Nanoose Bay is named after a First Nations band related to the Nanaimo Indians. According to local theory, the word means 'Pushing Forward' - a reference to the shape of Nanoose Bay, which is a six-kilometre long deepwater bay formed by the peninsula.
Today, Nanoose Bay is a small seaside resort with golf course, spa and marina and is a popular area for kayaking, swimming, walking and more.
Nanoose Bay is located 26 km (16 mi) north of Nanaimo and 15 km (9 mi) south of Parksville, just off Highway 19 on the east coast of Vancouver Island.
This small, accessible one hectare oceanside park is situated at the end of Nanoose's Beachcomber Peninsula and offers spectacular views west across Craig Bay to Parksville and Mount Arrowsmith and north across the Strait of Georgia to the mainland coastal mountains. At low tide, large flat rocks are exposed which makes great territory for exploring and tide pool investigating. Away from the sea, enjoy short walking trails through arbutus, Douglas-fir and Gary Oak woodland.
The 34-hectare Moorecroft Park includes close to 1 km of beach and spectacular views across the Georgia Strait. There are approximately 32 hectares of natural forest featuring tree species such as Western Red Cedar, Douglas Fir, Arbutus, Bigleaf Maple, Red Alder and Garry Oak. Two intermittent creeks run through the property, and two eagle nesting sites have been identified. The property also contains a wetland area known as Skipsey Lake, a play field and a network of trails. Picnicking, swimming, biking and walking are popular.
Majestic old growth trees, beautiful ocean sunsets and an inviting, wide sandy beach makes Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park in Parksville one of the premier vacation destinations on Vancouver Island. At low tide the ocean recedes almost a kilometer, providing an ideal place for visitors of all ages to play in the sand and explore the shoreline. There is a large day-use area, perfect for an afternoon picnic and bird watching is a popular activity, particularly in the spring when large numbers of seabirds congregate for the annual herring spawn.
Designed by renowned course architect Les Furber and voted 1999 BCPGA Facility of the Year, the Fairwinds Golf Club in Nanoose Bay has established itself as one of Vancouver Island's finest courses. Play on lush, manicured fairways lined by towering fir, gary oak and arbutus trees. Challenge yourself against the more than 70 sand bunkers that guard the immaculate, contoured greens. At Fairwinds, spectacular ocean views, abundant wildlife, and pristine natural surroundings combine for an unforgettable golfing experience.
Nanoose Bay is a popular area for kayaking, fishing and sailing. Local outlets offer instruction, rentals, and guided tours. Wildlife and adventure charters are also available to experience and enjoy the scenery of the Strait of Georgia and the Gulf islands.
Follow the art loop and scenic drive to the working studios of the Nanoose Bay Peninsula's many artisans.
Background Photo Credit: Destination British Columbia