Nanaimo Region


Steep yourself in cultural experiences, historical landmarks and unspoiled nature on Saysutshun

Steep yourself in cultural experiences, historical landmarks and unspoiled nature on Saysutshun (Newcastle Island Marine Provincial Park). Whether you arrive by boat, paddle power or the seasonal foot passenger ferry, as soon as you hit the welcome dock, you can feel the magic of this island envelope you.

Saysutshun is a place of great spiritual and historical importance to the Snuneymuxw First Nation, and it doesn’t take long to understand why as this island is abundant with natural resources and soul-filling spaces.

With 22km of trails to explore, sandy beaches to relax on, colourful sea life clinging to the rocky shorelines and a resident Racoon family (including rare albino Racoon), Saysutshun invites you to leave the hustle and bustle of everyday life behind.

Choose to investigate tidal pools, explore historic locations including former sandstone quarries, cycle the perimeter trail or just take time to breathe it all in under the shade of a tree – Saysutshun won’t fail to captivate.

Seasonal services include a casual bistro, kayak and bike rental. Walk-in campsites allow you to enjoy your time on Saysutshun for a bit longer.

Protection Island is primarily a residential island, with roughly 350 people living there year-round where they enjoy a peaceful, car-free lifestyle within easy reach of city amenities.

Visitors are welcome to visit the island via the passenger ferry that runs multiple times daily. A roughly 4km loop trail will take you around the perimeter of the island where coastal beaches, parks and historical points can be explored. Keep an eye out for golf carts which are driven around the island by residents.

For a small island, Protection has a rich history, having been home to an active coal mine until 1938, and it has seen its share of disasters too with a mining tragedy and a ship explosion both rocking the island in the early 1900s.
Any visit to Protection Island must include a visit to the Dinghy Dock – Canada’s only floating pub which provides unbeatable views back onto the Nanaimo skyline.

Protection Island

Enjoy a taste of true island living when you visit Protection Island, located just across the water from the Nanaimo Boat Basin.

Gabriola Island

Discover a vibrant, artistic community and stunning natural features on Gabriola Island.

This friendly Gulf Island Community, just a 20-minute ferry ride from Nanaimo harbour, has a vibe all of its own and offers diverse experiences that will inspire, energize and enlighten visitors.

With evidence of its First Nations history found across the island and natural wonders that can’t be found anywhere else, it’s no wonder the resident population of a little over 4,000 people swells with visitors, especially in the summer months.

The island is home to a large population of artists, farmers, growers and artisans who love to share their wares and passions with visitors throughout the year, at festivals, markets, workshops and retreats.

With an abundance of outdoor spaces from water-carved sandstone galleries, to sandy beaches to old-growth tree stands and acres of wilderness, Gabriola offers plenty of opportunities for outdoor exploration and adventure.
Gabriola has all the amenities you need to enjoy a visit for a few hours, a few days or even longer.

While primarily residential, Lantzville has a beachside village vibe and friendly community atmosphere with a small village centre, world-class dining options and numerous access points to the 4.5km of oceanfront beaches.

Lantzville’s mostly cobbled beaches are ever-changing with the tides and seasons and are popular spots for ocean swimming, kite surfing and exploring as well as watching for passing Sea Lion populations during the early spring Herring run.

In north Lantzville (on the western side of Hwy1), take a hike through the wooded trails of Copley Ridge or the Lantzville Lookout loop and stop on your way back to visit the miniature animals at Superior Farms.


The charming community of Lantzville in the north end of Nanaimo sits nestled between the water’s edge and the mountain foothills.


Named after the abundance of Western Red Cedar trees which still exist in the area, Cedar’s many parks, wooded lots and rolling countryside make you feel like you are far away from city life.

The bulk of Cedar’s residential population lives around the quaint village centre, which offers all the amenities required including a grocery store, pub and quality restaurants in addition to several service businesses.
As you explore further away from the village centre, the distance between homes increases as artisan workshops, farmland and horse paddocks increase. Distant mountains and patchwork fields offer the perfect backdrop for a drive in the country or an afternoon stopping at home-based galleries, workshops and farmstands on the Cedar Yellow Point artisan trail.

Bring your four-legged friend and enjoy a long walk in the woods and Hemer Provincial Park or the Cable Bay Trail, or kayak or canoe on Holden or Quennell Lakes.

Stop for lunch at BC’s first Neighbourhood Pub, the Crow and Gate, south of Cedar on Yellow Point Road, which is not only styled to mimic an English country pub but serves some UK classic food choices too.

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