Driving ‘up-island’ on the Malahat is one of the most scenic drives on the island.  I would certainly recommend driving north from Victoria up the Malahat to whatever destination you have planned … but if you want something different on the way back, you might try taking the Mill Bay Ferry which runs from the community of Mill Bay (just before the southern section of the Malahat) across Saanich Inlet to the community of Brentwood Bay and then down to Victoria from there.

History of The Malahat Drive

‘The Malahat’ is the term commonly applied to the Malahat Drive, a 25 km (15.5 mi) portion of the Trans Canada Highway #1 running along the west side of Saanich Inlet and to the region surrounding it. The road was first cut as a cattle trail in 1861, and was then upgraded to wagon road standards in 1884. It became a paved road in 1911. Its name comes from the Malahat First Nation, whose ancestors used the caves for spiritual enhancement.

The Malahat Drive climbs to a summit of 356 m (1,156 ft), and the mountain is considered one of the most sacred sites on southern Vancouver Island.


MV Mill Bay was a Canadian ferry. At 37.49 metres (123 ft) long, it was BC Ferries’ second smallest ship. It holds 16 vehicles (tied with the MV Nimpkish), 138 passengers and crew, and its maximum speed is 9 knots (17 km/h). The Mill Bay operated in the Brentwood Bay-Mill Bay route across Saanich Inlet on Vancouver Island.

MV Mill Bay is equipped with three lanes for cars, two with no height restriction and one lane that passes under the superstructure for the wheelhouse. Since the trip across the inlet takes only 20 minutesMill Bay does not have very many amenities. She does have restrooms for passengers but they are not accessible to handicapped persons.

The Mill Bay is powered by an L. Gardner and Sons model 8L3 straight-eight engine that generates 152 hp (113 kW) . She burns diesel fuel at the rate of 14 litres/hour (3.7 gallons/hour) and is the most fuel efficient active vessel in the BC Ferries fleet.


Leave Brentwood Bay                                                          Leave Mill Bay

7:30 am Daily except Sun
8:40 am Daily
9:50 am Daily
11:00 am Daily
1:15 pm Daily
2:25 pm Daily
3:35 pm Daily
4:45 pm Daily
5:55 pm Daily
8:05 am Daily except Sun
9:15 am Daily
10:25 am Daily
11:35 am Daily
1:50 pm Daily
3:00 pm Daily
4:10 pm Daily
5:20 pm Daily
6:30 pm Daily
Effective November 1, 2015




PASSENGER (Foot or Vehicle)
-12 years or older 6.80
-5 to 11 years old 3.40
-Under 5 years old FREE
-Student (school event) 12 to 18 years old FREE
-5 to 11 years old FREE
Permanently Disabled & Escort 12 years or older 3.40
5 to 11 years old 1.70
Senior (Monday to Thursday excluding Statutory Holidays) FREE
STANDARD VEHICLE (Excludes Driver & Passengers) e.g. Cars, Trucks, Motorhomes – Find Out More
Vehicle Length up to 20 Feet 15.70 – extra length rate over 20 Feet (per foot) 1.75
Motorcycle 7.85
BUS – per foot (licensed to carry 16 or more passengers) 1.35
COMMERCIAL – per foot (vehicles over 5500 kg/GVW) 1.75
– Cash, Travellers Cheque or Prepaid Paper Ticket Only.
– Credit and Debit Card and Experience CardTM are NOT accepted at this time.

Prepaid Fares for Frequent Travellers

Prepaid fares are available for adults and passenger vehicles on many routes. Frequent travellers can access these fares by loading a minimum amount of money to a BC Ferries Experience™ Card. Prepaid fares are also available by purchasing prepaid ticket books (prices vary by ticket type and by route).

If you are travelling the Brentwood Bay-Mill Bay route, prepaid fares can be purchased at the following locations:

  • Thrifty Foods
    Broadmead: 100-777 Royal Oak Drive, Victoria, BC V8X 4V1
    Sidney: 9810 7th Street, Sidney, BC V8L 4W6
    Central Saanich: 7860 Wallace Drive, Saanichton, BC V8M 2B3
    Mill Bay: 50-2720 Mill Bay Road, Mill Bay, BC V0R 2P1
  • Mill Bay Shell Service Station
    828 Deloume Road, Mill Bay, BC V0R 2P2
PREPAID FARE 12 years or older 4.25
5 to 11 years old 2.10
Standard Vehicle (up to 20 Feet) 10.10