Protection Island Nanaimo

Protection Island ferryIn the 1960s Nanaimo's trademark pirate, Frank Ney, purchased and subdivided Protection Island in Nanaimo Harbour just opposite downtown. Today the 325 residents live on streets named Captain Kidds Terrace, Cutlass Lookout, and Treasure Trail. They get around by golf cart or on foot, although there are a few cars and trucks on this small island.

It's the perfect daytrip from downtown Nanaimo, and most visitors arrive on the Protection Island ferry which leaves from a wharf near Cameron Island hourly at 10 minutes past the hour. It's $9 roundtrip with small reductions for those under 13 or over 64. To bring along a bicycle is $2 each way. Only 34 passengers are allowed aboard the little ferry, so it pays to arrive a bit early and to position yourself near the gate.

You'll arrive at the Dinghy Dock Pub, a picturesque floating restaurant/bar which opens from 11:30 am to 9 pm daily. On Friday and Saturday nights there's usually live music and they stay open until 11 pm. The seafood here is good (entrees $12-$25). There are no stores on the island.

Updated on 24 August 2010.

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