Living Forest Oceanside Campground - Nanaimo, Vancouver Island, BC

Nanaimo

Nanaimo is the main city on the east coast of Vancouver Island where BC Ferries arrive and depart to the BC Mainland and to some of the Gulf Islands. The region has become a popular destination with its waterfront district a major attraction including its 5 km (3 mi) Harbourside Walkway providing stunning views across the water. Boutiques and cafes, a concert area, kid’s activity zone and heritage attractions are along the route. Nanaimo is world-famous for its decadent Nanaimo Bar and this dessert now has a tour named after it enabling you to sample the many delicious and creative interpretations of the Bar at the local cafes. If you are looking for outdoor adventure, some of the best scuba diving in North America can be found along the Nanaimo coastline, plus there are many trails, golf courses, boating and sailing opportunities.

The market plaza in Nanaimo.

Location

Located on the eastern coast of Vancouver Island, 114 km (68 mi) north of Victoria and 36 km (22 mi) south of Parksville. Separated from Vancouver and the mainland by the Salis Shea (Strait of Georgia), most people arrive in Nanaimo via BC Ferries from either West Vancouver to Departure Bay (1 hr 40 mins) or Tsawwassen to Duke Point (2 hrs).

The harbour viewed from Newcastle.

A Step Back in Time

The city’s name is derived from the Coast Salish people who had several villages in the area. They called themselves the “Snuneymuxw” which translates as “a great and mighty people.” While the small community was first called Colvile Town, it was soon changed to Nanaimo, an adaptation of Snuneymuxw.

In the mid 1800s, the Hudson’s Bay Company began to mine the rich coal deposits near the harbour. Skilled workers from the United Kingdom were brought here to extract the coal, arriving in Nanaimo on November 27, 1854 after a long journey around Cape Horn to Vancouver Island. Coal continued as the main resource of the area until 1940 when lumber supplanted coal. Today, forestry is still a major contributor to the local economy as are service, retail and tourism.

An aerial view of the harbour in Newcastle.

Contact Information

Tourism Nanaimo

Nanaimo & Nearby Accommodations

22 Listings

Whiskey Creek RV Campground
Living Forest Oceanside Campground & RV

Living Forest Oceanside Campground & RV

Nanaimo

Immerse yourself in 53 forested, waterfront acres year round at Living Forest Oceanside Campground & RV Park. With over 345 ocean side, ocean view, forested sites for RVs, guests will enjoy the array of amenities, including WiFi, laundry mat, shower and bathroom facilities, games room, playground, s ... Read more
Descanso Bay Regional Park

Descanso Bay Regional Park

Gabriola Island

Camp by the sea on scenic Gabriola Island. Two oyster bays provide many delights for kayakers, picnickers, campers, hikers and swimmers. Located near the ferry, the family-oriented campground offers private, wooded sites. ... Read more
Mountainaire Campground & RV Park

Mountainaire Campground & RV Park

Nanaimo

This beautiful 40 acre park caters to family fun in a relaxed, natural atmosphere. With 30 and 50 amp fully-serviced sites and plenty of green spaces as well as quiet tenting sites nestled in the trees, the Mountainaire is the perfect place from which to base your Vancouver Island vacation. You’ll ... Read more
Jinglepot RV Park & Campgrounds

Jinglepot RV Park & Campgrounds

Nanaimo

Time amid garden rocks, flower fragrance, fountain sounds and bird's song. Serene, peaceful, full facilities, pull-thrus. Separate or group tenting area. Central and great convenient location for all of the island and Nanaimo including ferries. 15/30/50 amp, cable, city sewer, city water, cable, int ... Read more
Inn on Long Lake

Inn on Long Lake

Nanaimo

With a central location in Nanaimo, Inn on Long Lake is the perfect property as a base to explore the East Coast of Vancouver Island. With newly renovated rooms and private balconies, guests are guaranteed to enjoy a relaxing and scenic view of Long Lake. All rooms are equipped with a fridge, microw ... Read more
Brannen Lake RV Park & Campsite

Brannen Lake RV Park & Campsite

Nanaimo

40 acres of trees, grass & quiet. Minutes from major shopping. 110 acre lakefront farm adjoining campsite. Nightly hayrides. Swimming, hiking trails, boat-ramp, wharf, store, hot showers, flush toilets, laundry and playground. Full/partial hook-ups serving tents to R.V.'s towing a vehicle. Call us t ... Read more
Best Western Northgate Inn

Best Western Northgate Inn

Nanaimo

Nestled in the beautiful northern edge of Nanaimo, Best Western Northgate Inn is the ultimate destination to explore the natural surroundings of Vancouver Island. Offering modern guestrooms equipped with many amenities, guests will enjoy a relaxing and cozy stay provided by our friendly team. Having ... Read more
Page's Resort & Marina

Page's Resort & Marina

Gabriola Island

Situated on beautiful Gabriola Island overlooking stunning Silva Bay, Page’s Resort & Marina offers secluded seaside cottages and a fantastic campground nestled in the lush forest. Travel by land, air or sea to reach our resort and have a relaxing and memorable experience. The charming cottages fe ... Read more
Nanoose Creek Campground

Nanoose Creek Campground

Nanoose Bay

Conveniently located mid island, 10 mins drive to either Parksville or Nanaimo. Enjoy the peace and tranquility of a small campground with large spacious sites close to beaches, golf courses and hiking. Free hot showers, internet, free WiFi, cablevision. Groups welcome. Pull-thrus over 125’. ... Read more
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Camping Lodging

The Super Camping / Select Lodging Guide

First Published in 1989