April Point - Perfect for Families and Corporate Functions

Quadra Island, British Columbia

April Point Lodge

The Campbell River region where Quadra Island is situated has long been known as the "Salmon Capital of the World," but heavy action over the years has depleted the stock, and unfortunately the area is in some sort of decline, but is determined to bounce back. This year showed a marked improvement in the number of fish caught, so things might be on the improve despite a recent scathing attack by Andrew Harper in his well read newsletter. The other knock on April Point is that the area itself is quite built up, so it is not exactly the wilderness, but more of a family venue.

The Campbell River is on the Inside Passage on the east side of Vancouver Island, and it is also the home of the Tyee Club, which is in fact a salmon over 30lbs caught from a rowing boat. From July 15 to September 15 you go out with an experienced oarsman using registered light tackle, and if you get lucky you can join the Tyee Club of British Columbia. The few days we were there one of the fishing guides caught a 36lb fish and now proudly wears his lapel badge as a fully fledged member of the Tyee Club.

You can also go out in 17 - foot Boston Whalers, and the very next morning a guest caught a 56lb Chinook very close to the dock at April Point, and word of both catches soon spread like wildfire down the coast on the legendary fishing hot line. April Point is not a catch and release resort, so any fish you do hook can be frozen and boxed up, and sent to anywhere in the world for consumption during the winter months.

Painter's Bay Lodge

Oak Bay Marine Group who run April Point also have Painters Bay, and the two resorts are separated by about a mile and are accessible by a water taxi that runs every half hour and takes no more than ten minutes. Guests can use either of the facilities such as the restaurants, bars and other activities of both resorts including the conference rooms that can hold up to 200 guests.

Another cool thing to do at April Point the Zodiac tour, a wildlife adventure in a speeding hovercraft that will whisk you over the water in a search of black bears, killer whales, bald eagles, sea lions, dolphins and more. The 24' Zodiacs can take up to twelve passengers and can go up to 45 mph weather permitting. All the floaters or cruiser suits are provided for you, and the drivers are all carefully selected before each season. Once you get over the first five minutes as the zodiac bounces off the water, it really is a lot of fun. Try to get the seat at the back of the boat next to the driver so you can see what's going on as he adjusts his speed and direction according to the currents. He makes it all look so casual, and knows the area so well that he can foresee a problem way before it happens. These boats themselves cost about $100,000 and would make an excellent toy for the man who has everything.

April Point Lodge

Accommodations are first rate at April Point, with well furnished cabins offering most modern conveniences including two televisions, a rarity the more exclusive and expensive the lodge. The river itself is such a hive of activity with all kinds of planes and boats constantly arriving, that you can just relax and watch all this activity sipping a beer, before setting out on a fishing or zodiac expedition.

April Point Lodge also leads the way in gourmet dining on the Island, with the restaurant catering up to 200 diners and hosting a popular jazz night every Tuesday. Food and Beverage manager and former head chef Christine Lilyholm oversees a young staff who work all season, and get a real hands on experience with the fresh seafood, sushi bar, homemade desserts and a whole lot more. Some of her signature dishes include the Oven Roasted Rack of Lamb with duchoss potatoes and a rich blackberry port sauce, and the Seafood "Pot Au Feu" with bay scallops, mussels, clams, prawns, salmon and halibut steamed in a white wine saffron tomato herb broth with julienne vegetables.

The wine list is pretty extensive with the usual emphasis on British Columbia wines, and a few prime selections from Oregon, Washington, Australia, New Zealand, California and France. In fact the most expensive wine on the main lists is priced at $65 (Robert Mondavi Pinot Noir from Napa), although the reserve list boasts some wines up to $325 for that special event.

Tel: 800.663.7090
Fax: 250.598.3366
email April Point
April Point on the web

Mike Hepworth, October 2002

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