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Qualicum Beach

Qualicum Beach wants to be dubbed "the best bloomin' Town on Vancouver Island"! Crazy for gardening, the pretty seaside community of Qualicum Beach enters the Communities in Bloom competition every spring. A pleasant small town with a population of 7,383, Qualicum Beach is located on the east coast of Vancouver Island, just north of Nanaimo and Parksville

A wonderful place to enjoy English gardens, arts and crafts and long sandy beaches, Qualicum Beach is also located near a beautiful outdoor playground. Six parks are located within a thirty minute drive!

Arts and Culture

Qualicum beach is home to painters, weavers, sculptors, First Nations carvers (Salish, Westcoast and Kwakiutl), glass blowers, and other artisans who invite visitors into their studios—you can pick up a brochure and map of the local galleries provides directions. Located in the centre of Qualicum Beach, the Old School House Gallery exhibits local artisans' creations and hosts workshops, classes, and concerts. 

You can also attend a show at the Village Theatre, where many productions are put on by the local ECHO players. Or learn about the Qualicum First Nations culture by visiting a traditional woodsmoke house and enjoying a piece of local salmon.

If you are interested in pioneer life, golf, railways and shipwrecks, visit the Power House Museum. Open mid-June to early October, the museum is adjacent to the Qualicum Beach train station. Part of the Power House complex, you can visit the Vancouver Island Paleontology Museum at the same time. This museum has one of the most complete collections of Vancouver Island fossils. 

Enjoy special events? Qualicum Beach offers a few varied festivals. In April, the annual Brant Wildlife Festival celebrates the migration of the Brant geese as they move through on their way to Alaska. The beaches around Qualicum and neighbouring Parksville have been the site of an annual migration of tens of thousands of Brant geese for many years. In May, Qualicum Beach hosts Fire and Ice, an ice carving and chili making competition. Ice carvers create block ice sculptures while teams compete to prepare the “Ultimate Chili” and kids carve sculptures in jello! The event includes firewalking, street entertainment and an awards ceremony. In July, the Art in Action Summer Festival at the Old Schoolhouse Arts Centre features art displays, auctions and demonstrations. 

With six excellent golf courses in the Qualicum Bay area, you can choose to enjoy a game at one of the following courses: Arrowsmith Golf and Country Club, Eaglecrest Golf Club, Glengarry Golf Links and the Qualicum Beach Memorial Golf Course.
Outdoor Adventure

Near Qualicum Beach you will find many opportunities to explore spectacular forest and marine environments. You can enjoy kayaking, horseback riding, air sight-seeing (‘flightseeing’), sailing, hiking and fresh and saltwater fishing. Nearby parks include: Hamilton Marsh, Little Qualicum Falls Park, MacMillan Provincial Park, Englishman River Falls Park, Mount Arrowsmith Regional Park and Qualicum’s Heritage Forest.

  • Hamilton Marsh, a natural habitat for marsh birds like duck and geese, is most active during spring and fall migrations. The parks’ woodland will lead you to and around the marsh. Hamilton Marsh is approximately 4km north of Coombs on South Hilliers Road, just off the Alberni Highway 4.

Getting to Qualicum Beach

Qualicum Beach is located 12km north of Parksville on the Oceanside Route (Hwy 19A). 

  • By Vehicle: Qualicum Beach is about a two-hour drive from Victoria on the scenic 19A highway. If you are coming from the Mainland, you can take the ferry to Duke Point or Departure Bay terminals near Nanaimo and Qualicum Beach is about a half hour drive north. 
  • By Bus: Coach Lines offer regularly scheduled trips north, south, and west through the area. BC Transit also offers regular bus service between Nanaimo and Parksville and Qualicum Beach.
  • By Train: Take the Esquimalt and Nanaimo Railroad, a scenic track that still carries passengers up island from Victoria and Nanaimo.
  • Englishman River Falls Provincial Park features a spectacular canyon between two beautiful waterfalls. There's great picnicking, swimming and walking in this 97-hectare park. To find the park, travel approximately 5km west of Parksville on Highway 4A and turn left at Errington Road and follow the signs (approximately 8km).
  • Little Qualicum Falls Provincial Park is located alongside the Little Qualicum River, where waterfalls plummet down a rocky gorge into forest. The park also incorporates the entire southern shore of Cameron Lake. Cameron Lake is a great place to windsurf, swim, fly fish for brown trout or have a picnic. A magnificent area, this 440-hectare park is quite popular with families. To reach the park, travel 19.2km west of Parksville on Highway 4 and watch for the sign.
  • MacMillan Provincial Park, famous for Cathedral Grove, is one of the most accessible stands of giant Douglas-fir trees in BC. Some of these trees are 800 years old, and walking the loop trails through this virgin coastal is awe-inspiring. The 136-hectare park is located on Highway 4, 32km west of Parksville on Highway 4.
  • Mount Arrowsmith Regional Park offers good hiking and rock climbing. The trailhead for the Arrowsmith Trail is at the Cameron Lake picnic site, and the strenuous hike winds up to the 6,000-foot summit in the Mount Arrowsmith Regional Park.
  • The Heritage Forest of Qualicum Beach is close to the town centre and has preserved an old-growth Coastal Douglas Fir ecosystem. Explore on the forest trails or sit by the salmon-bearing stream in this 35-acre nature reserve.

General Enquiries    Toll Free: 1-855-595-8989 Tel: 1-250-595-8989
Zima Enterprises Inc. / Travel British
British Columbia, Canada

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