5 Ways to Get Out on The Water in Parksville Qualicum Beach

Our expansive coastline and sparkling lakes make Parksville Qualicum Beach a water wonderland.

Image: Marnee Pearce

Parksville Qualicum Beach is known for its wide beaches, calm currents, and mild ocean temperatures. Whether you charter a fishing boat, paddle out for a sea kayaking expedition, or sail across one of our sparkling alpine lakes, there are plenty of ways to enjoy time on the water. Get inspired and add one of these top five water activities to your upcoming itinerary:

1. Sea Kayaking

Sea Kayaking in Parksville Qualicum Beach is an excellent way to get your heart rate up while spotting marine life like Pacific Harbour Seals and California Sea Lions in their natural environment. Seals and Sea Lions are most active from September through May, but you are sure to see waterbirds, fish, and many other species all year round. Our local outfitters are ready to assist you with equipment rentals and guided tours for paddlers of all experience levels.

2. Paddleboarding

Have you tried SUP (stand up paddleboarding) yet? Rent a board from one of our local outfitters to try this gentle, yet full-body workout on your next visit. Our calm ocean waters are perfect for novice boarders. You may also head inland to Spider Lake, which is closed to motorboats, for an extra smooth ride. Horne Lake and Cameron Lake also offer beautiful SUP settings surrounded by old-growth forests.

A great full-body workout.

3. Boating & Fishing

Hit the water from one of our four local marinas or the boat launch in Qualicum Beach. If you don’t have your own vessel, you can rent a motorboat, canoe, or sailboat from a local outfitter. Boaters are welcome on Cameron Lake and Horne Lake, and non-motorized craft can enjoy a day out on Spider Lake. Visit a lakeside rental company to get you set up for a day of fun. If you're an angler looking to find the best spot to make a big catch, we recommend booking an ocean fishing charter with an expert guide.

4. Visit a Tide Pool

During low tide in Parksville Qualicum Beach, small pools of saltwater form along the shoreline. When you take a look inside these tide pools, prepare to be amazed at the sea creatures who live inside. Each pool is unique, but many are home to sea stars, sea urchins, sea anemones, and small fish. When exploring tide pools, make sure you wear comfortable, sturdy shoes and bring a guide book to help identify your finds. Please be respectful of the delicate environment and do not touch or displace any rocks or marine life.

You never know what you'll find!

4. Whale Watching

Vancouver Island, BC, is a top destination for spotting Killer Whales, Humpback Whales, Pacific White-Sided Dolphins, and porpoises. Tour companies near Parksville Qualicum Beach offer guided expeditions where an expert guide will help you to observe these incredible mammals and learn about the local environment.

Are you ready to get your feet wet on Vancouver Island? Request your free Discovery Guide today to learn more about visiting Parksville Qualicum Beach.

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Safety First


No matter what outdoor activity you are planning, be prepared. Follow the three Ts—trip planning, training, and taking the essentials. AdventureSmart is a great resource to help you get informed before heading outdoors.

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Parksville Qualicum Beach