Pender Island is one of the Southern Gulf Islands located along the Pacific Coast of British Columbia, Canada. Pender Island consists of two islands, North Pender and South Pender, which are separated by a narrow canal connected by a one-lane bridge. Pender Island lies between Vancouver, BC and Victoria BC. Pender Island is a 2-hour ferry ride from Vancouver and a 40-minute ferry ride from Sidney, BC.
Pender Island enjoys a sub-Mediterranean climate and features open farmland, rolling forested hills, several lakes and small mountains, as well as many coves and beaches. In fact, Pender Island offers the most public beach access points of any of the Gulf Islands.
Pender Island is a popular destination for cycling, fishing, hiking, boating, sailing, scuba diving and otheroutdoor pursuits. The island also boasts a 9-hole golf course as well as a 27-hole disc golf course(frisbee golf). Pender Island also has numerous art galleries, shops, and restaurants and hosts a variety of local events throughout the year, including the Pender Island Fall Fair and the Lantern Festival. On Saturday mornings during the summer, the Pender Island Farmer’s Market at the Community Hall offers local produce and handcrafts, as well as entertainment.
Pender is a choice weekend and year round holiday destination. Summer is generally a busy time, while the island pace slows down considerably during the winter months. Spring and fall are pleasant times of the year, with fewer tourists and mild weather.
North Pender and South Pender were originally one island connected by an isthmus. This is a site that was used by the Coast Salish First Nations for thousands of years, and has a rich history. A canal was dredged in the early 1900′s to allow the ferry and boats quicker, safer passage between the islands.
The islands, along with Pender Harbour on the Sunshine Coast, were given their current name by Pender Island was named by Captain Richards R.N. of H.M.S. Plumper in 1859 after his senior survey officer, Second Master Daniel Pender. The first permanent residents of European descent arrived on Pender Island in 1872.
While you’re on Pender, visit our museum to learn more about its rich history.