ActivitiesCall us "the best bloomin' Town on Vancouver Island"! Colourful planters and a profusion of hanging baskets adorn the Village. Spring through Fall, Qualicum Beach gardeners are busy creating their own individual works of art. Here, the gardens are so numerous and the gardeners so passionate that it was an easy decision for us to enter the Communities in Bloom competition. And it isn't just gardens! The judges look at landscaped and turf areas, heritage conservation, urban forestry, environmental effort and community involvement. We have proven ourselves winners in every category, so come judge for yourself!
The Oceanside area is the center of a region rich in bird life. Stretching from Little Qualicum River Estuary to Nanoose Bay, Oceanside has been designated an Important Bird Area. The Nanoose Naturalists Club is offering an on line bird list for the Oceanside area that documents 200+ bird species with exceptional photographs by local photographers, links to sound recordings from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, monthly abundance charts and records stating where and when the birds were observed. The Arrowsmith Naturalists Club has published a comprehensive Seasonal Bird Checklist for the Oceanside area which is available at the Qualicum Beach Visitor Centre.
The Village Theatre - E.C.H.O Players
In celebration of its fiftieth anniversary in the year 2000, the Village Theatre acquired a new face in the style of theatres in the '50s and '60s. The Theatre is owned and operated by ECHO Players, providing opportunities for the development of theatrical talents in a professional theatre environment, winning many theatrical awards over the years. The Theatre presents a series of live dramas, comedies and musicals, and often hosts regional drama festivals and concerts.
Box office telephone: 250-752-3522 Web: www.echoplayers.ca
The Old School House
Victorian charm, modern creativity... this 80-year old school house-turned-art-centre in the heart of Qualicum Beach showcases, year-round, the visual arts of painting, sculpture, carving and pottery, as well as music. Hands-on workshops, studio tours of artists-in-residence, and a well-stocked gift shop are all part of the TOSH experience. 122 Fern Road West.
Phone: 250-752-8133. Fax: 250-752-2600. Web: www.theoldschoolhouse.org
Bard To BroadwaySummer Theatre - Island Style. Most days throughout the summer, visitors and residents will be treated to quality live theatre in the Village Theatre, Qualicum Beach, BC. Bard to Broadway is a repertory company offering two shows throughout the summer season. The 2012 season runs July 9th through to August 18th with performances at 7:30 pm each evening. Most Sunday afternoons feature a matinee at 2 pm. The 2012 line up includes one musical – Hello Dolly! and one comedy – Becky’s New Car. Our Schedule and tickets will be available at www.b2btheatre.com in the Spring 2012. Education series offered during the summer will also be posted on our website. Please note: Our Box Office is closed during the off season. Please visit our website during our spring/summer season for more information.
Box Office Phone: 250-752-4470 Web: www.b2btheatre.com
The Power House Museum
The Museum of Power has a growing collection of "powerful" artifacts. You can test your own power on the Power Cycle and turn on the lights! Other collections highlight family histories, woodworking and blacksmithing tools, rooms depicting early Qualicum pioneer home life and story boards recording early settlement history. Learn about early Georgia Strait shipwrecks and examine antique golf paraphernalia. Open mid-June to early October, adjacent to the Qualicum Beach train station at 587 Beach Road. A new exhibit in the adjacent Old Train Station's restored Freight Shed defines the history of the Esquimalt & Nanaimo Railway on Vancouver Island. Exhibits from various towns attest to the impact on Island communities from Victoria to Courtenay.
Phone 250-752-6441 or 250-752-6836.
The Vancouver Island Paleontology Museum
The Museum displays one of the most complete collections of Vancouver Island fossils and invites you to take an educational and enjoyable journey into our prehistoric past. Included in Graham Beard's acclaimed collection are many spectacular fossil forms that lived in this area during the Mesozoic times. Although the collection is primarily concerned with the fossils of the Island, there are also some fantastic fossils from other parts of British Columbia and the world. Recently acquired is an excellent example of a Coelacanth (a fish that scientists thought was extinct for 130 million years!). This and other interesting vertebrate fossils are also on display but the 'star' of the show is "Rambling Rosie" (odebemus rosmarus). The skeleton of this 60,000 year-old adult female walrus was discovered just 10 km north of Qualicum Beach in 1979. Some 8 feet long, 5 feet tall, and 5 feet wide, she has been described by professional paleontologists as "one of the best preserved Ice Age walrus skeletons in the world". Open mid-June to early October in the Power House Museum complex, adjacent to the Qualicum Beach train station at 587 Beach Road.
