The Broken Islands is a collection of 100 or so islands and islets popular for kayaking, boating, scuba diving and sailing located off the west coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada. The Broken Islands are part of the Pacific Rim National Park. The communities with the best water access to the islands include Ucluelet, Bamfield and Port Alberni.
Some visitors arrive in the region with their equipment in tow planning for a self guided tour. While others arrive and sign up with one of the local tour groups. Boating and kayaking tour groups provide interpretive guides, lessons, equipment and, some packages, include accommodations and meals.
Self guided adventures to the Broken Islands should only be attempted by experienced navigators with a deep understanding of the currents, weather, tides and has all the proper equipment to ensure a safe trip. Accessing the islands in many cases requires beach landings. A tricky process involving incoming and outgoing tides, avoiding driftwood logs and, in some cases, battling high winds.
The Broken Islands are mostly uninhabited. Many islands include sandy beaches, virgin forests, caves, cliffs and plenty of marine wildlife. Exploring within the inner boundaries of the Broken Islands group is the safest providing protection from winds and waves.
Many top kayaking, scuba diving, boating and adventure magazines recognize the islands as a top adventure destination in British Columbia, Canada. Some of the more popular islands in the group include Turtle Island, Effingham Island, Gibraltar Island, Hand Island, Willis Island, Clarke Island and Gilbert Island.
Torquart Bay, east of Ucluelet, is considered one of the safer launching points for accessing the Broken Islands. The 4 kilometre route travels through mostly protected waters away from high winds and ocean swells.
Beach camping is only permitted in designated areas on designated islands. Often the campgrounds are full during the spring and summer seasons. Be aware that drinking water is scarce on the islands and proper preparation and planning is important.
All visitors to the marine park must have a Park Use Permit. Pack out what you pack in. Be safe and enjoy.