Discovery Island Kayak Adventure


Come out and experience some true west coast wild just minutes from downtown Victoria. This tour is quickly becoming our most popular and is one of the top tours in Victoria. Sitting just off Oak Bay, but across the treacherous Plumper Passage, Discovery Island was long a place people just looked at from a distance. But now, thanks to our “Discovery Shuttle,” paddlers of all ability levels can get out there!

Upon arrival at the island and unloading the kayaks and equipment from the shuttle, the guides will assist everyone in properly fitting their kayaks. With the scenic vistas of the Olympic Mountains are our backdrop, we will explore the rugged and wild islands from our kayaks. Watch for seals, sea lions, eagles, and other wildlife in this intertidal area while a little farther into the Strait keep an eye out for dolphin, porpoise, Killer whales (orca), Humpback, Gray and Minke whales. Navigating the tranquil waters and approaching Chatham Islands, the pace is easy and relaxed the perfect gateway to nature.

After deciding upon the best beach for lunch, we will enjoy a delicious meal on a driftwood strewn beach. After lunch, we will secure the kayaks and explore the island with a relaxing walk. Majestic views of the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the San Juan Islands present excellent photo opportunities.

Time dependent we will either return to the boats for another paddle before leaving or load everything back onto the shuttle for a cruise back to end the day at the lovely Oak Bay Marina.


Please arrive to meet your guide at our Oak Bay Paddle Shack on the dock at Oak Bay Marina at 8:45 am. The Oak Bay Marina is located at 1327 Beach Drive. If you are driving, there is free parking in the Oak Bay Marina parking lot. If you are without a vehicle, for a fee transportation from downtown Victoria can be arranged during your booking.

Our ‘Paddle Shack’ is located on the docks, simply follow the signs through the marina entrance. Your tour will depart Oak Bay at 9:00 am & return to Oak Bay at 3:30 pm.

Your tour includes the following:

• Crossing to Discovery Island – Stopping at locations along the way, we’ll watch for activity in the seabird ‘feeding frenzies’ in the ecological reserve waters.

• Kayaking Expedition – After unloading the kayaks and equipment from the shuttle, the guides will assist everyone in properly fitting their kayaks. The scenic vistas of the Olympic Mountains are our backdrop, as we explore the rugged and wild island from our kayaks. Watch for seals, sea lions, eagles and other wildlife; this intertidal area is home to many Northwest Pacific creatures. Navigating the tranquil waters and approaching Chatham Islands, the pace is easy and relaxed. The perfect gateway to nature.

• Shore Lunch – After deciding upon the best beach for lunch (determined by the conditions that day), we will enjoy a delicious shore lunch.

• Walking Excursion – After lunch, we will secure the kayaks and explore some of the island on foot. Majestic views of the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the San Juan Islands present excellent photo opportunities.

• Returning to Oak Bay – Upon returning from our hike, we will be met by the Discovery Shuttle for the crossing back to Oak Bay. We continue our shallow water explorations through the Chain Islands on the return voyage.

Finally, please note that on the Discovery Island Kayak Tour, children ages 10–15 must be accompanied by an adult, and children ages 6–9 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.

Full Itinerary – PDF: Itinerary for Discovery Island Kayak Adventure


Equipment List

Please read the following equipment list carefully, as it indicates what you will need to bring with you to help ensure you enjoy a comfortable tour.

Ocean River Sports stocks many of the items listed below. If you need advice or would like to purchase gear, please visit us or check out our online store!

Cotton keeps you cold when it’s wet, and takes a long time to dry. If possible, bring clothing designed for outdoor wear and made from Merino (wool), silk, or synthetic materials, such as polyester, polypropylene, or nylon.

  • Eyeglass retainer strap if you wear glasses
  • Sunglasses, sunscreen
  • A broad-brimmed sun/rain hat
  • Clothing like you might wear for a short hike (dress in appropriate layers depending, on the weather). Bring a light rain jacket on days when there is a chance of rain. If you don’t have one, we can provide you with a waterproof paddling jacket.
  • Low-heeled shoes
  • Water and snack (optional)
  • A watertight plastic bag for electronics (optional)
  • A camera (optional)

We cannot be responsible for damage to or loss of your items, so please ensure valuables are stored securely in watertight plastic bags or dry bags and placed in the watertight storage compartments of your kayak. Use of a 10L waterproof dry bag is available to you on this tour.

Waiver/Medical Forms

Please review the following form prior to your program. Please sign/initial the form in the presence of your instructor/guide, who will act as your witness.

Ocean River Sports Waiver (PDF)

To read all of our reviews, click on the Trip Advisor logo below! TA_550x370

“Discovery Island Kayak Tour”

A perfect way to spend the day! I have been to Discovery Island twice now and both times I have loved it. Our guide Tanner helped make the experience great with his upbeat enthusiasm for the outdoors. He was very knowledgeable and informative about the area and wildlife. The trip is approximately 6.5 hours in total, and it was wonderful time from start to finish. It felt like our own private island & it was a great way to escape the city for a day. I would recommend this trip to both visitors and locals alike. Thanks for the fantastic time Tanner!

“Excellent Day at the Discovery Island Tour”

I had a very nice day with Tanner and Nathan.
Tanner and Nathan have provided all the necessary information to be able to kayaking around the Discovery Island. They were knowledgeable and lots of fun.
I saw seals and a sea lion while kayaking and a whale and two bald eagles while going to the island. The kayaks and equipment was of high quality and in perfect condition.
Fantastic trip and an adventurous way to spend the day!!!

“Discovery Island Kayak Tour”

Weather perfect with blue sky’s and calm seas. Combined with knowledgeable & fun guidance by Nathan & Gina, paddled through the clear, clean waters surrounding Discovery Island, encountering numerous seals in the waters around us and bald eagles flying in the skies above…Mother Nature at her best. Highlight of our trip to British Columbia.

“Discovery Island Adventure”
We took Ocean River’s day trip to Discovery Island. I wanted to show friends from England the wild beauty of this part of the world. Our two guides, Graham and Rueben, were superb. Young guys just brimming with enthusiasm for the natural and human history of this place. We took an aluminum landing craft loaded with kayaks over the strait to Discovery. Then embarked on our kayak circumnavigation of the island. Took a break on a gorgeous little beach for lunch. Then hiked across the island to find an abandoned lighthouse. The whole adventure was enjoyable from start to end… and superbly organized.

“What more could you want?”
After having our trip cancelled yesterday (due to the weather conditions) we were moved to the following day with no fuss at all.
Now, having just returned, we can confirm that this was a ‘not to be missed’ experience.
The weather was perfect, the wildlife interesting and plentiful and our intrepid guides were a pleasure to be with.
Our trip was the Discovery Island Tour which was enjoyable right from the early morning mist rolling in to the mill pond waters and friendly seals.
As always with organised trips the day is only as good as the guides and Ruben and Jeanette were brilliant. A real pleasure to be with. I had a medical problem while on the trip and Ruben and Jeanette, along with trusty first aid kit, were patient and helpful.
Thanks for the best day of our holiday so far.


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We're located in Downtown Victoria, Oak Bay, and Saturna Island.
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