The Heritage Forest of Qualicum Beach
Only minutes from the center of town, this 35-plus acre nature reserve showcases an old-growth Coastal Douglas Fir eco-system, complete with forest trails and a salmon-bearing stream. There are plans to create an on-site interpretive center in the stables and paddock area of the original estate
The Milner Gardens and Woodland
Take a step back in time to discover the unspoiled natural beauty and unique heritage home found within this 70-acre oceanfront estate deeded to Malaspina University-College. Open to the public three days a week from late April to October, its collection of rare and unusual plants from the temperate zone provides a living laboratory for the study and appreciation of nature.
Milner Gardens and Woodland is a non-profit Horticulture Society established to maintain and restore the gardens and buildings. The society provides opportunity to develop relationships with a broad cross-section of the community through horticultural courses and activities of membership.
Phone: 250-752-8573 Web: www.milnergardens.org
Butterfly World & Gardens
Stroll among hundreds of free-flying exotic butterflies and visit the Bird Aviary and Water Gardens. Butterflies from five continents compete with orchids, passion flowers and jasmine for your senses, armed with fragrant aromas and flashes of colour. In the two large outdoor ponds you can witness the Japanese Koi fish at feeding times as they boil to the surface. This tropical paradise is conveniently located in the community of Coombs on the Alberni Highway, only minutes from Qualicum Beach and Parksville. Open April through October.
Phone: 250-248-7026. Fax 250-752-1091. Web: www.butterflyworld.info
The Coombs Old Country Market, open mid-March through September, is well-known for the family of goats which nimbly graze on its grass roof. Adjacent to it, visitors enjoy the wide range of small gift and craft shops, many of which are open year round. The village is dotted with several heritage buildings and now includes a mini golf and small amusement park. July is the time for "Old West" activities: a fiddle jamboree, bluegrass festival and rodeo. Located approximately 10 minutes west of Qualicum Beach on the Alberni Highway.
Big Qualicum Fish Hatchery
This Federal Fisheries project for the enhancement of salmon stocks has provided a model for similar developments. In addition to the research benefits, it also provides an important source of fish for the native food-fish program and countless hours of enjoyment for the recreational fisher. Special features are a topographical model of the project; an underwater viewing area to watch the fish "eye to eye"; and nature trails for exploration of the Big Qualicum River and spawning channel. Open daily. Located approximately 15 minutes north of Qualicum Beach on Scenic Highway 19A, the Oceanside Route.
The North Island Wildlife Recovery Association
The NIWRA is a haven for a wide variety of injured, ill and orphaned wildlife ranging from songbirds to eagles, raccoons to deer. Sick and injured wildlife receive professional veterinary medical care while they are rehabilitated for their eventual release back into the wild. Orphaned wildlife must be taught the survival skills of how to obtain food and to fear predators before they can be released. Besides working directly with wildlife, the NIWRA actively promotes public education and offers a popular Wildlife Adoption Program. Tours of the centre can be arranged by phoning 250-248-8534. Located approximately 20 minutes from Qualicum Beach on Leffler Road in Errington. Ask locally for more explicit directions!
Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park
On Scenic Highway 19A, the Oceanside Route, two kilometers south of Parksville lie the acres of sand that make Rathtrevor Beach one of the the most popular destination parks on Vancouver Island. A gently sloping sandy beach that at low tide recedes almost a kilometre provides an ideal place for youngsters of all ages to play. When the tide rolls in over the hot sand, the water is unbeatable for swimming.
Settled down in one of the 174 campsites, visitors can relax on the beach or take part in the family-oriented activities provided in the afternoon at the Visitors Centre, or in the evenings at the amphitheatre by Park Interpretive Staff. Information at 250-248-3111.
Englishman River Falls Provincial Park
This photogenic Park is noted for its easy walking trails and beautiful falls. A deep pool with crystal water at the bottom of the canyon is a good location to view spawning salmon, steelhead and trout. September and October are particularly good times to walk the groomed park trails. Spacious campgrounds are well spaced in a forest of Douglas fir. During the summer months, a campground host and friendly park personnel will ensure that your stay is safe, secure and enjoyable. Located just off the Alberni Highway between Parksville and Qualicum Beach and some 8 km down a paved road, approximately 25 minutes from Qualicum Beach.
