In one day on the upper Sunshine Coast I had an awesome breakfast, learned how to play the violin, strolled along the beach, interviewed some fascinating locals for a FestivalSeekers article, drove up to Lund, hopped in a zodiac, ripped past Desolation Sound and landed on an island referred to as the “Galapagos of the Salish Sea”.
Mitlenatch Island Nature Provincial Park
It was my second experience with Terracentric Tours, which is based out of Lund, right near the Mile 0 marker for Highway 101. Owner Christine Hollmann is incredibly knowledgeable when it comes to all things Sunshine Coast, Salish Sea, and navigating the beautiful waters and islands of British Columbia. This year, she took my small group out to Mitlenatch Island, which means “calm waters all around” in the Coast Salish language.
Mitlenatch Island is just 155 hectares but is full wildlife. It is a Rockfish Conservation Area, and home to the largest seabird colony in the Strait of Georgia. Its wildflower meadows sprout chocolate lilies, prickly pear cactuses, blue and white camus, and the rocky shores on one side balance a barking and groaning sea lion colony. The park receives less than 75cm (30 inches) of rain each year, about half the Campbell River average, making for a very unique ecosystem.
If you want to explore Mitlenatch, I recommend going with a tour since it is such an environmentally sensitive area. The park is accessible by boat only and the only access to the park is from Northwest Bay or Camp Bay. No boats are to land along the rocky shorelines on either side of both Camp and Northwest Bays or at any point around the island. Boaters should enter into the middle of either bay to minimize wildlife disturbance and are responsible for their own boat and passengers.
Book a Music Festival + Boat Tour Package
You can book a tour with Terracentric this summer and pair it with an amazing musical experience, with a direct tour package straight from Vancouver to the Sunshine Coast for the PRISMA Festival. The Pacific Region International Summer Music Academy in Powell River culminates with PRISMA on the Beach (Wednesday, June 15, 2016) where you can join 5,000 concertgoers for a seaside concert.
Read all about this event in my article “Orchestra on the Beach: PRISMA Brings a World of Music to Powell River” over on the FestivalSeekers website and check out Sunshine Coast Tourism to plan your trip to this beautiful coastal region.