Nanaimo is one of those charming places you think you have already explored every nook and cranny and had all figured out – only to find out more interesting facets and attractions awaiting to be discovered.Being a local and a self-imposed tourist ambassador of Vancouver Island, BC, I have been and seen every attraction Nanaimo has to offer, or so I thought.
A Pleasant Surprise
Then I came across with some pretty great reviews on Newcastle Island, which piqued my curiosity.Reading comments such as “It’s the loveliest part of Nanaimo”, “Jewel of an Island” and “Amazing views!”, I thought this is something I have to personally see and experience for myself.
And so I scheduled a trip to Newcastle Island with a family member, and much to our delight, it certainly is a place of natural rugged beauty.The island is breathtaking in its stark simplicity and it’s one of those places that seem to beckon to world-weary souls.
An Accessible Sweet Escape
Newcastle Island is situated in Nanaimo Harbour, which is just mere minutes away from downtown Nanaimo, BC. You can access the island via a private boat or by Nanaimo Harbour Ferry, which leaves from Maffeo Sutton Park. the view from afar, one can easily sense its colorful history and rich character that will never fair to stir the interest of both locals and tourists.
There are a number of activities you can do on Newcastle Island, such as, hiking, biking, tent camping, swimming, picnicking, and kayaking.One of the highlights of the island is the 1930’s era pavilion, which showcases historical displays along with a concession stand and camp store. However, you have to note that there are no motorized vehicles on this island except for its grounds keeper.
Spend a Day of Leisure
You can enjoy a few hours of strolling, swimming or you can camp overnight.I particularly like the lack of posh amenities and facilities, which in a way force you to go back to the basics and spend more time interacting with your family and friends instead of being overly distracted with the fancy trappings that usually come with most vacationhotspots.
You can enjoy the view from Newcastle Island at sunset, where it sets a stage for a magnificent view of Nanaimo’s boat marina and it’s downtown.There are many small bays that present perfect coves for swimming and fun activities to keep kids preoccupied and happy all day long.
Without a doubt, Newcastle Island is a great refuge for people who simply want to get away from the usual hustle and bustle of the city.The great news is, you don’t need to travel far and wide to find this truly wonderful oasis.
Republished under Creative Commons License from West Coast Aquatic Safaris, an acclaimed Bear Watching, Whale Watching, Hot Springs Cove Tour Co & Marine Charter Co in Tofino, BC on the famed west coast of Vancouver Island. Certificate of Excellence from Trip Advisor.