Discover a popular wildlife spotting location on the east coast of Vancouver Island and take to the water to explore miles of untouched shoreline.
Nanoose Bay is a coastal community where lakes and sandy beaches are surrounded by forests and snow-covered mountains. This area of great beauty is a popular playground for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. Hike along woodland trails, row across the bay and go bird and wildlife spotting.
Enjoy a range of recreational activities on the bay's waters. Stop by one of the beaches for a refreshing swim. Rent a kayak or canoe and visit a marina to charter a small boat for a fishing expedition. Cod, perch and flounder are among the species you can hope to catch here.
The bay is also known for its numerous scuba diving sites. Dive down to aquatic depths to see even more marine life, including sponges, scallops and Puget Sound king crabs. There are sites for all ability levels.
Experience more of the bay’s animals with a visit to the Qualicum National Wildlife Area. The 203–acre (82-hectare) lowland expanse encompasses meadows, marshes and mudflats and is home to nearly 200 animal species, including more than 100 different types of birds. Spot bald eagles and Brent geese in the sky, while on the ground you may encounter deer, otters and raccoons.
Familiarize yourself with some of the native aquatic flora by hiking the trails by Enos Lake and its nearby ponds. Walk up to the top of Notch Hill on the north side of Nanoose Harbour for the excellent views of the bay and estuary.
Sporting types may want to challenge themselves with a round or two at the Fairwinds Golf and Country Club. The course has a scenic setting with ocean and forest views and is open to players of all abilities.
Finish your day by dining on local fish specialties in a cozy restaurant or pub.
Nanoose Bay is situated between the towns of Nanaimo and Parksville and is less than a 30-minute drive from either of these locations.