On our last day of camping at Oastler Lake Provincial Park we went into the nearby town of Parry Sound to take a day trip on the Island Queen. This sightseeing tour boat offers a number of different options to see the iconic ‘Group of 7’ scenery of the 30,000 islands of Georgian Bay. We opted for the Huckleberry Island trip, because sitting on a boat for 3 hours is way too long and boring for kids (and for adults too, if I’m honest). Exploring another island and going for a swim sounded great!
The trip to Huckleberry Island only runs twice a week and takes smaller groups. It takes about 25 minutes to get to the island, and instead of going on the big cruising ship we went on a proper whale watching zodiac which sat about 20 people.
While on board the captain gave us a little info about the 30,000 islands of Georgian Bay and explained that when we arrived the tour guide would take us on a little nature walk around the island, and then we’d have free time at the beach.
The ride across the placid waters was extremely calm and you can really admire the incredible million dollar homes built on the strange flat rocks of the islands, covered with the windswept trees that influenced so many “Group of 7” Canadian artists.
From the Huckleberry dock, we followed the nature guide on a short walk around the island while she explained its unique geological features, and the kids got to do a treasure hunt and stay occupied. The walk isn’t particularly long or difficult but it was hot and in some parts of the forest a bit buggy! Note the tour is optional so if you want to, you can simply stay and swim at the gorgeous beach.
After the walk, we had the rest of our time free to relax and swim in the cold, crisp waters of Georgian Bay. It was hard to get in the water as it was quite chilly! But once it, the swim was glorious. I will always be a tropical island girl, but I’m slowly, slowly getting used to the enjoyment of colder Canadian waters.
On the drive back to Port Perry, we went through a popular spot called The Hole in the Wall – a narrow gap between islands with towering sheer cliffs. As we passed by there happened to be some local teenagers climbing up to the top for cliff jumping – I wish I had caught it on camera!
You can watch a video about this beautiful area to see more of the Hole in the Wall and the Georgian Bay Biosphere Reserve.