This 40 square km island has a population of 4,000 and lies just off Nanaimo, and is
considered the “Queen of the Gulf Islands.” There are lots of land-based recreational opportunities on the island,
as well as water sports in the natural harbours of Silva Bay and Degnen Bay. But its not all “roughing it”.
There’s all the necessary shops, accommodation, art galleries, golf course, and services for a small town.
The Island tooks its name from its eastern point, named Punta de Gaviota (seagull point)
by the Spanish explorer Jose Maria Narvaez in 1791. It evolved into Punta de Gaviola, and shorted to Gabriola when
the name was applied to the whole island, likely by Captain George Richards in 1859.
Degnen Bay’s natural harbour is great of cruising, canoeing or kayaking. There are also ancient petroglyphs near the shoreline.
Gabriola Sands Provincial Park
This 6 hectare park has Twin Beaches and lies on the northwest end of the island. At Malaspina Point are unusual sandstone galleries cause by frost wedging.
Sandwell Provincial Park
This park is on the northeast end of the island, has nice sandy beaches and a lightly forested upland. The park is for day-use only.