Transportation & Maps
Gabriola Island is one of the most easily accessible destinations in the Gulf Island chain, an archipelago of hundreds of islands reaching from the San Juan Islands in the US to the Northern Gulf Islands.
In spite of its accessibility, Gabriola retains a sleepy charm and creative hive that shapes its character. A driving route loops around the entire island.
Reach Gabriola by a 5km/3mi, 20-minute ferryboat ride from downtown Nanaimo to the BC Ferries' Descanso Bay terminal on the northwest side of the island. Carrying passengers and vehicles, it makes the journey 16 times daily between 5:45am and 10:55pm.
Nanaimo is the major arrival and departure point for nearly two million cars and five million passengers annually via BC Ferries. It's home to two of the island's three major ferry terminals – Departure Bay at the northwest edge of downtown and Duke Point at the south end.