Transportation & Maps
Nanaimo handles more than its share of planes, trains, automobiles and ocean-going ferries.
Two main highways service the city. The traditional route through the centre of town is via the Trans-Canada Highway (Highway 1), which winds north from Victoria and ends at the Departure Bay ferry terminal. The Island Highway (#19A) continues onward from here, past the shopping malls and business parks in north Nanaimo. Taking a scenic driving route is also a great option for exploring Nanaimo's surrounding area.
A high-speed bypass is the Nanaimo Parkway (#19). It begins off the Trans Canada at Nanaimo's south end just past the Duke Point turnoff and skirts the western edge of the city on its way up-island. Several car rental companies can be found in Nanaimo for those wishing to pick up a car on arrival.
Nanaimo is the major arrival and departure point for nearly two million cars and 5 million passengers annually via BC Ferries.