Little Qualicum Falls Provincial Park
Little Qualicum with its good hiking trails, picturesque foot bridges and great picnic sites is the gateway to the Alberni Valley. Close to the inviting waters of Cameron Lake and the magnificent splendour of Cathedral Grove, this 91-unit campground along the Little Qualicum River offers a cool respite on hot summer days. Swimming in Cameron Lake or in the clear pools along the river is excellent, as are the picnic facilities and 6 km of graded hiking trails. Located alongside the Port Alberni Highway 4, approximately 15 minutes west of the Qualicum Beach turnoff,
Cathedral Grove Provincial Park
A 30-minute drive west of Qualicum Beach along the Port Alberni Highway 4, magnificent Douglas fir, western hemlock and western red cedar tower 200 feet above the visitor's head, their impressive trunks reminding one of the columns of cathedrals. Even though a forest fire swept up this valley 300 years ago, some of these giants are nearly 800 years old. There are trails on both sides of the highway with ample parking. The southside trail takes you along the Cameron River where most of the large Douglas fir are located, while the northside trail wanders among ancient western red cedars to the western end of Cameron Lake.
Rosewall Creek Provincial Park
Located past Deep Bay, just off Highway 19A, this pocket-size park has an attractive wheelchair-accessible trail. It also offers an invigorating one-hour hike through coastal forest, along the creek to a small waterfall.
Only 15 minutes north of Qualicum Beach along Highway 19A, the Scenic Oceanside Route, is Lighthouse Country and the friendly communities of Qualicum Bay, Bowser and Deep Bay. Here you will find plenty of opportunities to fish, kayak, canoe, sail, hike, beachcomb, golf and cave. You can catch your own salmon, dig your own clams or wait on the Deep Bay dock for the commercial fishing boats to return with the day's catch. This is the spot for watchable wildlife, whether it's an eagle on the wing, deer grazing in the woods, or seals and sea lions playing off-shore. Beachfront motels, fishing resorts, cottages, bed and breakfasts, tenting and RV campgrounds, restaurants and other visitor services complement the area's natural attractions.
Horne Lake Caves Provincial Park
The Park presents a wide variety of activities both above and below ground. Two caves are open to the public for self-exploring (you must bring at least two sources of light), but the guided tour programs with their focus on conservation of the cave environment and techniques for cave travel are very popular. Good footwear and warm clothing are a must since these caves have been left in their natural state. Other programs offer instruction in climbing and rappelling in a wild cave environment. Canoe and water safety instruction and mountain biking round out the adventure experience. All programs available mid-June through Labour Day. Self-guided cave tours possible year-round, weather permitting. Located approximately 15 minutes north of Qualicum Beach on Scenic Highway 19A, the Oceanside Route or on the Inland Highway 19 to the Horne Lake exit, and then approximately 30 minutes west on rough gravel road.
Phone: 250-248-7829 | Web: www.hornelake.com
Adjacent to Horne Lake Caves Provincial Park, Spider Lake is a warm-water lake noted for its excellent canoeing, kayaking and swimming. Motorized boats are prohibited. Small-mouth bass and trout have been stocked in the lake and, depending on the season, fishing can be quite good. Spider Lake is an ideal family picnic destination. Located approximately 15 minutes north of Qualicum Beach on Scenic Highway 19A, the Oceanside Route, or on the Inland Highway 19 to the Horne Lake exit, and then approximately 15 minutes west on gravel road.
The area offers good but strenuous hiking and breathtaking views of Vancouver Island. The major trail starts at the Cameron Lake picnic site and winds up to the 6000 foot summit. Do not set off without a trail map! Located approximately 25 minutes west of Qualicum Beach along the Alberni Highway 4.
Hamilton MarshThis natural habitat for such marsh birds as red-winged blackbirds, jays and swallows, is particularly active in spring and fall with migrations of ducks and geese. Woodland trails from the small parking lot lead you to and around the marsh, with a viewing platform for closer observation of marsh inhabitants. Hamilton Marsh is located approximately 10 minutes drive west of Qualicum Beach, on South Hilliers Road, just off the Alberni Highway 4.