Young people exploring a beach

Explore Vancouver Island

Vancouver Island one of the most beautiful places on Earth. When you live here, your options for fun and adventure are limited only by your imagination! You have easy access to outdoor activities like kayaking, rock climbing, hiking and beach trips. Ski and surf adventures are less than a day of travel away.

You can also enjoy dining, live music, theatre, museums, galleries and Indigenous cultural experiences in the nearby communities. Explore on your own or join one of the activities offered through VIU’s Outdoor Recreation department.

Are any of these activities on your list of things to do while you’re at VIU?

  • surf at Long Beach in Tofino
  • mountain bike on groomed trails like Doumont or the Abyss
  • run the Westwood Lake and Morrell Nature Sanctuary trails
  • geo-cache all over the mid-Island region
  • visit the Nanaimo Aquatic Centre, with an Olympic-size swimming pool, water slides and wave pool.  It’s a 5-minute walk from the campus.
  • use the playing fields, tennis courts, ice skating, bicycle trails, 400-metre track and baseball diamond next to the campus
  • check out the local yoga and acroyoga scenes
  • hang out on any of our Gulf Islands – three are just a short boat ride from Nanaimo
  • do indoor or outdoor rock climbing
  • join a soccer league – you can play year-round here
  • kayak around Saysutshun Newcastle Island Marine Park
  • stand up paddleboard on the ocean or lakes
  • explore the waterfront, grab a coffee and take in the glorious scenery
  • check out Nanaimo’s thriving music scene – live bands play all over town most nights of the week
  • enjoy healthy and local food choices at a farmers’ market
  • get your hands dirty – we have an active local DIY culture that embraces creativity
  • ski or snowboard at Mount Washington
  • explore the white sands of Rathtrevor Beach and campground in Parksville
  • hike up Mount Benson or Mount Tzouhalem ridge for amazing views of the coastal mountains