Newcastle Island, also known as Saysutshun, is a perfect day trip for anyone who likes beaches, geology, history, views, hiking/biking, or experiencing pieces of the local First Nation's culture.
You need a boat to get there - there is a little ferry that docks at Maffeo Sutton Park near downtown Nanaimo.
There's a lot to explore on this island, including:
- Different marine environments including swimming beaches, dramatic cliffs and rock formations, and beautiful groves of oaks and arbutus.
- Scenic picnic spots!
- Historic sites including old stone quarries, sealed-off coal mines, remnants of a 1920s resort, ruins of a hundred-year-old cannery, and remnants of First Nations activity.
- Wildlife including blond raccoons, otters, eagles, martens, and more deer than you've ever needed to see.
You can camp at the beautiful oceanside campground here. Some people reserve spots for weekends when Nanaimo will have fireworks on display at nearby Maffeo Sutton Park.
The park is quite large, especially considering it's so close to downtown Nanaimo; a walk around the circumference covers more than 7.5 kilometers. The hiking is easy in most places.
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