Carmanah Walbran Provincial Park
(JF Bergeron photo)

Vancouver Island

North Central

The North Central area spans from the Pacific Ocean to Vancouver Island's highest peak, and is a great year-round destination for fishing, kayaking, mountain biking and numerous other outdoor activities.

From the Comox Valley, follow the Oceanside Route (Hwy 19A) to great beaches – Miracle Beach Provincial Park, Oyster River, and Saratoga Beach. Sample fresh produce and homemade treats at local markets and farm stands. Experience massaging waterfalls, seawater, and mineral pools at an oceanfront spa resort.

In winter, ski and snowboard at Mount Washington Alpine Resort, famous for its massive snowfalls. Scuba dive in the clear, current-swept waters around Campbell River and marvel at the diversity of underwater life.

North Central Facts

  • Of the hundreds of glaciers on Vancouver Island, the Comox Glacier in the Comox Valley is the most visible and the most visited.
  • Golden Hinde, in Strathcona Provincial Park, is Vancouver Island's highest peak. At 440m/1444ft, Della Falls, in Strathcona Provincial Park, is Canada's highest waterfall and is one of the ten highest falls in the world.
  • Hornby Island and Nootka Sound are two of the few places in the world where scuba divers can see primitive and elusive six-gill sharks.
  • Courtenay, where the first significant fossil deposits west of the Rockies was discovered, is the first stop on the Great Canadian Fossil Trail.

North Central Communities

Campbell River
Campbell River is beautifully set between Strathcona Provincial Park to the west and the Discovery Islands to the east. Known for the past century as the salmon capital of the World, Campbell River is the perfect destination for a holiday filled with outdoor activities.

In recent years, with expanded moorage facilities and more unique shops and great restaurants, the waterfront of seaside Comox has blossomed into a resort-like destination.

Located in the heart of some of the most beautiful farming landscape on Vancouver Island, Courtenay is the urban centre of the Comox Valley. The town’s many art galleries, theatres, art studios, unique boutiques, and gardens also make Courtenay the cultural hub of the valley.

A bustling coal mining town from 1888 to 1966, Cumberland once boasted a diversified ethnic population, including one of the largest Asian populations north of San Francisco. Today, Cumberland draws visitors with its colourful history and wonderful family activities.

Denman & Hornby Islands
Denman Island and Hornby Island boast the highest number of artists per capita in Canada, as well as some of the loveliest hikes, beaches, and quiet retreats. From Buckley Bay, 20km/12mi south of Courtenay, Denman Island is a 15min ferry ride. From Denman, Hornby is a 15min drive and ferry ride.

Activites in Comox Valley, North Central

The Comox Valley, including Courtenay, Comox, Cumberland, Denman and Hornby islands, abounds with alpine-to-ocean outdoor opportunities. In one day, experience the thrill of high-alpine hiking or mountain biking through fields of wildflowers, along pristine mountain-top lakes, and up to snow-capped peaks. On the same day, kayak in the surrounding waters or walk along stunning beaches. During the ski season, combine a morning of skiing with an afternoon of golfing. Centrally located, the Comox Valley serves as an excellent base for exploring surrounding areas.