British Columbia Travel Guide
The unofficial BC Travel & Tourism Guide
Pender Harbour - Madeira Park, Garden Bay and Irvines Landing
On a coastline renowned for its mix of inlets, coves, and anchorages, Pender Harbour stands out as being extraordinary. Situated off Malispina Inlet, the shores of the harbour twist and turn in every direction, providing a delightful, and sometimes confusing land and seascape. Basking on a warm rock under an arbutus tree by an azure sea, visitors will be tempted to do nothing more than enjoy this peaceful oasis. But once satiated by the sea and sun, there are plenty of attractions. Whether you come for an adventure, a holiday, for business, or retirement, Pender Harbour, and the small communities that dot the shoreline, Madeira Park, Garden Bay and Irvines Landing, have something for everyone. The harbour has 52 km of shoreline rich with natural wonders, services and accomodations.
Madeira Park is the southeastern shore of the harbour. With 400 meters of government dock and an abundance of services, it is the considered the shopping district of Pender Harbour. Garden Bay, on the northeastern shore, has fewer shops, but plenty of moorage, a yacht club, restaurants and lovely accommodations. A restaurant, grocery store, boat launch, and campsite at Irvines Landing, on the northwestern shore, provides to the needs of numerous pleasure boaters and commercial operations. A visit to any or all of these communities will be a rewarding and fun experience.
Area attractions include superlative moorage, deep, clear waters, kayaking and canoeing, as well as world class diving, especially in winter when the visibility is at its best. Charter operations, some heading as far away as Princess Louisa Inlet, are abundant. Across Malispina Inlet is the largest island in the northern Gulf of Georgia, Texada, and around the corner, is picturesque Secret Cove. Ruby Lake and Klein Lake are nearby, offering perfect swimming and excellent fishing. There are two hikes in the immediate area: Pender Hill is above Irvines Landing and rises steeply to 231 meters, and Mount Daniel is 419 meters above Garden Bay. Mount Daniel is known not only for its rigourous hike, but for its Sechelt First Nation artifacts, including moon rings and pictographs.
Nearby provincial parks include Spipiyus Provincial Park, a 2979 h park protecting Douglas-fir, Mountain and Western Hemlocks, and some of the oldest living Yellow Cedars in the world, as well as nesting habitat for the Marbled Murrelet, and incredibly fast flying seabird that only nests in the top of old growth trees.
There are two marine parks, Francis Point and Garden Bay. Garden Bay is on the north shore of Pender Harbour, and includes forested slopes that flank Mount Daniel, with trails to the peak. Francis Point, with it prototypical Gulf of Georgia coastline of pine, fir and arbutus, offers sublime hiking and seaside activities, including diving, kayaking and swimming.
Pender Harbour Golf Course is only a few kilometers away. In September, take in the Pender Harbour Jazz Festival.
Pender Harbour and its communities are a main stop for people doing the South Coast Circle Tour, from Vancouver up the Sunshine Coast, across the Gulf of Georgia by ferry to Campbell River, and south on the Island Highway to Victoria, before returning to Vancouver by ferry.
Location and access:
From Horseshoe Bay Ferry Terminal in Vancouver, take the ferry to Langdale and head north on the coast for 50 km to Pender Harbour.
Pender Harbour Accommodations
Pender Harbour Things to Do