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Vancouver Island | Sunshine Coast | Gulf Islands




Cowichan Bay

Cowichan Bay is a unique, historic seaside village on southern Vancouver Island that faces the Gulf Islands. An assemblage of sail and fishing boats, piers, wharves and floating homes, the village has population of 2,575. If you enjoy seaside rural landscapes with good wine and food, this is a beautiful place to visit.

Arts and Culture

The village of Cowichan Bay and the surrounding area is home to artists, craftspeople and local food producers, including some fine local wineries and eateries. Many of the area’s wineries and farms offer tours, wine tasting and cooking classes. Fresh seafood abounds in the area as well.

Two interesting historical adventures the area offers are the South Cowichan Lawn Tennis Club, which features one of the oldest lawn tennis courts in the world (second only to Wimbledon) and the Wooden Boat Society, which displays hands-on exhibits at the Cowichan Bay Maritime Centre.

If you are visiting the area in the first week of August, you may see the Cowichan Bay Regatta, a sailing race that’s the second largest regatta on Canada's West Coast.

Getting to Cowichan Bay

The Cowichan Valley is a scenic 30-minute drive from both Victoria (south) and Nanaimo (north). 

  • By Vehicle: Drive on the Island Highway and watch for the well-marked signs. Once you leave the highway there is about a ten-minute drive through countryside and farmland before you’ll reach the village.
  • By Air: You can charter floatplanes to Cowichan Bay from Vancouver or Seattle but there are no scheduled flights.
  • By Train: VIA Rail travels between Victoria and Courtenay. Stops within 15 minutes of Cowichan Bay include: Cowichan Station, Duncan or Cobble Hill.
Outdoor Adventure

Cowichan Bay offers the recreation opportunities of the sea—sea kayaking, sailing, saltwater fishing and whale watching—along with the possibilities of river adventure. Known as a ‘recreation corridor’, the Cowichan River Provincial Park is the place for swimming, canoeing, whitewater kayaking, tubing, camping, fishing, horseback riding, cycling, hiking, picnicing or relaxing! 

This park protects significant stretches of the Cowichan River, a Provincial Heritage River internationally renowned for its wild salmon and steelhead fishery. You can walk along the river on the park’s historic 20km-long footpath and explore the restored 66-Mile and Holt Creek Trestles on the Trans-Canada Trail.

Cowichan Bay is also a great spot to watch the birds! Over 200 species of birds are feed at the mouth of the Koksilah and Cowichan Rivers. In spring and fall hundreds of birds travel over the area, known as the Pacific Flyway. You can try to spot them at Hecate Regional Park, located on Cowichan Bay Road. While you’re at the park, hike up Mount Tzouhalem for a great view of the area. You can also launch a boat from Hecate Park.

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Zima Enterprises Inc. / Travel British Columbia.net
British Columbia, Canada

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