Skip links

Discovery Islands Expedition








Tour Overview

Included in National Geographic Canada’s 50 Places of a Lifetime, the Discovery Islands are a sea kayaking paradise, and as you will discover, one of the West Coast’s best kept secrets. You’ll find no better sea kayaking vacation throughout remote islands on BC’s central coast.

Comprised of a dozen islands in the Discovery Passage between Vancouver Island and the mainland in British Columbia, we will take you kayaking throughout this sparsely inhabited remote group of islands on this kayaking tour.

Wildlife including humpback whales and dolphins have made a resurgence in this region over the last few years.

Paddling around the islands provides the ideal way to get close to nature and be completely enveloped in the beauty of towering trees, remote beaches, and mountains. Discover the wildlife that inhabit this region and the secrets of British Columbia’s rich and plentiful inter-tidal life while exploring magical waterways.


Each day you will paddle into secret bays and each evening as you take in the spectacular view towards the British Columbia Coast or Vancouver Island Mountains, campfires will warm your soul as you recount the day.

Wildlife: Humpback Whales, Seals, Dolphins, & More

In the last few years, Humpback Whales have made a strong resurgence in the Discovery Islands and have often been seen on our kayak trips. Given their wild nature, you can never be guaranteed to see a whale, but many of our recent trips have had amazing encounters. Check out one humpback encounter on this trip that was covered by news station worldwide.

During your sea kayaking vacation you’re bound to have close encounters with a variety of BC’s coastal wildlife. This region is known for its sea lions, seals, pacific white sided dolphins, otters, colourful birds and some of the largest starfish and clams in the world.

Humpbacks and dolphins aren’t the only marine mammals in this region, if you are very lucky, you may even get to see transient killer whales (orcas) who have also been spotted at times by kayakers during this sea kayaking vacation.

Custom Coastal Cuisine

We strive to make your sea kayaking vacation a trip of a lifetime. We know an important part of this experience is delicious, hearty, and plentiful food.

For our kayaking expedition trips we enlisted a local gourmet chef to design the menu and train our guides to be excellent wilderness cooks! Fresh meals prepared each day will leave your belly full and ready for all the adventures the new day brings!

Quality Expedition Tents & Warm Sleeping Bags

All gear needed for your trip (kayaks, paddles, tents, & dry bags) is included in the trip price. Our equipment is kept in top-notch condition. From toasty sleeping bags to crawl into at the end of each day as you head off for a peaceful sleep to quality tents (including tents for singles so you don’t have to bunk with anyone else if you are a solo traveller).

High Staff to Guest Ratio & Small Group Size

The maximum number of guests on any Wildcoast sea kayaking expedition is 10 and our staff to guest ratio is 1:5 or better. There are a large selection of islands we can explore in the Discovery Islands chain. Quadra Island, Read Island, the Octopus Islands and the Penn Islands are some we have explored on past kayaking tours.

For each trip, our guides select the kayak routes based on your group’s kayaking skills and level of experience. You will enjoy a couple nights at one spot, or if you are with a more advanced group your kayak expedition could be racking up the nautical miles circumnavigating one of the more remote islands. To further enhance your overall sea kayaking experience, guides love to share their wealth of knowledge about the area.

Accommodations on Quadra Island the Night Before You Launch

Included in your sea kayaking vacation package is the first night at one of Quadra’s beautiful Resorts. A relaxing start and an opportunity to enjoy Quadra Island as you prepare for the spectacular days you will spend kayaking and camping throughout the Discovery Islands.

On the day of your arrival a briefing at the resort will provide you with everything you need to know before launching on your tour early the next morning.

