Broken Group Islands
In our hearts, we all live on the land. That is the real world. We take away the obstacles to experience what is real, to experience your bliss. We show you the way. That's Coastal Bliss Adventures.Look For Your Bliss Now
We Take Care Of You
We do the planning, logistics, and support. You do the experience and the fun.
From pickup to return, we cover everything you need, except your personal items. We take you to and from the trip start, and feed you well along the way. We can't guarantee weight loss on our tours.
Our guides get out into our areas. They know the ins and outs of the Broken Group Islands and provide exceptional interpretation of flora, fauna and history. You'll know more after you leave.
We give you an entire packet of information on how to prepare, what to bring, how to pack, and a plan for training so you can fully enjoy the trip. Our care for you starts before you even arrive.
Broken Group Islands
6-day Kayaking Tour
The Broken Group Islands , a unit of Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, are a cluster of about 100 islands in Barkley Sound on the west coast of Vancouver Island. The natural beauty, cultural and environmental significance of this location led to Parks Canada declaring The Broken Group Islands a protected area in early 1970’s.
With many lagoons and small, intimate harbors, touring around the group can be magical. The inner islands are home to a rich and vibrant selection of marine life, not seen in other areas along the coast.
The exosed, outer Islands are abundant with caves, blow holes, colonies of California and Stellar sea lions, roaring aloud over the distance.
Midden beaches and archaeological remnants hint at the 4,000 year First Nations history. There is a reason why these islands are talked about the world over as a sea kayaking and sailing destination.
- KAYAKING DAYS: 5
- TRAVEL DAYS: 2 HALF DAYS
- RATING: BEGINNER TO INTERMEDIATE KAYAKER
This is our typical itinerary for the Broken Group Islands kayaking tour. Because we are travelling in wilderness, itineraries can change. This is especially true for coastal kayaking. There are many factors that can affect how a tour actually runs. We confirm pickup times by phone, email or SMS at least 12 hours before.
This trip begins in Nanaimo, where we will arrange your pickup to drive to the launch location for the Broken Group Islands where we begin the activity.
If you are staying in Nanaimo the night before pick up be sure to give us accommodation details. We will call to let you know exact pick up time. Between 0930 and 1030 am.
Arriving by ferry from Mainland in morning: From Nanaimo Ferry Terminal Between 9:45 - 10:15 am (Ferry Route dependant)
Take 8:30am ferry from Horseshoe Bay (West Vancouver to Departure Bay, Nanaimo) Or 07:45 Ferry from Tsawwassen to Duke Point / Departure Bay (arrives 9:45pm) Note: Be sure to arrive at ferry terminal 20 minutes before sailing, as ticket sales stop 15 minutes before sailing.
Check Ferry Schedules Here
We will drive to Secret Beach Campsite in Toquaht Bay, were we will unload and set up camp for the night. On route we will stop in Port Alberni for lunch. There will be an opportunity to purchase a few last minute items if necessary. We will plan to include a few cultural stops on route, the first being a visit to the Tseshaht First Nations Cultural Centre, where we will have the opportunity to learn about the Tseshaht people, who once inhabited the islands of the Broken Group and Barkley Sound. On arrival at Secret Beach we will first stop to pay for launch fees, camping permits, and parking. Once we have set up camp the remainder of the afternoon will cover topics such as fitting you to your kayak, camping etiquette, safety during tour, camp set up, packing for kayaking (transfer personal items to dry bags) and group/individual expectations. Depending upon conditions and time, we may go for a short harbour paddle to familiarize you with kayaks and paddle strokes.
Pack kayaks, review kayak safety, paddle strokes and launch. Our route will be from Secret Beach, Toquart Bay first to Hand Island, a possible lunch stop, then on to one of the other inner islands, where we will set up camp, then spend more time exploring, either in kayaks or tide pools, or simply relaxing after the mornings paddle. Discuss options for the next day.
Days Three and Four
There are many options for kayaking once within the Broken Group. These usually combine camping in one location for a few nights and exploring surrounding islands and waterways, and moving camp to explore mid or outer islands. The itinerary on these days is dependent on sea conditions, group goals and considerations. Most days begin with a cooked breakfast, then paddle and explore the eslands. LUNCH will be Relaxed, on the beach somewhere, and Paddle some more. The afternoons can bring stiff winds in the Broken Group meaning that it is likely we will not be kayaking during this time, unless in protected waters. This makes this time more appropriate for: Time to relax /explore tide pools/ beach. DINNER then discuss the Plan for next day.
It is possible that we will have the opportunity on one of the days to visit Nettle Is. ,one of the First Nations Islands, where a traditionally cooked Salmon meal is available for $35 per plate (2017)(not included in price of tour). Naturally for those who do not wish for this experience, or do not eat fish there will be an alternative meal provided by Coastal Bliss Adventures.
