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Located on Vancouver Island Nanaimo is a great place for paddlers to explore different bays, inlets, and the Pacific Ocean.

Located 100 kilometres north of BC’s capital city of Victoria, Nanaimo is a lively harbour community that boasts interesting culture, incredible coastal scenery, and innumerable paddling opportunities. It’s an easy and well-protected jaunt to the nearby Newcastle and Gabriola islands and there are miles of sandy beaches that are accessible along the coastline including Nanoose Bay and Qualicum Beach. Kayak fishing is also popular here because of the five species of salmon that can be caught as well as cod, halibut, and ocean perch. In short, Nanaimo offers so much more than the dessert bar named after it.

Featured waterways in Nanaimo

Here are some of the area’s best bodies of water to dip into.

Meet the specialists Nanaimo

From guides and instructors to marina owners and sales reps, here are the people who will ensure you’re not sent up the creek without a, well, you know. 

I want to go

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Rentals, Tours & Lessons
Coastal Expression

If you’re looking for a canoe or kayak rental, lesson or guided tour Coastal Expression offers them all!

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Lessons and Tours
Island Römer Adventures

Explore the ocean on a guided kayaking tour with Island Römer Adventures.

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Jeff’s Kayak and Bike Rentals

Rent kayaks, canoes, and paddleboards with Jeff’s Kayak and Bike Rentals.

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Rentals and Tours
Page’s Resort and Marina

Secluded cottages, marina & island adventures await at Page’s Resort. Kayak, hike, relax – it’s your island time.

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The Search For BC’s Best Lake

Which body of water will win CBC’s Best Lake in BC Contest? We have some suggestions of what to vote for.

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Ten of the Best Flat Water Paddle Trips in British Columbia

The Kicking Horse is only one of many whitewater experiences that make British Columbia one of the best rafting destinations in the world.

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How to Start Kayak Fishing in BC

Here are 16 ways to slightly alter our paddling practices and improve our experiences at all of the wild places in BC. 

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