Nanoose Bay and Area

Nanoose Bay is a coastal community of about 5000 people, located between Nanaimo and Parksville on the Strait of Georgia, on the east coast of Vancouver Island. It was named after a First Nations band related to the Nanaimo Indians. As the legend goes, Nanoose Bay means “pushing forward”, as can be seen by the Nanoose Bay peninsula which is a six-kilometer long deep water bay.

Nanoose Bay has now become a small seaside resort with a world renowned golf course, Fairwinds Golf and Country Club, as well as Schooner Cove Marina and Yaht Club. It is a popular tourist destination for hiking, sailing, kayaking, beachcombing, and bird watching.

There are two Regional Parks in Nanoose Bay itself, which offer wonderful beachcombing activities as well as biking, hiking and bird watching.

  • Beachcomber Regional Park is a small, accessible one hectar Oceanside park located at the end of Nanoose’s Beachcomber Peninsula. It offers stunning views over the water looking out towards Craig Bay, Mount Arrowsmith, and north across the Strait of Georgia to the coastal Rocky Mountains.
  • Moorecroft Regional Park includes 32 hectares of natural growth forest with a 1 km stretch of beach with spectacular views of the Strait of Georgia. A network of trails allows for hiking, biking, picnicking, and swimming.
  • Rathtrevor Regional Park is located in Parksville and is one of the greatest vacation attractions on Vancouver Island. At low tide, the ocean recedes almost a full kilometer, allowing for people of all ages to experience the sand, the sea, and all that is left behind in the tidal pools.
  • Fairwinds Golf and Country Club has established itself as one of the premier mountain golf courses on Vancouver Island. Towering arbutus, fir, and Garry oak trees line the manicured fairways offering an unforgettable golfing experience.
  • Kayaking/Fishing/Sailing are very popular in Nanoose Bay and the Schooner Cover Marina and Yacht Club offer many options. Local outlets offer guided tours and instruction so that guests can enjoy the beauty of the Strait of Georgia and the Gulf Islands.
  • Local Artisans are abundant and with the backdrop of the beautiful Strait of Georgia one can find some true gems. Local pottery is very unique to the area, and can be found along many routes.
  • Goats on the Roof, the Old Country Market, in Coombs is sure to delight you with its atmosphere and large variety of imported goods. With more than a million visitors arriving each year to photograph the goats on the roof, the market allows you to immerse yourself in the many unique galleries, studios, and shops that share the area.
  • Cathedral Grove is located in MacMillan Provincial Park, and is an old growth forest with one of the most accessible stands of giant Douglas Fir trees on Vancouver Island. Some of the towering, majestic giants are more than 800 years old. There are many walking trails that take you through the enchanting rain forest, but please always stay on designated trails.
  • Whale Watching Tours are available in many locations on Vancouver Island. We highly recommend the whale watching tours out of Telegraph Cove, which is located just south of Port McNeill on the northern tip of Vancouver Island. Visiting Telegraph Cove, British Columbia’s last boardwalk community, is a wonderful experience, full of adventure and history. Stubbs Island Whale Watching Adventures located in Telegraph cove, offers the best place in the world to see the incredible killer whales (Orca) which make their home in the waters of the Johnstone Strait and Blackfish Sound. Telegraph cove is about a 3 hour drive north
  • Qualicum Beach is a very quaint community of unique artisans, gardeners, and active, healthy locals and retirees. The boutique shops and sandy beaches offer much to explore and enjoy in a day’s outing. Be sure to visit the Old School House Arts Centre which has local artists paintings, and sculptures on display.