It is possible that we will have the opportunity on one of the days to visit Nettle Is., one of the First Nations Islands, where a traditionally cooked Salmon meal is available for $35 per plate (2017)(not included in price of tour). Naturally for those who do not wish for this experience, or do not eat fish there will be an alternative meal provided by Coastal Bliss Adventures.
Our route will take us back to Secret Beach, Toquart Bay, by mid-day. We will unload and load kayaks and gear, then enjoy a picnic lunch before traveling back to our various drop off locations. We will make one or two comfort stops on route to Nanaimo, and if there is interest and time permits we will stop at a local Tsesharht carver and artists studio.
Note: Our paddling itinerary is subject to wind and weather and other conditions, and while a tentative plan can be made, final plans and routes may change at any given time. Guides will discuss objectives with guests, however, the final route and daily plans will be made by the lead guide. Their final decision will be based on group safety and the best interests of Coastal Bliss Adventures Ltd.
Travel Note: Usually we would be back in Nanaimo between 5 – 7pm, however, as there are many factors that can affect the timing of our last day we request that if you are flying out of Nanaimo or Vancouver, that you book your flight for the day following our return, late enough that it would be possible to take a ferry from Nanaimo in the morning and still catch your flight.
Included Not Included Transportation from and to the departure location (pick up and drop off) Your transportation to the departure location (from your home) All kayaking gear Water Boots or shoes Dry bags to keep your things dry Sleeping bags or mats (available for rent) All park fees and camping fees National Park entry fees (may change as Parks alters their policies) All meals (except on any travel days) Some food (on travel days) Professional guides Gratuities are not included. Recognizing your guide for their hard work and care is always appreciated; $10-20/day per guide is recommended. Tent (shared) A substantial preparation guide Gear rental options
Getting There And
Where To Stay
If you are travelling into the Vancouver, Victoria, or Nanaimo area from afar, you should arrive at the departure location (in Nanaimo) for your trip the day/evening prior to the trip start date and plan to leave the day following trip return.
You can fly to Vancouver (airport code YVR) or Seattle (airport code SEA) then connect to Vancouver Island using ferry, bus, or air, or arrange flights directly to Vancouver Island.
Flying to Victoria (Airport code YYJ)
Flying to Nanaimo (Airport code YCD)
Nanaimo Airporter shuttle service.
Servicing all of Vancouver Island from airports to ferrys to cruise ship terminals. Tel: 1 250 758-2133
BC Ferries 1-888-BC FERRY (1-888-223-3779)
We will let you know the ferry to take for travelling to Vancouver Island, but if you want to check out times, you can go the the BC Ferries website at:
Where to Stay
Naniamo Pick up & Hotels
Pick up: Departure Bay, Duke Point Ferry Terminal, or the following Accommodations:
Days Inn Harbour View Nanaimo
Address: 809 Island Hwy South, Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada, V9R 5K1
Phone (250) 754-8171
Best Western Dorchester Hotel
Address: 70 Church, Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada, V9R 5H4
Phone: (250) 754-6835
Painted Turtle Guesthouse
Address: 121 Bastion Street, Nanaimo, British Columbia CANADA, V9R 3A2
Toll Free: 1-866-309-4432
Phone: (250) 753-4432
Preparing For Your Trip
How you prepare for your adventure is important. Being well prepared will enhance the quality of your experience. Because we are travelling in wilderness, it is very important for you and for the rest of your adventure group that you are fit enough to handle the level of difficulty and demand with no problems. Our guides know how to minimize the impact of these demands as much as possible, but they cannot remove them. The depth of your experience can only increase if you have made sure that you have prepared well.
Your preparation will be different for different activities. Preparing for a kayak trip is different from preparing for a hiking trip. We have provided some basic information that can be downloaded through the following links to pdf documents. If you do not have the Adobe Reader, you can download it from the Adobe site by clicking here.
Use the links below to download some of the preparation files for this hiking or kayaking tour. When you book your tour, we will send you a complete preparation packet to help you get ready.Please take this seriously. Most people are unaware of the demands of a coastal environment, particularly with keeping dry and warm. Your preparation will really help make your coastal hiking or kayaking tour a great experience.
We have gear available to rent if you don't want to buy a particular piece of equipment, or need to travel without it.
Look over the following list to help you decide whether you want to rent. If you decide to rent gear, you can tell us on the phone or book it online with your tour.
