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protection-ferryIf you are looking for a touch of paradise while visiting Nanaimo on Vancouver Island, then you may want to consider a day trip to Protection Island. This island is like a slice of nirvana nestled within the hustle and bustle of Nanaimo's downtown core. Whether you are looking for a fun nature walk, want to get away from the crowd or are looking for a fantastic beach to sun on Protection Island has it all.

Getting There

The foot passenger ferry leaves the Dinghy Dock Pub at least once every hour, more often if there is a high demand. The cost for adults is $8 for a round-trip. The ferry runs until 11pm each weeknight and until 10pm on Sundays. The crossing takes approximately 10 minutes.

What to Do

The first thing you will notice when you get to Protection Island is the relaxed atmosphere. There are only about 300 year-round residents on the Island, and the vast majority does not own a car, rather golf carts are the main mode of transportation. Since there is no store on the island you should be sure to pack yourself a lunch and some drinks to take with you. Where you decide to go really depends on what you are into. There are many great beaches on Protection Island, and if the tide is low you will have some great sandy stretches to walk on. If you enjoy nature and bird watching then you should head over to Smugglers Park, where you can see a wide variety of flora and fauna. If you really enjoy communing with nature then you can walk from Protection Island over to Newcastle Island at low tide. Newcastle Island is a Provincial park, so you can walk around and enjoy nature in all her glory.

Coming Back

Don't lose track of time, or you may miss foot passenger ferry ride back to Nanaimo. If you are really enjoying your stay you should consider staying in one of the many bed and breakfasts located on Protection Island. Waking up to the sunrise on this quiet island is quite and experience.