Spending the summer working at Stuart Island is beautiful. There are bald eagles soaring through the air, sea lions barking across the way, and deer greedily nibbling on the island’s flowers. However, when it comes to time off you are pretty much stuck there because it is so remote. We got lucky though, and were able to take a long weekend away and hitch a ride. We got dropped off at Campbell River but decided to hop on the next ferry to Quadra Island. We weren’t sure what to expect, but we were ready for a quiet weekend in the woods, cuddled up with warm mugs of tea and a good movie. It may seem like there isn’t much on Quadra Island. But with a few tricks, we think you will have just an amazing time as we did.
1. Go Grocery Shopping in Campbell River
There are two tiny grocery stores on Quadra Island (Tru Value Foods) and though they are well stocked with everything you could possibly want or need, they are a little pricier than it would be in Campbell River.
2. Make a Transportation Plan
The island is much larger than it seems and it’s quite spread out. There is a taxi service on the island, but there are only two drivers and they rarely drive at the same time, plus its super expensive, a 10 minute taxi ride costs $20. So things like grocery shopping become an expensive ordeal. You can rent bikes both on the island and in Campbell River, but expect to pay $40 to $50 a day. It might be worth renting a car in Campbell River and taking it over on the ferry if you plan on exploring quite a bit. However, the island is very hitch hiker friendly so we met some wonderful people and made some furry friends like Sparky.
3. Go Hiking
Mount Seymour and the Chinese Mountains hikes are supposed to be incredible, but since we didn’t have a car, or bikes, we didn’t want to pay the taxi fee to get there and back so we just did some smaller hikes on our side of the island. But if you have transportation there (or are staying more centrally located) then it is a no brainer.
4. Stay in the Tiny House
It’s as charming as it is tiny. It’s secluded and quiet, the only sounds you will hear the birds singing and water gurgling. Plus, it is a short walk from the island’s winery—need I say more?
5. Check out the Farmers Market
It’s a tiny little market with fun crafts like alpaca slippers, salmonberry butter, and homemade goat’s milk soap. There’s a man who sells his own private book collection and some delicious looking baked goods. It’s a lovely way to spend a Saturday morning while sipping one some coffee.
One of my favorite movie quotes is from Six Days Seven Nights when Harrison Ford says, “It’s an island, babe. If you didn’t bring it here, you won’t find it here.” This is so true to the little island of Quadra. Whatever you bring to island, is what you will get out of it. We wanted a snug weekend away, with lots of time to read, write, and cook (we only set off the smoke alarm once) and that is exactly what we got.