Item Price Sleeping Bag Rental $55.00 Thermarest Rental $20.00 Water Booties Rental $10.00 Wetsuit Rental $20.00 Helmet Rental $10.00 Rental Bundle 4-sleeping bag+sleeping pad+water booties $65.00
What Our Guests Say
On Our Vancouver Island BC Hiking and Kayaking Tours
I have enjoyed 2 adventures with Coastal Bliss and plan to go on another one as soon as I can! With Coastal Bliss the details are all taken care of: shuttles, tides, trail directions, food, water; so you simply enjoy the trip. I would definitely recommend Coastal Bliss to anyone looking for an organized, safe and fun adventure. Especially if you are solo this a great option.
The food was fabulous - an exotic dish at every meal - right up to our lunch on the last day! Coffee ready every morning, along with a hot breakfast before setting out for a day of paddling in the Broken Group Islands, put the bliss in Coastal Bliss. I can't say enough about the superb organization and dedication of Coastal Bliss.
I traveled to BC from Ontario to do the 6 days Broken Group Islands Kayaking trip. This trip was fantastic! Georgia and her team are so experienced and organized, it felt as though everything was taken care of. A true vacation! For someone used to planning summer canoe trips for groups, this guided trip felt like a relaxing holiday. The food was excellent, even 5 days into the trip.
Just wanted to let you all know what an awesome time we all had on our recent trip with you to Johnstone Strait. The trip was very well organized. Georgia and Janet worked very well together and we all felt safe and comfortable under their care. The food was good, and plentiful.
Thank you Georgia! My son, sister and I had a FANTASTIC trip with you kayaking in the Gulf Islands! The paddling was awesome, your cooking (and accompaniments) were wonderful - I just can't say enough good things about the experience. I will treasure these memories forever.
I was totally impressed with this 6 day kayaking tour! Our 2 guides on the trip, Georgia and Gerhardt, were so in tune with making sure everyone felt comfortable with whatever happened each day. Both were experienced kayakers and knew the Broup Group Islands area and passed on pieces of that knowledge whenever possible. I joined the group without having previous sea kayaking experience but with our guides' instruction sessions, it wasn't long before I could steer my boat!
Cynthia and I really enjoyed our Gulf Islands kayaking adventure with you. You happily tailored the trip and our days to meet our needs and accommodate the weather, tides and currents. The food was excellent (loved the spinach!) and the equipment you provided was of the highest quality that we have ever rented. We had such a good paddle with you we've been haunting craigslist etc and now are owners of a used Tyee fibreglass kayak like you have.
I have very much enjoyed the Broken Group Island kayaking trip with you and Gary. I will definitely try to do it again, should I get back to the west coast in the near future.
Thanks again for a fabulous Nootka Sound kayaking trip and for putting on the whale show for us. Georgia, your knowledge of the area was invaluable.
Dear Georgia and Nick, I am still full of nice memories about our amazing trip Broken Group Islands kayaking. Every day I've got a short memory about an experience we had together: first of all the wonderful animals we encountered and the awesome scenery we saw, Nicks' impressive Eskimo roll, Georgia your great talent as a story teller; the daily delicious cooking, the meditative paddling and a good deal more. I'm very glad I had the chance to go to this trip with you guys and I appreciated every moment with you.
Georgia! Again Thanks for the awesome Vancouver Island kayaking trip to the Deer Group near the Broken Group Islands! It has been hard to concentrate at work; still on vacation time. Take care.
A friend and I booked the two hour evening kayaking tour in Cowichan Bay and it did not disappoint. Georgia and Gary were extremely friendly and helpful in teaching two newbies how to paddle properly and maneuver the kayak, and then Georgia guided us around the bay. It was a beautiful evening, the water was calm, and the scenery en route to the estuary was breathtaking. Georgia pointed out different bird species and we even spotted some seals swimming nearby. This was my first time on a kayak tour, but I will be back!
Reservedly we contacted Bliss Adventure Cowichan Bay to see if they could cope with old girls..2 with no experience. No problem, BUT "why dont you try our moonlight kayak experience?" It happened the moon was almost full just now. So we went for it. A whole new experience great fun and oh boy to see the moon rising up above the mountains as we paddled out at sea was unforgettable.We were made most welcome really enjoyed it. Thank you, it was BLISS.
I have done 4 brilliant multi-day trips with Coastal Bliss including 2 amazing kayaking adventures; 6 days in the Broken Group Islands off Vancouver Island in 2014 with guide Phillip and 6 days in Nootka Sound in 2016, guided by Georgia. Both trips were fantastic. Georgia even organised a special trip for me to fit in with my itinerary as I had limited time, travelling from New Zealand. Coastal Bliss is well organised for everything; the food is fabulous, the guides have indepth local knowledge and the locations are outstanding - all reasons why I have signed up on 4 different occasions with Coastal Bliss.