautiful southerly view.
Island Golf & Country Club
If you would like to try a hand at some golf, Pender Island has
a very nice 9-hole course. The course called, Pender Island Golf
& Country Club, was incorporated as a society in 1945 and is
a beautiful gem, is quite challenging and also open year-round.
Island Disc Park
For something unique especially if you love the outdoors then you
have to try the Gulf Island Disc Park located in Magic Lake Estates
off Galleon Way on the North Island. The top-notch course features
27 holes or pure adrenaline facing the ever-challenging conditions
near the ocean.
Method of Travel to Pender Island
During the summer time, things get very busy throughout the Southern
Gulf Islands especially when travelling and BC Ferries can be fully
booked. Another alternative to travel is to take either a water-taxi
or floatplane. An operator for water-taxi service is Gulf Island
Water Taxi and, for floatplanes, Seair Seaplanes and Kenmore Air
on Pender Island