Outdoor Recreation


Tear up single track at Westwood Lake or on the Fine China Trail, located on Weigles Road off Doumont Road. Find smooth pavement on the E & N Trail or Parkway Trail.

Stop by our Visitor Centres to pick up a map of local cycling trails, or visit one of our local bike shops.

Ziplining, Bungee Jumping and Monkido

Explore the treetops of the Nanaimo River canyon and get an adrenaline rush at WildPlay Element Parks.

Scuba Diving

Nanaimo is a premier cold water diving destination, with 3 artificial reefs including the world's largest upright artificial reef. Check out Dive Nanaimo for more information.

Boating in Nanaimo

Year after year, boaters return in droves to Nanaimo's protected, scenic waters. There's room for every type of vessel here, with moorage available at the Nanaimo Port Authority's Visiting Vessel Pier, Newcastle Island, The Newcastle Marina, Stones Marina, and the Nanaimo Yacht Club. All Nanaimo moorage facilities are just a dinghy ride (or short walk) away from the heart of downtown.

Pleasure Craft Operator Card: All operators of motorized watercraft in Canada are required to obtain a pleasure craft operator card (boat license). For more information and to obtain your card visit Transport Canada.

Looking for boating information? AHOYBC is full of resources and links for pleasure craft boaters looking to make BC's coastal waters their destination (including Nanaimo!) Check them out on their website or connect with them via social media on their Facebook page or Twitter.


Nanaimo and the surrounding areas are a paddling paradise. Launch a kayak or canoe and explore the harbour or the historical shores of Newcastle Island Marine Provincial Park. You can bring your camping gear with you and stay overnight on Newcastle Island, using it as a base camp for your kayaking adventures. There are also a number of launch sites north or south of Nanaimo to paddle to a Gulf Island or meander along a quiet coastline.

Rent stand-up paddleboards and kayaks in the Nanaimo Harbour, at Westwood Lake or on Gabriola Island and start exploring!

The Nanaimo Rowing Club, along with the Nanaimo Canoe & Kayak Club, are situated on beautiful Long Lake in central Nanaimo. Are you a rower or paddler from out of town? Stop in and see them or contact the clubs for more information! They are always happy to see a fellow paddler.

Nanaimo is also a gateway to the BC Marine Trails. The BC Marine Trails Network provides a map of kayak launch sites and ocean side camping areas in Nanaimo and the rest of Vancouver Island, as well as downloadable tables of paddling area information, paddling resources, and a directory of local paddling companies.


Put down a crab trap at Maffeo Sutton Park's fishing pier for Dungeness crab fresh from the Pacific Ocean or head out on a Salmon fishing charter. Fresh water anglers can explore Nanaimo's many lakes (several of which are stocked regularly with trout) and the Nanaimo River.


Follow the loop trails to scenic viewpoints around Newcastle Island, Biggs & Jack Point Park, Westwood Lake, Neck Point Park, and many more of Nanaimo's scenic parks and trails. For a more adventurous trek, hike to the summit of Mt Benson. The ultimate Nanaimo hike, Mt Benson offers spectacular views of Nanaimo, the Strait of Georgia, and the surrounding region.

Swimming at Nanaimo Beaches & Lakes

Our beaches provide a perfect escape on a hot summer's day. Nanaimo's long oceanfront makes this an ideal place for families, swimmers, and sun worshippers. Beaches at local ocean parks such as Piper's Lagoon, Departure Bay, Neck Point, and Swy-A-Lana Lagoon, offer a myriad of opportunities for swimming, windsurfing, and snorkelling, complete with incredible sea life just below the surface.

Freshwater swimming: Westwood Lake and Long Lake, both offering large beaches and summer lifeguard service. Long Lake is also the home of the Nanaimo Canoe and Kayak Club, and a favourite motorboat and water skiing spot. Westwood Lake offers wonderful trail hikes and a children's playground.

For something a little more adventurous, Nanaimo River offers some of the most exhilarating swimming opportunities in the city. The best swimming spots can be found about ten minutes south of town off Nanaimo River Road, and are always worth the trip.


Nanaimo Golf Club

Nanaimo Golf Club is a well renowned and highly respected semi-private golf course in the heart of Vancouver Island. We offer a variety of affordable...

WildPlay Element Parks

Discover your own "tall tale"! Along the Nanaimo River, our 17-acre Park is home to an array of scenery and fun. It's easy to find a favourite among o...

