British Columbia Travel Guide
The unofficial BC Travel & Tourism Guide
Situated in the protected waters between Vancouver Island and the mainland, Thetis and neighbouring Kuper Islands are typical of the southern Strait of Georgia. The air is dry and fragrant in summer, and the winters mild. The surrounding waters are clear and cold, with strong tidal streams that foster abundant marine life including otters, whales, seals, oysters and clams. A favourite pastime is exploring the beaches, muddy bays and rocky headlands. Recreation includes scuba diving, especially in the famous waters of Polier Pass; fishing for cod and salmon; swimming (the waters are warm as the tides move across hot rocks and into shallow bays), boating, and kayaking. Endless happy hours are spent exploring the beaches, bird watching, hiking and biking. Thetis Island has no official parks, but it has a rural environment and plentiful access points.
Local facilities include post office, liquor store, grocery store, community centre, pub, restaurant, garden nursery, and two marinas. The island is a favourite stop for sailboats cruising the Inside Passage, many of which navigate ‘the cut’, a narrow passage between Kuper and Thetis Islands, to one of the most popular anchorages in the southern Gulf Islands, Telegraph Harbour. Visitors stop for the night, socialize and visit in the pub. There is even a local winery.
Historically, natives used the islands for centuries, gathering from the abundant sea life. The Western names for the islands were given by British sailors in 1851. Settlement began shortly afterwards, and a small population, loyal to the ‘island life’, have never left or come from all corners of the globe. Thetis, named after HMS Thetis of the Royal Navy, is from Greek mythology, a Neriad and daughter of Zeus.
For a piece of paradise, watch the summer sunset from Pilkey Point, on the northeast tip of Thetis, and leave the bustle of city life far behind.
Regular BC Ferry service provides 10 round trips daily. Sailing times are 15 minutes between Chemainus and Thetis Island,15 minutes between Thetis and Kuper Islands, and 30 minutes between Kuper Island and Chemainus.
Thetis Island Accommodations
Thetis Island Things to Do