We asked a few of Nanaimo’s photographers to share their favourite places with us through an Instagram takeover, one of whom is Nancy Shields. She’s the force behind @NoChanceNanc on Instagram, and we’re thrilled to have her highlight five of her top places around town. Here’s what she included, if you’d like to see…

Beach Estates Park

Beach Estates Park is one of Nanaimo’s best kept secrets. Grab yourself a treat from the Tim Hortons across the street at Brooks Landing and enjoy this little gem. The park offers a lush forested area, including an incredible waterfall. If you walk further down the trail you will end at Departure Bay Beach. Kick back and watch the ferries arrive in Nanaimo.

Newcastle Island

Newcastle Provincial Park can be accessed by a passenger ferry from Maffeo Sutton Park in the heart of Nanaimo. Pack your camping supplies and get ready to explore this beautiful little Island. Fun fact: Albino Raccoons live on Newcastle Island and can be often found on the beaches looking for food.

Pipers Lagoon

Pipers Lagoon is one of my most favourite parks in all of Nanaimo. Enjoy gorgeous views of the Sunshine Coast while exploring the area. Pipers Lagoon is known for its rocky terrain and beautiful Garry Oak trees. While you are visiting make sure to check out Shack Island, to the south of Pipers Lagoon. This Island hosts an array of small shacks that still have owners and are sometimes occupied.

Sugarloaf Mountain

If you are looking for an incredible natural view point of the Georgia Straight in Nanaimo, Sugarloaf Mountain is the place to be. Although it is deemed as a “mountain” Sugarloaf is a quick and easy walk up a few flights of stairs and a slight incline. Grab a friend, head up and enjoy the view of Departure Bay and the Pacific Ocean.

Wildplay Element Park

Did you know that Nanaimo is home to incredible thrill seeking opportunities? To get your heart pumping, head south on Highway 19 to WildPlay Element Park. I would strongly suggest completing their Aerial Adventure Course and finishing the day off with a bungee jump over the Nanaimo River.

Thanks Nancy!