Fredrich's Honey

Fredrich's Honey has been producing honey, pollen & propolis on Vancouver Island since 1966. Theo Sr. started the farm with his brother Erwin. Now Th...

McNabs Corn Maze & Produce Farm

We offer “Family Fun in the Country” from mid August-October. Come enjoy our 7 acre maze, farm animals & hayrides.

Fairwinds Golf Club

Fairwinds Golf Club is one of Vancouver Island’s finest courses. The mild climate of Nanoose Bay allows you to play on lush fairways year-round. The...

Yellow Point Cranberries

Follow the Yellow Point Road to our family-run cranberry farm, located just outside of Ladysmith.

Gabriola Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Centre

Only 20 minutes from the city of Nanaimo, Gabriola Island (population ~4,200) casts spells across layers of time. Its sandstone geology studs the coas...

Adventures Wild Heart Sea Kayaking

Join us in our 27th year as we paddle the pristine waters of Vancouver Island. We offer single day trips to multi day expeditions locally here in Nana...


Visit our 50,000 sq foot North Nanaimo location - best Nanaimo Bar Fudge in Nanaimo! Cabelas.ca for more info.

Cedar Farmers' Market

Shopping in a pastoral environment on the field of Crow & Gate Pub. Fresh veggies, meats, flowers, & baked goods.

City of Nanaimo Parks, Recreation & Environment

Parks, Recreation and Environment's mission is to “enhance the quality of life and leisure in Nanaimo.” Join us for public swimming, public skatin...

Cottonwood Golf Course

An exceptional course with a fabulous restaurant and patio. Come join us at Cottonwood!

GERTIE - Gabriola's Community Bus

GERTIE is Gabriola’s Community Bus, which enables visitors to make self-guided tours of the Island, sans car!

Honeysuckle Gift Cottage

Set in English gardens. We make vintage styled jewelry, scarves, stained glass & more. Also bat, bee & bird houses

Horne Lake Caves & Outdoor Centre

Experience the coolest adventures on Vancouver Island at Horne Lake. Daily guided tours for cave exploring, rock rappelling the Horne Lake Amazing Ra...

Hub City Cycles

Hub City Cycles is a non-profit community service cooperative who’s purpose is to be a resource that nourishes the neighbourhoods of Nanaimo by pro...

Morning Star Bison Ranch

Up in the pristine Cassidy Highlands just south of Nanaimo BC lies a home where the buffalo roam on beautifully sculpted fields which is the home of B...

Nanaimo Downtown Farmers Market

The Nanaimo Downtown Farmers' Market is one of the youngest markets on the island, being only in it's eleventh year. From a beginning of only a few ve...

Nanaimo Port Authority

Experience our lively downtown waterfront! Our picturesque marina sits amongst a variety of shops, eateries & view

Newcastle Island Marine Provincial Park

Au' si:em siyeyu Welcome to Saysutshun/Newcastle Island Marine Provincial Park in Snuneymuxw traditional territories. Come explore what we have to...

North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre

A wildlife adventure for the whole family! Live raptors, black bears and more. Open 9–5 daily March through Dec 21

Ocean Outfitters Ltd.

Ocean Outfitters Ltd. - Whale Watching in Tofino, BC

Prince of Whales

Prince of Whales is the largest and safest environmentally-friendly year-round whale watching company in Victoria and Vancouver. We offer tours from V...

Regional District of Nanaimo

Regional District of Nanaimo

Ride the Glide Segway Tours & Events

Book a Guided Segway Tour of beautiful Bowen Park. Daily tours on a pre-booked basis. One and 1 1/2 hour tours. Our experienced guides will ensure y...

Silva Bay Kayak Adventures

IT ALL STARTS HERE Your fun paddling adventure begins at the doorstep to the stunning natural beauty of the Gulf Islands. Silva Bay Kayak Adventures...

Sundown Diving

Rated as one of the best cold water destinations in the world, Vancouver Island diving is without question unlike any other on the planet.Based in Nan...

Sunshine Coast Air

The Plane is waiting to take you on a spectacular Flightseeing adventure. Soar over stunning coastline + islands. Explore glacier lakes, majestic wate...

Vancouver Island Catamaran Sailing


Yellow Point Alpacas

Experience a natural elegance with the luxury of fine yarn & Alpaca garments & take home a little bit of heaven.

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Copyright © Tourism Nanaimo  |  Admin | MMS
Last modified: Jan 31, 2017   Page #: 23
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