Vancouver Island Journals

Vancouver Island's East Coast

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A travel journal to Vancouver Island by Re Carroll

Between Victoria and Nanaimo Photo, Vancouver Island, British Columbia More Photos
Quote: The east side of the Island is more developed than the west and has many more accommodations and attractions. Although Victoria and Nanaimo are the main cities, the area north to Campbell River has lots to offer and makes for an interesting few days tour.

Vancouver Island's East Coast

Best Of IgoUgo

Overview

Between Victoria and Nanaimo Photo, Vancouver Island, British Columbia
Quote:
We took the E&N Dayliner train from Victoria to Nanaimo. Our friendly engineer invited us into the engine car where we had an even better view of the passing scenery. For schedules and fares, call 1 800 561 8630. Dotted along the east coast of Vancouver Island are many smaller islands, called the Gulf Islands and among the most popular are Saltspring, Mayne, Pender and Denman. They are easily accessed by ferry although get quite busy on summer weekends. The Old Country Market in Coombs (about 45 minutes north of Nanaimo) has a grass roof and goats who graze on it which makes for an interesting picture. There false fronted buildings contain little gift stores if you're into shoppin...Read More

Parksville

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Story/Tip

Quote:
The area between Parksville and Qualicum is filled with miles of sandy beaches and calm water that is ideal for swimming and it is a popular vacation spot for families. Wonderful accommodations can be had at Tigh Na Mara Resort, 1095 East Island Highway, Parksville, 1 800 663 7373. The resort is just off the main highway, about 30 minutes north of Nanaimo. It is set among tall trees and overlooks the ocean so it's easy to believe that you are in a rural area. The exterior has a rustic look but the rooms have all the amenities you could want - fireplace, jacuzzi tub, queen size bed, coffee maker and a balcony that overlooks the water. Prices for individual rooms start at $109. per nigh...Read More

Horne Lake Caves Provincial Park

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Story/Tip

Quote:
The Park is located about 1/2 hour away from the sandy shores of Qualicum Beach and the main attraction is the caves. You can take a guided tour down into their depths to see stalagmites and stalactites. Tour price includes a lighted helmet to help you navigate. Some parts of the cave can be a pretty tight squeeze and there are a couple of areas where you must crawl through an opening on your hands and knees. At the base of the cave is a small pool with a rock formation that looks like a Buddha statue. When the guide has everyone turn off their lights for a minute it is as black as can be since there is no natural light. This isn't a tour I'd recommend for anyone who is even ...Read More

Denman and Hornby Islands

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Story/Tip

Quote:
The ferry terminal for these islands is located at Buckley Bay, about 1 hour north of Nanaimo. Denman is the closer of the two and the ferry ride takes about 10 minutes. The ferry to Hornby leaves from the other side of Denman so it's good to have your own vehicle. Otherwise, you can rent a bicycle from the bike shop near the Denman ferry terminal. These islands don't have as many services and amenities as Saltspring or Mayne Island so are less touristed. In my mind, that's what makes them so interesting. There hasn't been a lot of development and neither island has a garbage dump so recycling and ecology is highly promoted. Both have an active artisan community and you will find home...Read More

Cumberland and Courtenay

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Story/Tip

Quote:
About 5 miles west of Courtenay is the small village of Cumberland. In the early 1900s it was a very busy coal mining town and its Chinatown was the largest one north of San Francisco. Today, there are markers along the highway that denote where the mines were. There is also a large display that traces the history of coal mining and Cumberland. One of the original cabins used by the Chinese immigrants is still standing but it is boarded up and there's not much to see. Cumberland Provincial Park has a nice lake with a boat launch, cordoned off swimming area and camp sites near the water. Courtenay is less than 1/2 hour from Buckley Bay and I didn't find much of interest there. I woul...Read More

Campbell River

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Story/Tip

Quote:
Campbell River is on the famed "Inside Passage". To the north is Robson Bight, the world's only killer whale sanctuary. Campbell River calls itself the "Salmon Capital of the World". I'm not sure if that is really true but my husband says the fishing is very good. Certainly, sports fishing is one of the main industries in the area. If you're like my husband & I, one fisher and one non (me), the best place to stay is at Painters Lodge, 1 800 663 7090. It is one of the many lodges owned by the Oak Bay Marine group and all are tied into fishing. Situated right at the water's edge, the rooms are very large with two double beds and large picture windows that provide great views of the garden ...Read More