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Savary Island

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Savary Island is an island off British Columbia's Sunshine Coast.

Get in[edit]

From Vancouver: You need to take two ferries - Horseshoe Bay to Langdale drive an hour and a half and take the second ferry to Saltery Bay. From there its a 50-60m drive to Lund, at the end of the road. Leaving on Fridays and returning on Sundays can be a bear, especially on the first ferry - you can make reservations (extra $17.50) for the first of the two ferries. The second ferry goes every 2.5 hours or so - check schedules on the BC ferries website. Total fare is approx $130 return for a car and 2 people, goes down to under $100 if you get a BC Ferries Experience card (prepaid card for the ferries). It is definitely a trip but very much well worth it.

From Lund: Water Taxi goes from end of the road in Lund, leaving on the hour at busy times from about 8am (probably a lot less often when less busy). Reservations (by calling ahead, 604.483.9749) are apparently required. Going back it leaves on the half hour - but again how often depends on season and demand. Fares are $10 per adult each way, $5 for children 2-6 and $2 for bikes, and they will take credit cards on the Lund side.

You can leave the car in Lund at Daves parking lot for $6 per night. Or, if you prefer free, up the hill about 1/2km there might be some free parking.

Get around[edit]

Your own two feet. Alternatively, bring a bike to the island or rent one at the bike rental place next door to the pub, about a 5-10m walk up the hill from the water taxi landing, which is on the west side of the island. Savary Island Bike Shop, 604-483 7771. They rent scooters too! The island is 7km wide, and takes about 2hr end to end - the beach walks are spectacular.

See[edit][add listing]

Its a great place to chill for a few days - specific sights are eroding sand cliffs, ancient dunes, wonderful beaches, all sorts of marine life. Bald eagles everywhere!!

Do[edit][add listing]

You can supposedly swim here - the literature says that the water is 21 Celsius. It is less cold than the rest of the water in the region though. Water temperatures rise to mid 20s, sometimes higher, due to the vast sandbanks, which retain the suns heat when exposed during low tide. The same phenomenon occurs in the Vancouver area as well as around Parksville/Qualicum. Hiking is awesome.

Buy[edit][add listing]

There are a few artisan shops scattered around the island. There is a general store which seems to be closed more often than its open with some very limited and expensive supplies. For people who might want to stay a while, Silke's organic market in Powell River makes twice weekly deliveries (Wednesdays and Saturdays) of organic food. Delivery is free with a $120 minimum spend.

Eat[edit][add listing]

There are two places to eat on the island as far as I could see - the pub (see below) which has burgers and such (Burgers $8-9, Pizza slice $4.5) which were decent - kitchen closes at 9pm. A new place, Sand Box Cafe, opened in 2010 on the other side of the island (corner of Tennyson and McLean) which was delicious and open only for lunch (10-4). It has a boutique attached. There is literature about it everywhere on the island including when you get off the water taxi. Organic salads were $5, local shrimp were $10 and the to-die-for apple and plum cake $4 - they get a lot of their produce from Silke's organic in Powell River. Oh and they have espresso too ($2-4), for those silly enough to leave their cooker in Lund.

Back in Lund, the bakery is terrific and definitely the place to get some delicious read and baked goodies for your trip to Savary, after wolfing down some apple pie there. Its also not a bad place to chill, reasonable priced lunches (nothing over $10) and coffee with a sweet view with Rai music on the loudspeaker.

Drink[edit][add listing]

Bring as much water as you can carry! There is a pub on the island with delicious beers on tap .. ($6/pint), it is the hub of activity on Savary, unless there is a party going on - but that's where you're likely as not to find out about it.

Sleep[edit][add listing]

Discreet feral camping is tolerated on the island - occasionally some island vigilante might say something negative (while accelerating their SUV in this pristine paradise), but most locals don't seem to care - emphasis is on 'discrete' here and please practice no-trace camping or else the situation will certainly change. There is a commercial campsite run by a guy called Pascal (604.483.9846) who seems pretty cool - in fact he was full when we got in and he was very helpful with choosing a good spot for feral camping. Pascals site is not right on the beach, but very convenient to the pub and general store so you'll be able to stagger home with no concerns. As for free camping, most people choose the south beach for its proximity to the jetty so you don't have to lug your stuff half way across the island. We stayed in Duck Bay which was awesome, has a couple of sites with shade right on the beach - and there really are possibilities on most parts of the island, except for the more residential areas (if you want to stay on the north -sunset- side, you can walk past all of the houses heading west from the ferry terminal for a km or two). Remember to bring water and food - this is a remote island - and you'll also need to cart your trash off the island. There are B&B's available too (try Savary Island Lodge, 604.483.9481 and Southside B&B 604.483.3435) - as well as a hostel which seems to be temporarily closed.

Contact[edit]

There are three public phones on the island, one on each end and one in the middle.

Get out[edit]

Assuming you ever want to leave - or have to get back to work for some dumb reason - the water taxi, swimming and hitching on a private vessel are your only ways off the island.


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