RV RENTALS QUALICUM BEACH
Qualicum Beach is a resort town on the eastern coast of Vancouver Island, 48 kilometers north of Nanaimo along the Inland Island Hwy 19, then a short trip north on Hwy4. Vancouver Island is accessed from the Lower Mainland via the BC Ferry Authority, with sailings from Tsawwassen, north of Vancouver to Duke Point, south of Nanaimo and to Swartz Bay, near Sidney, north of Victoria. An alternate port at Horseshoe Bay, north of Vancouver, arrives in Departure Bay, which is adjacent to Nanaimo Harbor. The Trans-Canada Highway on the Island runs from Victoria to Nanaimo, then turns into the Inland Island Hwy 19 to access points further north on the east side of the Island facing the Strait of Georgia. Further up Hwy19A is Qualicum Bay, so those facilities are part of this listing.
Qualicum Beach is in close proximity (8km) to Parksville, and the two are often combined in listings, but each has their own charm. With less than 9,000 permanent residents, Qualicum is very much a sleepy seasonal tourist destination. Shopping in Nanaimo or Parksville is recommended, and the nearest regional hospital is at Nanaimo.
There are no oceanfront provincial campgrounds in the Qualicum Beach boundaries, but there are a number of privately operated seafront and inland resorts. Most oceanfront resorts are specifically dedicated to cabins, but the following are the campgrounds suitable for persons traveling in rental RVs and trailers.
Cedar Grove RV Park & Campground on Riverbend Road is a riverside property on the Little Qualicum River. There are 108 sites on the 6-ha site, ranging from tenting sites to full-service RV pads. Amenities include a convenience store, coin-op laundry, arcade, showers, volleyball pits and playground for the kids. Qualicum is renowned for the returning salmon spawn, so this campground would be the place to be during the annual salmon runs. The campground is undergoing some upgrades following a 2019 change of ownership, which will only add to the appeal of this easily-accessed slice of nature. At the end of your stay, take advantage of their free, onsite sani-station.
Further up-river off Hwy4 is Little Qualicum Falls Campground, which is a 440-ha nature reserve with 94 vehicle-accessible campsites featuring 6km of hiking trails including the Upper and Lower Waterfalls. Described as one of the more spectacular parks on the Island, this property features old growth coastal rainforest covering most of the property, with two camping loops cut into the property. These sites are non-serviced, but there are drinking water fill stations and flush toilets located on the property. Swimming is allowed in marked areas with the site also advertising hiking and playground in the park, with canoeing, fishing, windsurfing and SCUBA listed on the provincial website for activities at nearby Cameron Lake.
Coombs Country Campground & RV Park is closer to town, with fully-serviced pads available year-round for travelers who like to visit during the shoulder seasons. Most sites are full-service, with some partial-service and tent sites also available. Coombs Country is directly adjacent the Rodeo Grounds and offers showers and laundromat, playground for the kids, in-ground heated pool with hot tub, arcade, and even their own private lake stocked with trout for dinner. You can also use the lake for paddleboards, kayaks, and other non-motorized activities. Nicely treed with grassy areas, the lakefront and fully-equipped sites make this a top choice for family camping. Take advantage of the sani-station before hitting the road.
For rustic oceanfront camping in the area, head further north on Hwy 19A to the Qualicum First Nation North Campground on Qualicum Bay at the mouth of the Big Qualicum River. Approximately 60 campsites ranging from simple tent to RV sites are available, some of them on the direct waterfront. The best waterfront RV sites offer Wifi, water and power and are available by the night, week or month. With the majority of campsites hugging the coastline, the rest of the treed property is yours to explore with hiking trails throughout, and a playground for the kids. Sani-station fees are included in your nightly or weekly rate.
ATTRACTIONS IN THE AREA
The Old Schoolhouse Art Center is a great option for a filling a rainy afternoon. Built in 1912, this former elementary and secondary school was decommissioned in 1985 and was to be torn down, when volunteers stepped to save and refurbish the building in order to house the work of local artisans.
Milner Gardens & Woodland is rated one of the top ten best public gardens in the province, and it is part of the Vancouver Island University system. A 28-ha park flanked on three sides by old-growth coastal rainforest, this beautiful property offers manicured flower gardens surrounding a heritage tea house.
Qualicum Beach Museum preserves the area’s history, which is chronicled from 1882 when the first land title was granted to Thomas Kinkade. First links to the area were by rail, and the forest industry played a large part in the early development of this area. The museum itself was built into a former power generation plant, using materials salvaged from the decommissioned BC Hydro building in Port Alberni, starting in 1982.
For the nature lovers, there are always hiking trails and swimming holes to visit. But for those people visiting Qualicum there are a number of salmon spawning seasons to enjoy. Adult chum and coho spawn in October and November. Chinook use the same waters in September and October. Spawning steelhead come through in February and March. The Little Qualicum River Project Hatchery is located on 215 Fisheries Rd, in Qualicum Beach.