Things to do on Hornby Island

There are lots of great things to do on Hornby Island.  Some of these are summer only while others are all year round.

Sunbathe and swim

  • Tribune Bay – a big sandy beach with the warmest ocean swimming in western Canada.   A 25 minute walk or five minute drive from the house.
  • Whaling Station Bay – another nice beach.
  • Little Tribune Bay – Hornby’s clothing optional beach.
  • Helliwell Park – a rocky shoreline with small sand and gravel beaches.  A 10 minute walk from the house.
  • Several other small beaches and rocky shoreline accessible to the public.

Experience Hornby’s natural environment

  • Walk or mountain bike the many island trails.  No bikes are allowed in Helliwell Park or on the trail between the house and Helliwell Park.  The Comox Valley Mountain Biking website has the best trail descriptions while the Hornby Island Mountain Bike Association website lists current trail conditions.  Buy trail maps at the Co-op or the nearby Hornby Island Outdoor Sports.
  • See the grove of rare Garry Oak trees on the trail between the house and Helliwell Park.
  • Paddle your sea kayak around all or part of the island.  There are numerous put-in points around the island.  It is about 30 km (19 mi) to paddle all around the island.
  • Rent sea kayaks, mountain bikes and other gear at Hornby Island Outdoor Sports near the Co-op.
  • Rent sea kayaks and motor boats at Hornby Boat Rentals located at Fords Cove.
  • Go scuba diving with Hornby Island Diving.
  • Draw, paint, and/or photograph the sandstone rock formations at Helliwell, Dunlop Point, Grassy Point, Heron Rocks, and several other places on the shoreline.
  • See the wildlife on the island: deer, seals, sea lions, bald eagles, herons, and many other shore birds.  There are no bears, cougars, sharks, poisonous snakes, or any other creatures to harm you on Hornby Island.
  • Learn about Hornby Island at the Natural History Centre located in the Community School.

Do some shopping

  • Tours and tastings at the Isla de Lerena Vineyard, Middle Mountain Mead, Little Tribune Winery, Hornby Island Estate Winery, and Island Spirits Distillery.
  • The many artisan studios and galleries at the Ringside Market (at the Co-op), Fords Cove, and scattered throughout the island.  Pick up a studio guide at the Co-op.
  • The artisans/farmers market for crafts, food, and snacks.  At the community hall on Wednesdays and Saturdays 11:00-2:00.
  • Visit the Hornby Island recycling depot and free store.  This is a truly unique community enterprise and worth the visit.  Fridays-Sundays 9:00-1:00.
  • The Room to Grow building at the Hornby Island Community School contains the Job Shop and the Community Access Centre with computers, printers, copiers, fax, and inexpensive internet access.  Location: 2100 Sollans Road; Tel: 250-335-2125.

Eat out

  • Gourmet pizza Tuesdays-Sundays at the Cardboard House Bakery with live music Sunday and Wednesday nights.
  • Friday night live jazz at the Thatch Pub and Restaurant located at the ferry terminal.  Get there before the ferry arrives at 6:45 pm to make sure you get a table.
  • Nice buffet lunch or dinner at the Sea Breeze Lodge.  There is a different menu each day of the week during the summer.
  • Breakfast, lunch, and snacks at Vorizo and Forage Farm and Kitchen (formerly Jan’s Café) at the Ringside Market and the burger shack at Ford’s Cove.
  • There are no chain restaurants, coffee shops, or stores of any kind on Hornby Island!

Partake in Hornby events

  • Attend the Hornby Festival in early August with individual performances during the year.
  • Learn to play and sing the blues at the Hornby Island Blues Workshop in early May.
  • Look at the bulletin board at the Co-op grocery store for notices of concerts, movie nights, and other events.

Following are a set of photos taken on Hornby Island.  Press the white button on the top right to get a full screen view.  You can have the slideshow play automatically or you can scroll through the pictures yourself by clicking on either side of the pictures.  You can also scroll through the pictures by using the left/right arrow keys on your keyboard.