Mayne Island is like something out of a Famous Five story. When an old boyfriend and I turned up during off-season to stay at his grandparent’s holiday cabin, there was no-one around. The eerily calm island was quiet, we barely saw anyone for days; it was the perfect romantic getaway destination.
Mayne island was originally inhabited by members of the Tsartlip First Nation, prior to colonisation. The island had many visitors over the years, including miners looking for their fortune, who would stay on the island before travelling to mainland BC. The earliest homesteaders registered land claims in miners bay in 1859.
The island had a surprising amount to keep us busy over the three days we were there. Awakening early, we would explore the island, visiting places Chris had played as a kid. The island has some beautiful trails that you can walk. We walked the scenic trail from Bennet Bay Beach to Campbell Point and I don’t think we saw one other person. We climbed the rocks, watched the waves crash and felt the ocean breeze.
One of my favourite places was the Lighthouse at Georgina Point. The Lighthouse built in 1885 marks the entrance to Active Pass and is no longer manned. The views from here are breathtaking.
Another attraction is the Japanese Gardens at Dinner Bay Park. There was a sizeable Japanese community on Mayne Island until they were relocated during Second World War. The garden is a memorial to these, and is stunning.
Miner’s Bay is the hub of the island, with a grocery store, gas station and restaurant; the Springwater Lodge established in 1892. It is the oldest continuously operated hotel in BC. It boasts a beautiful spot on the water, with views out to nearby islands. The food was pretty good too!
Chris took me to the remains of an old cabin, off the road in the woods. He told me that it was known as an old witches house. It was incredibly creepy, even the walls had hand prints on them, albeit in red paint, but still added to the spine-chilling atmosphere.
It was a truly lovely trip; walking around the driftwood shores, through the arbutus trees, sleeping by a log fire; with no one around. It made me feel like a kid again, exploring the island. It was peaceful and relaxing, and a great romantic getaway destination.