Tour Highlights

  • Towering trees, mountains, and remote beaches
  • Humpback whales, sea lions, seals, and dolphins
  • Some of the world’s largest starfish
  • Small group size
  • Great trip for solo travelers
  • Coastal cuisine designed by a local gourmet chef
  • Quality kayaks, expedition tents & warm sleeping bags
  • High Staff to Guest Ratio
  • Accommodations on Quadra Island the night before you launch at one of Quadra’s beautiful resorts

Tour Itinerary

MEETING LOCATION: Wildcoast Adventures is located at 685 Heriot Bay Road just a short distance by foot or by car from the BC Ferry Terminal in Quathiaski Cove. An afternoon briefing is held on the day of your arrival. During the meeting we will provide you with a dry bag for your belongings and tell you everything you need to know before launching on your kayaking tour early the next morning.

gowlland harbour resort on Quadra Island BC
Day 1

Your arrival day!

Your first night is at one of Quadra’s beautiful Resorts. A relaxing start and an opportunity to enjoy Quadra Island as you prepare for the days you will spend kayaking and camping throughout the Discovery Islands.

sea kayaking near Quadra Island BC
Day 2-3

Your adventure begins

Your trip launches from the breathtaking Rebecca Spit Provincial Park located in Quadra Island’s Heriot Bay.

Each kayak trip is customized to suit the group’s paddling ability and interests. With the variety of islands to explore each trip is unique.

camping near Quadra Island BC
Day 4-5

Magical days & nights

Days in the wilderness will have you kayaking amongst the islands, walking through ancient forests, swimming in fresh water lakes, and honing our paddling skills. Evening campfires and stargazing will round out each day.

Your expert guides each add their own flair to the trip providing an experience unlike any other.

sea kayaking near Quadra Island BC
Day 6

The Journey Back

On your last day you will paddle back to your launch point and be transported back to the Wildcoast shop by early-afternoon. A relaxing end point where you can hang out, grab a coffee and repack your belongings before heading onto your next destination.

Discovery Islands Expedition
6 Days / 5 Nights

2021 Trip Dates

May 30-Jun 4

Jun 6-11

Jun 13-18

Jul 5-10

Jul 11-16

Jul 25-30

Aug 8-13

Aug 22-27

Sep 5-10

2021 Trip Prices

$1449 (CDN)

5 Frequently Asked Questions About This Trip

While no experience is required to participate in this kayaking tour, we recommend that you enjoy a challenge, have a positive mindset and that you are in good physical shape. Our kayaks are stable, and safe to paddle. Wildcoast guides provide kayak instruction and safety procedures prior to your first launch, and assist during your kayak tour with tweaking your technique. Learn more

Yes we provide excellent alternates for guests requiring a special menu. These modifications don’t compromise on the quality, freshness, or portion sizing of each meal (this may require an additional fee to cover the menu modification costs for your specific dietary requirement).

On this trip, we equip you with high-quality tents and sleeping bags that are ideal for the climate and expedition kayak camping – at no extra cost. This is so we can be assured you are best outfitted for the climate and conditions. This also prevents our guests from having to travel to our location with cumbersome camping gear.

If you are traveling with a friend or partner we will have you share a tent. If you are a solo traveler you will get your own tent and not be “bunked” with a stranger.

We provide our kayak vacation guests with a durable dry bag to pack your personal items into, and answer any last-minute questions you might have, during your morning briefing.

Follow our helpful PACKING LIST to be sure you come best prepared!

Nope! We think our trips are an excellent way for solo travelers to experience a fantastic adventures with others. There is no additional “single supplement” and we don’t bunk you with a stranger. For that reason, we do limit the number of solo travelers on our trips – so be sure not to miss out!

Our guides determine the length of each days’ paddle based on the weather conditions, sea conditions, and group paddling skill/dynamic. As this is an expedition style trip you will be kayaking between campsites and spending up to five hours a day on the water. Each day’s paddle is broken up by a lunch stop, and opportunities to see & learn about the wildlife along the way.


Explore Other Adventures

desolation sound kayaking under the coast mountain range, bc EXPLORE THIS TRIP

Desolation Sound Expedition

6 Days, 5 Nights
black bears on the beach in johnstone strait on cracroft island EXPLORE THIS TRIP

Bears & Whales

7 Days, 6 Nights

Toll Free in North America