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Oak Bay Shoreline Kayak Tour


Departing from our outpost at the Oak Bay Marina, paddlers will explore the nooks and crannies of Oak Bay’s nature rich coastline. Legendary Jimmy Chicken Island and the nearby islets are ideal for viewing resident harbour seals, river otters can be seen scurrying up the rocky outcrops of Cattle Point, and the Chain Islands in the Oak Bay Ecological Reserve are home to nesting seabirds such as cormorants, oyster catchers, glaucous–winged gulls, and even rhinoceros auklets. Accompanied by vistas of the Gulf Islands, Mt. Baker and the Olympic Mountains – cast in hues of pink and purple during the evening hours – this is an ideal West Coast kayaking location.

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

“Great way to spend a morning ”

My wife & I did a 3 hour paddle tour with Nathan as our guide. We left Oak Bay and paddled towards Cadboro. Nathan taught us about the bull kelp forests, fried egg jellyfish, sea lettuce, and much more. After turning around and pointing our kayaks back towards Oak Bay, Nathan took us out between two craggy islets to see harbour seals perched on the rock outcroppings. This is an excellent adventure that doesn’t take up your whole day. We felt very lucky to have Nathan guiding us, describing the surroundings, and teaching us about the sea beneath us.

“a different way to see things”

Had a great trip out of Oak Bay in kayaks with Nathan Troost, our guide, whose knowledge and anecdotes were educational and entertaining at the same time, all the while feeling safe and enjoying the calm way of travelling along the shoreline. Would definitely recommend it – I was a novice myself and didn’t worry after the first few paddle strokes – these kayaks are much more stable than they look! And we got really close to seals, herons and other wildlife. a big thank for a great time out.

“Great fun in Oak Bay”

Our family of four (two boys ages 13 and 10) took an evening guided kayaking tour of the Oak Bay. Our guides (college age) were fun to be with. The trip takes you through the marina and along the Oak Bay shores of Victoria. The pace was relaxed and suitable for various paddling skill levels.

“Oak Bay Kayak tour” 

We just finished a 3 hour kayak tour of the islands and shoreline around Oak Bay with our amazing guide John. We had a perfect weather morning, calm waters and sunshine warming us up. John was a treat, entertaining us with great stories and informing us about what was going on beneath us and around us. Highly recommended.



Please arrive 15 minutes before the start of your tour to meet your guide at our Oak Bay Paddle Shack on the dock at Oak Bay Marina. 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. Our ‘Paddle Shack’ is located on the docks, simply follow the signs through the marina entrance.

Your tour includes the following:

• After meeting and greeting your guide and other tour members, you will be provided with a paddling orientation, which will include the features of the kayak, personal paddling equipment, group safety protocol, and the strokes that will make paddling and maneuvering the kayak enjoyable.

• Entering the waters of Oak Bay with the scenic vistas of the Olympic Mountains and Mt. Baker as our backdrop, we will explore along the rocky coastline beyond Willows Beach and Mary Tod Island. Depending on tides and weather conditions, we will venture out to the Harbour Seal rookeries where various species of sea birds can also observed, or even reach Jemmy Jones Island, where cormorants can be spotted.

• Making our return to the Oak Bay Marina, your guide can share stories of the unique natural and cultural history of the Oak Bay area, as you keep an eye out in the water for several species of jellyfish and the shoreline for river otters, herons, and intertidal life. The tour tour concludes at 1:00 pm, back at the Oak Bay Paddle Shack. Check out the marina’s great cafe or restaurant for lunch!

Full Itinerary – PDF: Tour Itinerary: Oak Bay Shoreline Kayak Tour

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  that you can get wet—and a bit muddy (e.g., sport sandals with a strap, water shoes, or old running shoes). Alternately, you can borrow a pair of neoprene booties from us.
  • 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.

About Ocean River

Located in Victoria, British Columbia on beautiful Vancouver Island, Ocean River is one of the premier speciality kayak and adventure companies in North America. Brian Henry, the founder & current owner, has been running Ocean River since 1981, and Ocean River continues to be recognised as one of the most significant outdoor/paddlesports instructional & tours provider in North America.

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