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Departure Bay is a beautiful oceanside neighbourhood, a bowl-shaped valley rising from a large beach.

It is a highly desirable area owing to its spectacular ocean views, large swimming beach and park, well-kept homes, and central location. Almost anyone who's been to Nanaimo will be familiar with Departure Bay as the large bay where the ferry arrives from Vancouver. (But the ferry terminal is not in the residential area referred to as Departure Bay - it's in the Brechin Hill neighbourhood.)

There are luxury waterfront houses down by the beach of course, but as you go uphill you'll find different types of neighbourhoods. At the southern end are Cilaire and Beach Estates - then further north is the Lynburn neighbourhood, also notable for its mid-century and higher-end postwar homes. There are some strata buildings close to the beach, and then to the north, the land rises as dark basalt bluffs covered in houses of wood and glass. Sherwood Forest is tucked into here (with streets named Prince John Way, Marion Way, Bowstring Close, Nottingham, etc.).

North of Sherwood Forest there is still a lot of undeveloped land (beautiful undulating lands with arbutus and moss and towering firs and hemlock), with multiple ridges rolling back toward the Hammond Bay area. These ridges are still being developed with beautiful newer custom homes, but a large area has also been preserved as hiking trails and protected lakes.

Amenities are very near with several big malls within a 10 min drive. But even closer are the many beaches and rocky shores, most notably Pipers Lagoon and Neck Point, and of course the long sandy Departure Bay Beach, a popular (but seldom crowded) swimming beach with a playground, grassy lawn, driftwood hide-outs and a coffee shop.

Need help buying or selling in Departure Bay? Contact me.

Properties for Sale in Departure Bay

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New
75 Embarcadero Pl, Nanaimo

$799,900

75 Embarcadero Pl, Nanaimo

2 Beds 2 Baths 1,520 SqFt 0 SqFt Lot Single Family Detached MLS® # 911733

Royal LePage Nanaimo Realty (NanIsHwyN)

New
2560 Departure Bay Rd 503, Nanaimo

$594,900

2560 Departure Bay Rd 503, Nanaimo

2 Beds 2 Baths 1,149 SqFt 0 SqFt Lot Condo Apartment MLS® # 909502

RE/MAX of Nanaimo

New
2640 Randle Rd, Nanaimo

$1,995,000

2640 Randle Rd, Nanaimo

5 Beds 3 Baths 1,583 SqFt 8,712 SqFt Lot Single Family Detached MLS® # 911374

Royal LePage Nanaimo Realty (NanIsHwyN)

New
3190 Robin Hood Dr, Nanaimo

$549,900

3190 Robin Hood Dr, Nanaimo

3 Beds 2 Baths 1,149 SqFt 5,228 SqFt Lot Half Duplex MLS® # 907214

Royal LePage Nanaimo Realty (NanIsHwyN)

New
2726 Keighley Rd, Nanaimo

$649,900

2726 Keighley Rd, Nanaimo

2 Beds 2 Baths 1,471 SqFt 2,178 SqFt Lot Row/Townhouse MLS® # 910813

eXp Realty

New
2826 Neyland Rd, Nanaimo

$1,175,000

2826 Neyland Rd, Nanaimo

7 Beds 4 Baths 4,236 SqFt 6,970 SqFt Lot Single Family Detached MLS® # 911104

Royal LePage Parksville-Qualicum Beach Realty (PBO)

New
981 Beach Dr, Nanaimo

$774,900

981 Beach Dr, Nanaimo

4 Beds 2 Baths 2,506 SqFt 7,841 SqFt Lot Single Family Detached MLS® # 911037

RE/MAX of Nanaimo

New
1440 Bay St, Nanaimo

$789,900

1440 Bay St, Nanaimo

5 Beds 2 Baths 2,157 SqFt 5,228 SqFt Lot Single Family Detached MLS® # 910630

eXp Realty

1358 Jesters Way, Nanaimo

$849,900

1358 Jesters Way, Nanaimo

4 Beds 3 Baths 2,083 SqFt 10,455 SqFt Lot Single Family Detached MLS® # 910908

RE/MAX of Nanaimo

350 Carnoustie Pl, Nanaimo

$1,295,000

↓ $100,000

350 Carnoustie Pl, Nanaimo

4 Beds 3 Baths 3,419 SqFt 9,584 SqFt Lot Single Family Detached MLS® # 910369

RE/MAX Island Properties

1311 Sherwood Dr, Nanaimo

$999,999

1311 Sherwood Dr, Nanaimo

3 Beds 3 Baths 2,255 SqFt 11,326 SqFt Lot Single Family Detached MLS® # 910242

Royal LePage Nanaimo Realty (NanIsHwyN)

2560 Departure Bay Rd 205, Nanaimo

$598,900

2560 Departure Bay Rd 205, Nanaimo

2 Beds 2 Baths 1,157 SqFt 0 SqFt Lot Condo Apartment MLS® # 909777

Royal LePage Parksville-Qualicum Beach Realty (PBO)

View of dozens of Departure Bay homes among the trees

Nearby Schools:

  • Rock City Elementary ; 3741 Departure Bay Rd
  • Departure Bay Elementary ; 3004 Departure Bay Rd
  • Cilaire Elementary ; 25 Cilaire Dr
  • Wellington Secondary ; 3135 Mexicana Rd

Did You Know?

The first telephone line in British Columbia was installed here in the 1880s - it ran from the wharves at Departure Bay up to the coal town of Wellington (now part of Nanaimo, between Diver Lake and Long Lake). One of the mining engineers assembled the telephone system based on instructions he saw in a science magazine.

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Areas of Departure Bay, Nanaimo