Premier Listings for Princess Margaret Marine Park

Princess Margaret is located on Portland Island, east of Satellite Channel and north of Sidney on Vancouver Island. Portland Island was presented to Princess Margaret in 1958 to commemorate her visit to British Columbia. In 1967 the princess returned it to the province for preservation as a marine park.

There are several middens in the park that indicate native use of the land dating back over 3,000 years. Middens are refuse heaps of castaway shells left by centuries of harvesting the island’s waters. Classified as archaeological sites, the middens are protected under British Columbia law and may not be disturbed.

Portland Island was named after the H.M.S Portland, the flagship of Rear-Admiral Moresby, commander-in-chief of the Pacific Station from 1850 to 1853. The island was named in 1859 by Captain G.H Richards of the H.M.S Plumper.

Like all of the Canadian Gulf Islands, Portland Island lies in the rain shadow of the mountains of the Olympic Peninsula and Vancouver Island. Little rain falls during the summer months and many of the plants growing on shallow soils must contend with long dry periods. Arbutus, Garry Oak and Brittle Cactus are found on the island.

Bald Eagles, Turkey Vultures and Red-tailed Hawks are often seen overhead, and Oystercatchers and the Great Blue Heron frequent the island’s shoreline. Black-tailed Deer, Mink and River Otters are amongst the animals sighted on the island. Raccoons are numerous on Portland Island, so be sure to secure all food supplies in containers – a tent is not a secure container! There are several trails for an energetic hike, or you can simply explore the beautiful beaches and bays. Swimming, diving, kayaking and fishing are other recreational options.

BC’s first artificial reef, the sunken freighter G.B. Church, lies off the northeast shore of Portland Island. The scuttled ship now serves as a haven for marine organisms and is an attraction for scuba divers.

The picturesque 194-hectare park has three wilderness campsites for overnight use: Arbutus Point, Shell Beach opposite Brackman Island, and Princess Bay campground and day-use area. Fresh water is available, and toilet facilities are located at all campgrounds and the day-use area.

Anchorages include Royal Cove on the north side of the island, and Princess Bay and Pellow Islets to the south. A ferry runs twice daily from the pier in Sidney to Portland Island.

Princess Margaret is a part of the Gulf Islands National Park Reserve, one of Canada’s newest national parks. The park protects a portion of British Columbia’s beautiful southern Gulf Islands – a landscape of rocky headlands, forested hills and shorelines studded with colourful tidepools. The park resembles a patchwork quilt of protected lands scattered over 15 larger islands, and many smaller islets and reefs.

Nearby Regions & Towns

Park Notices

More Information
Parks Canada – British Columbia
Box 129, 23433 Mavis Avenue
Fort Langley, BC, V1M 2R5
Phone: 604-513-4777

Gulf Islands National Park Reserve
2220 Harbour Road
Sidney, BC, V8L 2P6
Phone: 250-654-4000

Premier Listings

Orca Spirit Adventures

Other Trip Departures: Coast Victoria Harbourside Hotel – Marina Level 146 Kingston Street Victoria BC V8V 1V4 Phone: 250-383-8411Fax: 250-383-4666Toll Free: 1-888-672-6722Click To: Visit Website
Photo of Orca Spirit Adventures

Business Information

Orca Spirit Adventures is Victoria’s premier whale watching company, offering carbon-neutral tours led by captains and naturalists whose knowledge and passion for Vancouver Island’s marine wildlife is unequaled in the industry.

April through October are the peak whale watching months and during this time we boast a greater than 95% success rate of spotting whales, including humpback whales, transient and resident orcas, minke, and gray whales! Other wildlife you may encounter include Dall’s and harbour porpoises, harbour and elephant seals, otters, and marine birds such as cormorants and bald eagles.

Unlucky tour? Join us again using our WHALE GUARANTEE for a complimentary whale watching tour to bring your dreams of seeing these magnificent animals to life.

Choose between a covered vessel with onboard washrooms, complimentary hot drinks, marine naturalists, and hydrophones, and our 12-passenger zodiac vessels for the more wild at heart. The zodiac is perfect for thrill-seekers with its fast speed and open experience. For all guests we offer complimentary shuttle pick up from all hotels in downtown Victoria. All tours are three hours in length.

Categories: Boating, Sailing & Cruising, D'Arcy Island Marine Park, Discovery Island Marine Provincial Park, Greater Victoria, Gulf Islands National Park, Isle-De-Lis Marine Park, Port Renfrew, Princess Margaret Marine Park, Race Rocks Ecological Reserve, Recreation, Salish Sea, Sightseeing & Tours, South Island, Vancouver Island, Vancouver Island & BC Islands, Victoria, Victoria Downtown, West Coast Hwy 14, Whale Watching, Wildlife Viewing
Updated 2 months ago.