A Nature Lover's Paradise on the BC Coast

Madrona Cottage - Sooke Vacation Rental

Madrona Cottage has front row seating in one of the most natural and beautiful settings on southern Vancouver Island. Situated on an oceanfront acreage, this Sooke vacation rental is located in the quiet rural community of East Sooke, British Columbia, and features sweeping views of the Sooke Basin and the Sooke Hills. You'll have unobstructed views of soaring eagles, fishing heron, playful otter, and hunting seal. Sit back and enjoy the live 'Nature Channel' from the comforts of the cottage.

Ocean views / west-coast scenery - Vancouver Island, BC
Views of the Sooke Basin from Madrona Cottage

The area around East Sooke, located 20 minutes from suburban Victoria (40 minutes from downtown), offers the nature lover extraordinary scenery and superb parks and trails. East Sooke is a wildlife and natural oasis that feels miles away from the city yet is close to modern conveniences.

The Sooke Area

Around East Sooke, the temperate rainforests wrap the Sooke Hills in a thick green cloak that extends to the shoreline. This area is located on a large peninsula on the southwestern tip of Vancouver Island. Most of the land is protected within East Sooke Park, a large regional refuge of approximately 3500 acres, surrounded by the calm waters of the Sooke Basin and the open waters of the Pacific Ocean and the Juan de Fuca Strait. A deep narrow channel connects the two bodies of water near Whiffin Spit.

Eagle in Sooke
Eagle are often seen around the cottage.

Wildlife - seal at Madrona Cottage in Sooke
A seal fishes for its dinner while a seagull watches, hoping for scraps

Wildlife watching
Success! The seal settles down to enjoy its meal.

Birdwatching on Vancouver Island
Curious little quail.

East Sooke is known locally as Nature's Gallery and is home to:

  • A large variety of birds, including eagles, osprey, turkey vultures, herons and owls.
  • Raccoons, pine marten and rabbits.
  • Otter, seal, and sea lion.
  • Large mammals including deer, black bear, wolves and cougar.

The Cottage

Madrona is a self-catering waterfront cottage in Sooke, situated on the sheltered side of the peninsula along the heavily-wooded shores of the Sooke Basin. Protected from the powerful ocean storms, the area is an avian paradise. Birds on and above the water are in constant view from the cozy interior of the cottage.

The cottage is located on a hilltop above the seashore. Watch as an eagle or raven soars on a coastal updraft. In the early morning, hear the buzz of the tiny hummingbirds as they dart from place to place. Marvel at the huge pileated woodpecker in a nearby treetops.

During the salmon spawning period (typically September to November), you could be lucky enough to witness a seal hunting for its dinner. The seal dives deep into the waters and snags a large salmon in its mouth. Returning to the surface, the seal then smashes the salmon into the surface of the water with an explosive splash before leaning back to enjoy its meal.

Relax in the beautiful setting while watching the wildlife. In the day time, the eagle often perch on a tree on the small island just in front of the cottage. Resident swan sometimes glide past. Canada geese, ducks, seagulls, and other birds are always around. At dusk, guests with sharp eyes may catch owls in silent flight. Then, when night falls and quiet descends, a playful otter family sometimes emerges and puts on a fascinating display for those with the patience to wait.

At certain times of the summer, the local waters will radiate with bioluminescence.

East Sooke Regional Park - A 3500 Acre Wilderness Wonder

Just a few minutes drive from the cottage is East Sooke Park. Home to some of the most stunning rainforest and coastal hikes on southern Vancouver Island, it offers extensive trails and spectacular viewpoints. Take a leisurely stroll down to the water's edge or trek up coastal mountains. Marvel at the expansive views of the Olympic Mountains in Washington State while perched on a secluded, rocky crag. The park offers year-round trails and natural beauty.

If you're looking for a gentle walk, try the Aylard Farm path which will quickly lead you to a beach. A little further down the path, near the petroglyphs, you can sit on the rocky shores and watch the cargo and cruise ships head towards Vancouver and Seattle. If you're looking for more adventure, the 10 km Coast trail will show you the true rocky coast of coastal British Columbia. You'll scramble over uneven boulders and around deep surge channels. The trail can be muddy and slippery at times and is meant for advanced or experienced hikers. The trail is well marked with yellow, metal indicators and large signs. Make sure to have someone pick you up at the other end.

The Galloping Goose Regional Trail System

Unfortunately, bikes are not allowed in East Sooke Park. However, 10 minutes away from the cottage, you'll find the Galloping Goose Regional Trail System. This well-groomed, former railway corridor stretches for 55 km from downtown Victoria to the Sooke Hills.

Near the Sooke Basin, the trail skirts hugs the shores and offers magnificent views of Roche Cove, Coopers Cove and Hutchinson Cove. The evening views from the trail offer the classic, ocean sunsets you see in many photos.

Some of the larger Douglas Fir trees in the Victoria area can be found on the trail between Roche Cove and Matheson Lake. Some have circumferences of over 20' and are over 200 years old! They dwarf the massive arbutus and maple trees that also ring the shores.

On The Water

Some guests take the opportunity to experience the waters on whale watching tours or eco-tours. Local tour operators will take you on the open waters of the Juan de Fuca Strait to witness Orcas and Humpback Whales in their natural environment. Some killer whales live year round near Vancouver Island and Puget Sound; the humpback whales are seasonal as they journey between Mexico and Alaska. Seal and sea lion are common sights as you tour the local waters.

If you have your own boat, venture on the Sooke Basin to enjoy the quiet solitude of the water. You can also rent kayaks or motor boats if you don't have your own.

Ready to plan your holiday? Contact us for availability and rates for this Sooke vacation home!

Sunrise over the Sooke Basin
The early morning sunrise just peeking over the hills in the Sooke Basin