Gabriola Island is approximately 5 kilometres from downtown Nanaimo and primarily accessible via a scenic 22 minute ferry ride aboard the Quinsam operated by BC Ferries.
Ferry: A 22 minute voyage from Downtown Nanaimo with sailings from early morning to late evening. Visit bcferries.com for details.
You can pick up the Gabriola Visitor Guide and other visitor information at the ferry terminal.
Gabriola’s Ferry Advisory Committee produces a helpful guide on the best times to travel. Visit gabriolafac.com for details.
Float Plane: Gulf Island Seaplanes operates flights from Vancouver International Airport to Silva Bay. Visit gulfislandseaplanes.com for details.
GETTING AROUND ON GABRIOLA
Walking and Hiking: Walking is possible but be aware that there are no sidewalks on the island. Walk single file on narrow road stretches and practice pedestrian safety such as wearing reflective clothing and carrying a light at night. Locals are always keen to help you reach your destination too. A trail guide is published by the Gabriola Land and Trails Trust. Visit galtt.ca for details.
Community Bus Service: Ride GERTIE, the local community bus service that operates on a limited schedule Monday to Saturday. Visit gabriolacommunitybus.com for details.
Taxi: Gabriola Island Taxi operates on a limited schedule. Note that only one cab serves the island; it is best to pre-arrange pick ups and drop-offs rather than call when needed. Call 250-247-0049 for schedule and availability.
Driving: Gabriola’s default speed limit is 50 kilometres per hour and there is a stretch of North Road and South Road with a speed limit of 60 kilometres per hour. Exercise caution on all roads because you are sharing them with cyclists, pedestrians and wildlife.
Bicycles & E-Bikes: Ride single file and be aware of narrow road sections, poor road conditions and uneven edges. Exercise caution as there are no dedicated bike lanes.
If you are cycling the North-South Road loop, consider heading down South Road first to go downhill on the steep Brickyard Hill unless you are up for a challenging hill climb.
Scooter rentals are available. Visit gabriolaisland.org for details.