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Driving from Victoria to Nanaimo

Vancouver
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Driving from Victoria to Nanaimo

Hi guys,

My parents and I will be making yet another trip to Victoria this year (mid-July). Instead of the usual activities (e.g. museum, IMAX, Butchart), however, we thought it'd be nice to make a drive out to Nanaimo, which we've never been to before. We do have some questions, however.

About the drive itself. Which route should we take (if more than one)? How's the scenery? Any chance of taking a coastal route so we can admire the coast lines?

We were originally planning to take the Malahat train, but after reading a few reviews, we're not really considering it anymore. But it would be nice if we could see the same and/or SIMILAR scenery by driving to Nanaimo.

Thanks so much!

Canada
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1. Re: Driving from Victoria to Nanaimo

There is only one route but you can do a slight diversion just south of Duncan and drive through Cowichan Bay. It's an interesting little community on the water, reminiscent of East Coast Canada. Also take a drive into Chemainus to see the murals. Petroglyph Park is just on the south side of Nanaimo as well. …gov.bc.ca/bcparks/…

http://www.chemainus.com/

http://www.cowichanbay.com/

At the top of the Malahat be sure to pull off to admire the view of Sidney.

There are some wineries en route as well.

Shawnigan Lake...
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2. Re: Driving from Victoria to Nanaimo

I just got back from the drive tonight (Nanaimo to Victoria) and it is a very nice drive.

The above poster's suggestion of a side route is one that I would say, "YES, it is beautiful" :)

if by chance you have time, pull into Cedar (between Nanaimo and Ladysmith) to have a lunch or dinner at the Crows Gate. It is a charming full-on English pub in Cedar and we have been known to drive the 1.5 hours drive to dine there. Very English, GREAT food, and not a Nacho or chicken wing in sight.

I almost always get the poroughman's lunch for either lunch or dinner, steak and kindey pie is great (lunch only) and the roast beef dinner Sunday night??? OMG..... :D...

just ignore the Geese and ducks as you drive up into the parking lot.

Vancouver
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3. Re: Driving from Victoria to Nanaimo

Thanks for the replies, guys! I will definitely look into the side route suggested, as well as the restaurant at Crows Gate. This will sort of be a day-long trip for my family, so there should be plenty of time.

Thanks again!

Vancouver
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4. Re: Driving from Victoria to Nanaimo

Hi again,

Regarding taking the slight detour through Cowichan Bay, is the following directions correct?

1. On HWY-1 N, turn right at Cowichan Bay Rd

2. Slight left at Wilmot Rd

3. Turn right to stay on Wilmot Rd

4. Turn left to stay on Wilmot Rd

5. Turn right at Koksilah Rd

6. Turn right at HWY-1 N (Back on course for Nanaimo)

Thanks!

Vancouver BC
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5. Re: Driving from Victoria to Nanaimo

Crows Gate is Crow and Gate http://www.crowandgate.com/

Canada
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6. Re: Driving from Victoria to Nanaimo

Regarding the driving directions - it's simpler than that. Turn right off the highway at Cowichan Bay Rd. (to the left is Cobble Hill Rd. - it's a lighted intersection.) Just stay on Cowichan Bay Rd right down to Cowichan Bay then on it goes right back to the Hwy just south of Duncan. Forget the other roads you mentioned - I'm not sure where you got your directions, but no need to even think about those roads.

Vancouver
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7. Re: Driving from Victoria to Nanaimo

Thanks again for the replies.

As it stands now, my first stop on the highway will be the third viewpoint past a certain rest stop at or near Malahat. I will then proceed to Cowichan Bay, after which I'll bypass a significant portion of Hwy-1 in order to reach Maple Bay (which apparently it quite beautiful). Next up will be Chemainus, after which I'll get back onto Hwy-1 and head straight for Nanaimo.

What I can use a bit of help with right now is the third viewpoint past the rest stop. I'm not sure where this rest stop is (just that it's near Malahat), but I've been told that the viewpoint is quite beautiful.

Finally, any tips and suggestions are more than welcome!

Canada
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8. Re: Driving from Victoria to Nanaimo

You will drive up a long hill after going through Goldstream park just north of Victoria. Just after you reach the top there will be a pullout to the right where the fantaxtic viewpoint is. Don't let the racing traffic intimidate you - just do the speed limit and you'll see it. I would assume this is the viewpoint you are referring to. If not, it's worth pulling off for anyway!!

9. Re: Driving from Victoria to Nanaimo

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