Captain Hornby was commander of the H.M.S. Tribune in 1860. His frigate gave its name to one of the most beautiful sandy bays anywhere. Tribune Bay is found on the southeast tip of Hornby. Its warm waters and topography make you feel as if you’ve suddenly stumbled unto a tropical paradise.
Hornby’s shore land is indented with bays, coves and spits and its interior is more hilly than its neighbour. It even has its own mountain, Mt. Geoffrey, standing a proud 280m.! Although smaller than Denman, sandy beaches, warm waters and popular recreational areas combined with its geological diversity, make this 30 km. island very popular. Hornby’s permanent residents number approximately 2000.
To reach Hornby, you first cross Denman Island. The second trip is about 10 minutes with the crossings timed to accommodate the traverse. Ferries, however, are not quite as frequent.
Services are centred around Tribune Bay and the Co-op complex and are surprisingly extensive. The ferry dock at Shingle Spit also has amenities that include a campsite, while a nearby cove offers more services.
There are many B & B’s, a few private campgrounds which are crammed in the summer, and two exceptional day use only parks: Helliwell, with 69 ha. and Tribune Bay with 95 ha. are gorgeous parks for exploration, swimming, picnicking and relaxing. A block of crown land running through the centre of the island provides good hiking trails. Hikers will be treated to rare views of old-growth Douglas fir, expansive views of the mainland and sculpted sandstone cliffs.
The friendliness of its people, variety of amenities, and the extensive public land on Hornby indisputably contribute to the island’s popularity with visitors.