Launch a kayak from Nanaimo and explore picturesque marine destinations, including Saysutshun (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.

You can even bring your camping gear with you and stay overnight on Saysutshun, using it as a base camp for your kayaking adventures. There are also a number of launch sites north or south of Nanaimo to paddle to a Gulf Island or meander along a quiet coastline.

Where to rent

Rent stand-up paddleboards and kayaks in the Nanaimo Harbour, or at Westwood Lake and start exploring!

The Nanaimo Rowing Club, along with the Nanaimo Canoe & Kayak Club, are situated on beautiful Long Lake in central Nanaimo. Are you a rower or paddler from out of town? Stop in and see them or contact the clubs for more information! They are always happy to see a fellow paddler.

Nanaimo is also a gateway to the BC Marine Trails. The BC Marine Trails Network provides a map of kayak launch sites and ocean side camping areas in Nanaimo and the rest of Vancouver Island, as well as downloadable tables of paddling area information, paddling resources, and a directory of local paddling.

Kayak Rentals & Tours

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.

Island Römer Adventures
Coastal Expression – 2023
Wild Heart Adventures Sea Kayak Tours
Westwood Lake RV Camping & Cabins
Silva Bay Kayak Adventures

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.

Are you a boater?

Looking for boating information? AHOYBC is full of resources and links for pleasure craft boaters looking to make BC’s coastal waters their destination (including Nanaimo!) Check them out on their website or connect with them via social media on their Facebook page or Twitter.