Dock in Browning Harbour, Pender Islands.

(Adrian Dorst photo)

Pender Islands

Kayaking on South Pender Island. (Andrea Johnson photo)

Kayaking on South Pender Island. (Andrea Johnson photo)

Pender Island is one of BC's laidback, picturesque southern Gulf Islands.

Still retaining a bucolic rural feel with its historic farms and port communities, Pender offers lovely waterfront parks, rolling countryside perfect for cycling, a lively arts scene, and a full slate of water activities.

Factor in good dining, several spas, and plentiful accommodations (ranging from affordable to deluxe), and it's no wonder this island gem is popular with stressed out urbanites. "To see the beauty in the air, the ocean and on land," says Pender photographer Jacquie MacDonald, "take a few quiet seconds to let it all sink in."

One Island Made Two

Pender is referred to in the singular by its Chamber of Commerce even though the island was separated into northern and southern halves in 1903. With construction of the Panama Canal a hot topic in the US, islanders petitioned to improve local navigation by having a humble canal of their own dug across a narrow neck of land dividing Bedwell and Port Browning harbours.

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