Hi guys! It’s Amanda here.
What’s the best way to see Gabriola Island? By scooter of course! Kara and I had an amazing time scooting around the island last week. We rented scooters from Page’s Resort & Marina as part of the September Specials in the #ExploreNanaimo Passport. We were given a rundown of how to operate the scooters and then went to our Gabriola map to plan our route. We quickly realized there were too many cool things to see in just one day so we had to decide on our top picks, plus that gives us a great excuse to go back.
As we left the marina we were told to go left (counterclockwise around the island) that way we would avoid climbing up the very steep Brickyard Hill, but more on that later. Our first stop was the stunning Sandwell Provincial Park. Getting there was so much fun, traveling through the tall trees and winding roads. After about 20 minutes we arrived at the park. It was only a short hike down to the sandy beach. I wish we had more time to walk the beach and take it all in. But we were on a mission and thus had to continue on our adventure.
Next stop was a must for Kara; Paradise Island Alpaca Farm. This was the coolest little farm. We were greeted by a couple of young farm helpers that introduced us to the sweetest little alpaca and we got to pet and feed him. He was practicing his smile as he was to be part of a wedding party the following Saturday. There were lots of other alpacas to hang out with, miniature horses and a cool little gift shop with products made from alpaca wool.
After a morning of scooting about we were starving. Next stop FOOD! We rolled into the main square and found the Old Crow Cafe. The food was absolutely to die for. I am still thinking about it a week later. That is probably why they were featured on You Gotta Eat Here! When you visit there make sure to try the tacos. Kara and I split the chicken and fish ones.
With full bellies, smiles on our face, and the sun shining we were off to our next destination. The spectacular sandstone formations, known as Malaspina Galleries. The stone cavern at the gallery has been carved out by centuries of surf and frost. The refection dancing on the stone was magical. Not only was the formation of the stone beautiful but the view from that spot was equally amazing. I could have spent hours there.
See the light dancing on the gallery HERE
After taking all kinds of pictures we were off to visit Orlebar Point. We took a short scenic drive to the end of Berry Point Road where we found amazing views of the Entrance Island Lighthouse. It was closer to shore than I expected.
Kara and I were enjoying our view so much that we lost track of time. “Oh no, time to hit the road!” We still had so much more to see before returning our scooters and making the ferry before the end of the day. So off we went, making up for lost time cruising down the steep hill. The destination this time was Brickyard Beach, located at the bottom of Brickyard Hill. Did you know Gabriola Island once had a brick making factory? From the 1890s to 1952, the Gabriola Brickyard was producing up to 80,000 high quality bricks a day. The beach is covered in red bricks. When the tide is out it almost looks like a brick bridge over to Mudge Island.
Unfortunately, we had run short on time and had to head back to Page’s Resort and Marina. We didn’t get the chance to visit Petroglyph Park or Drumbeg Park. Not to mention many of the artisan galleries and farms all over the island. Gabriola left us feeling energized and we will definitely go back to explore again soon! Watch our Facebook Page and Twitter for clips from our Go-Pro camera COMING SOON.
Have fun out there,
Amanda (& Kara too)