Posted by: sunnyharvy | October 9, 2014

Beyond Victoria on Vancouver Island

We enjoyed our brief visit to Victoria and thank our hosts, Tom and Lorraine, for letting us camp out in their driveway. However, we are always happy to leave big cities behind in search of more natural attractions. We look forward to discovering what else Vancouver Island has to offer!

We began by heading up-island along the East Coast. That afternoon we stopped at Cowichan Bay, a quaint village that occupies half of one street right on the bay. We toured the waterfront including the Maritime Center on the historic pier.




Later we came upon a few of the Dragon Divas, a group of female cancer survivors who own and paddle a 22-person dragon boat for exercise, fun and fundraising events. Photo below is “borrowed” from their website a we did not get to see the crew in action.


After some lively conversation with the divas, they inquired as to where we were headed next. I replied by asking them for suggestions. Chemainus got the popular vote, so that’s what we put in the GPS for the next day.


 That evening we felt like we were camping in Jurassic Park at the Cowichan River Provincial Park. The trees are all covered with moss and the ground thick with ferns.



Remnants of someone’s dinner…

The world famous, outdoor art gallery in Chemainus features over 40 huge wall murals and 13 sculptures depicting the history of the town. In addition to enjoying the beautiful murals, and a delicious lunch at the Owl’s Nest Cafe, we visited a few local artists’ studios as we happened to be there for their first ever studio tour.






Aren’t they fabulous?

That evening we camped at Rathtrevor Beach in Parksville where the nearly 13-foot tidal change is apparent. The weather wasn’t suitable for spending much time on the beach, but we did enjoy the very nice (but not cheap!) campground and hot showers.




  1. Loved your photos of Cowichan Bay since that is where we live! While you’re in Parksville you might want to consider visiting Little Qualicum Falls as it’s only a 15 minute drive towards Port Alberni. It’s well worth a visit!

    • We were quite taken with your area of the island. If we were looking for a place to live, it would probably make the list of possibilities.

  2. Looks like the Dragon Divas steered you well—what beautiful little community and camping areas! As always, thank you so much for sharing so well.

  3. Cowichan Bay looks delightful. ‘Jurassic reminds me of the Hoh rainforest – enchanting. Would love to meet the Divas – they were on the Today Show. Lovely area – too bad the winters are so harsh – of course, then everyone would be living there like SoCal. Keep having a fun trip !

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