Launch a kayak from Nanaimo and explore picturesque marine destinations, including Newcastle Island, Protection Island, and the breathtaking Gulf Islands. With so much to explore, paddlers can coast along the ocean for a few hours or plan exciting multi-day excursions.

Kayak Rentals & Tours

Coastal Expression

101 – 1840 Stewart Avenue

Coastal Expression is Nanaimo’s most recognized kayak rental and tour operation. Coastal Expression allows guests to rent kayaks by the hour or day for personal adventures, or join a group tour. Most group tours take 3-4 hours to complete, although full-day trips are available as well.

Coastal Expressions beginner tours are perfect for new paddlers, starting with an on-land introduction and then a leisurely paddle through sheltered waters. Experienced kayakers looking to up the ante can also rent low profile camping gear for overnight excursions to Newcastle Island, Pirates Cove on De Courcy Island, and other gorgeous Gulf Island destinations.

Coastal Expression’s fleet includes composite and plastic sea kayaks and recreational kayaks. Single and double kayaks are available.

Learn more

Wildheart Adventures

1560 Brebber Road

Wildheart Adventures is a professional kayak tour company that will escort paddlers from Nanaimo to some of Vancouver Island’s best marine destinations. In addition to day trips in the Gulf Islands, Wildheart Adventures hosts expeditions through the Broken Islands, Nootka Islands, and Clayoquot Sound.

Daytrips from Nanaimo depart from Cedar by the Sea and take paddlers to De Courcy, Mudge, and Link islands, and other pristine locations along Vancouver Island’s east coast. Everything is provided, including a gourmet lunch prepared by the guide.

Explore Wildheart Adventures tour options >>

Island Römer Adventures

5791 Broadway Road

Island Römer Adventures is a small company specialized in guided sea kayak tours in and around Nanaimo. As outdoor enthusiasts with a background in environmental sciences and biology, they offer informative and fun tours in and around Nanaimo where they combine local historical knowledge with environmental details. Their guides are fluent in English and Dutch and familiar with German.

They believe sea kayaking is for everybody; young and old, beginner and more experienced paddler. Island Römer Adventures uses locally-made sea kayaks known for comfort and stability. You can paddle on your own or help each other by taking a double sea kayak, and a seat can be placed in the centre hatch for small children.

Don’t forget your camera! Enjoy the beauty and wildness of the Salish Sea from your kayak and glide along with amazing rock formations, trees and wildlife. Sea stars, crabs and anemones can be seen underneath your boat; seals and eagles are nearby. Have a break on a beach and explore the rich biodiversity of the tidal zone.

More information: www.islandromer.com

Westwood Lake Campgrounds

380 Westwood Road

New and experienced paddlers can rent kayaks from Westwood Lake campgrounds at low hourly rates from May through September. Westwood Lake is a calm and sheltered freshwater lake, providing a peaceful, low-stakes kayaking experience. Explore the lake by kayak to enjoy Westwood’s gorgeous scenery from a unique perspective.

Kayaks & Kayaking Equipment

Atlantis Kayaks

2093 Cedar Road

Atlantis Kayaks is a kayak design and manufacturing company located in Nanaimo, BC. Atlantis Kayaks makes high-quality touring, sport and tandem-style composite kayaks with comfortable yet elegant designs.

The Atlantis Kayak workshop is a home-based business run by Robin Thacker, a moulding expert who got into the kayak business when he made one for himself. A few years later, Robin opened Atlantis Kayaks to share his passion for fine, thoughtfully-crafted kayaks with the public.

Paddlers who are interested in purchasing an Atlantis Kayak should call (250) 667-3925 to get started.


3200 Island Highway

Atmosphere, located in Country Club Mall, has an excellent selection of recreational kayaks. Numerous respected brands are within their catalogue, including Pelican, Riot, Point, and Capix. Atmosphere has everything a person needs to get out on the water!

Valhalla Pure Outfitters

5773 Turner Road

Valhalla Pure Outfitters is an outdoor sports store known for its equipment, gear, and clothing. Valhalla has a healthy paddle sports catalogue that includes dozens of recreational kayaks by Delta, Wilderness Systems, and Dagger. Valhalla Pure Outfitters can help customers explore a variety of river and ocean kayaks, most of which are made with durable plastic.

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