About Quadra Island

The largest of the Northern Gulf Islands, Quadra is 35 km. long and in one place 9 km. wide, it covers 119sq miles or 310 sq.km. Most of the 2647 (2006 census) residents live in the southern part of the island near Quathiaski Cove and at mid-island at Heriot Bay. Visitors might be greeted by dolphins or killer whales while crossing the Discovery Passage, a 12-minute ferry ride from Campbell River to Quathiaski Cove on BC Ferries (http://www.bcferries.com.) the "Powell River Queen". The “Cove” has a good selection of stores, a pharmacy, banking facility and a gas station. Heriot Bay is the departure point to the other Discovery Islands, Desolation Sound and Cortes Island. Both the Cove and Heriot Bay have goods and services for visitors including grocery stores, post offices, liquor stores, guides, outfitters, gift shops, rentals, as well as pubs, restaurants and public docks.Quadra Island is renowned for its natural beauty, first class hospitality and culture. The moderate climate makes outdoor activities enjoyable year-round.

section from:www.adsat.com
Spring begins at the end of February, followed by a relatively dry summer. Although the island is located in the temperate rain forest zone, rain is noted by its absence. The November drama of ocean waves makes the choice between a summer or winter vacation a difficult decision. The nutrient-rich waters surrounding Quadra are fed by huge tidal actions that nourish abundant marine life. Fishing is great all year round. Diving is superb, especially in the winter months when the water is crystal clear. The Jacques Cousteau Society considers Quadra Island one of the top diving locations in the world. The HMCS Columbia is an artificial reef, just waiting to be explored.
Dogfish Bay, Quadra Island, photo:Chris Rose
The character, landscape and life-style of Quadra are unique and different from other islands. Long-time residents express a feeling of tranquility and relaxation upon disembarking in Quathiaski Cove. Visitors are invited to experience the island state of mind for themselves.
Tea in our Garden, photo Jean Lovell
Human habitation on the island dates back more than 2000 years. The first Spanish and English sailors arrived in the late 1700s to explore the maze of islands at the north end of Georgia Strait. They sought the fabled Northwest Passage, a faster route from the Pacific to the Atlantic. Trade commenced with the Salish and Kwagiulth First Nations whose descendants still live at Cape Mudge Village. Today visitors can experience the creation of beautiful native art by master carvers who draw upon their culture and verbal history to carve masks, rattles, paddles and totem poles.
Dwayne Simeon, photo: Chris Rose

The Kwagiulth Museum at Cape Mudge Village, reopened on May 13. 2007 under a new name of "The Nuyumabales Cultural Centre". The centre has a significant collection of historical artifacts, ceremonial regalia and carvings and is a major attraction for students of native history and culture. On the water front is the Ah-Wa-Qwa-Dzas (Gathering Place) built in Spring of 2007. A collection of old totem poles around the Nuyumabales Cultural Centre always inspires visitors. Modern native artists carve at Cape Mudge Village. A new canoe shed on the waterfront near the administration building houses a magnificent canoe (launched in 2004) - the first to be carved in 100 years. These events keep the heritage of the We-Wai-Kai Band vibrant and alive.

The Cape Mudge Lighthouse, staffed and operational, is accessible by road and is also linked by trail from Cape Mudge Village. Located on the south end of the island, it is near the site of the original native village visited by Captain Vancouver in 1792. Here petroglyphs from centuries ago can be seen at low tide.

The spectacular scenery and natural beauty of Quadra Island appeals to many well known contemporary artists. Over 120 artists make their home on the island including potters, painters, sculptors, musicians, writers and photographers. Each year they celebrate the Annual Quadra Island Studio Tour on the first weekend of June. This event attracts visitors from many parts of North America and abroad. Many of the artists keep their studios open over the summer or year-round. Some artists provide mentor programs, retreats and workshops.

Shayne Perkins starting on his sculpture, photo:Chris Rose

Quadra has a growing community of Healing Arts practitioners including massage, reflexology, tai chi and spas.

The rich forests give rise to abundant wildlife. A vast network of beautiful freshwater lakes and streams cris-cross the less inhabited northern part of the island. Main Lake Provincial Park is an excellent area for paddling excursions, swimming and camping. A system of forest trails has been developed to take hikers deep into the woods through groves of old growth trees to stunning viewpoints. For hikers and mountain bike enthusiasts, the Quadra Island Trail Map is available to show the various routes.

Main Lake, photo:Nick Rose

Kayakers can explore the rugged coastline and provincial marine parks. A number of kayak operators offer day and/or overnight tours. Wildlife tours, whale and bear watching tours and history tours are also popular.

Rebecca Spit Provincial Park near Heriot Bay is one of the best known beaches.. Sheltered moorage in Drew Harbour is popular with yachts exploring The Discovery Islands and Desolation Sound.

For outdoor activities the remote lakes provide excellent canoeing and fishing. Many secluded trails offer superb hiking and biking. There are diving, sailing, kayaking, whale watching and wildlife tours. For a sedate stroll or picnic - Rebecca Spit Provincial Park is the place to go. - Quadra has it all. Plan now to experience inspiring surroundings, invigorating ocean air, friendly locals, and of course...fabulous art.

The Quadra Island Golf Course is under construction. The first nine holes are scheduled for completion in early 2009. Early membership will provide special benefits and assist in the completion of the project.






There are a number of books that are still in print and give wonderful information about Quadra Island.

Joy Inglis: Assu of Cape Mudge and Spirit in Stone

Hilary Stewart: On Island Time

Jeanette Taylor: River City a history of Campbell River and the Discovery Islands

Jocelyn Reekie/Annette Yourk: Shorelines: Memoirs & Tales of the Discovery Islands




More than 130 artist and/or artist groups live on Quadra Island. A Number of these artist have opened their studios to visitors. There are several galleries on the island and a number of artists offer mentor programs.. For more information consult the
Quadra Island Arts Directory

A visit to Quadra Island would not have be complete without a tour through the Kwagiulth Museum & Cultural Centre, however the Museum has been close for unkown reason for a number of years.



Copyright © 2007 Chris Rose