PARKSVILLE, BRITISH COLUMBIA, April 9, 2015 – From bears and eagles to orcas, seals, hidden caves and 800-year old majestic trees, Parksville Qualicum Beach invites explorers and nature-lovers to come and experience its wild side. Whether its walking through the old growth trees in Cathedral Grove, or combing for Mother Nature’s treasures on Rathtrevor Beach, a fresh spring line up of events, activities and programs awaits visitors to this special region.
Just a quick drive from B.C. Ferry Terminal in Nanaimo or a short three-hour trip by car and ferry from Vancouver, Parksville Qualicum Beach is an exhilarating escape from the city. Whether it’s a family getaway or a couple’s escape into the wild, Parksville’s accessibility to nature leaves visitors returning time and time again. Here are a few suggestions for a taste of Parksville Qualicum Beach’s wild side:
Brant Wildlife Festival, February 28 – April 26, 2015
Each year, Parksville hosts the annual Brant Wildlife Festival that revolves around the return of the Brant Geese making their way from Mexico and California up to Alaska and the Canadian Arctic. Arriving in early March in large numbers, brant geese can be seen along the east coast of Vancouver Island, which provides an important stop along their way. For the past 25 years, a festival has been held in Parksville Qualicum Beach to celebrate the brants’ return. This year’s program includes a wide variety of activities including wildlife tours and adventures, artisans and a bird counting competition. For a complete program of events, visit www.brantfestival.ca.
Horne Lake Caves’ Wet & Wild Adventure
Vancouver Island is home to the highest concentration of caves in North America with over 1200 km2 of cave features, and more explored limestone caves than in all other Canadian provinces combined. Vancouver Island is so rich in caves, with more than 1,000 recorded, that it is sometimes referred to as the “Island of Caves.” Head underground to view amazing crystal formations and ancient fossils. Available through until the end of May, join in on a 3-hour Wet & Wild Adventure. Great for explorers aged 8 and up, this thrilling trip highlights the incredible natural forces that went into creating the marble passages and crystal caverns. See an underground river, climb a waterfall, slide down ramps and ladders, and squeeze through the wormhole for “wild” caving at its best. For more information, visit www.hornelake.com
North Island Wildlife Recovery Association - Freedom Flight Eagle Release Day, April 18
Located in Errington, the North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre is a world-class wildlife rehabilitation facility specializing in the rehabilitation of black bears and raptors. Home of the Arthur Knowles Museum of Nature and the May Neish Learning Centre, the centre offers visitors the unique educational opportunity to view their non-releasable wildlife including eagles, several species of owls, falcons, hawks, ravens, and black bears. On April 18, the centre will host Freedom Flight Eagle Release Day. At 2:00 pm, Qualicum First Nation Chief Michael Recalma will send a rehabilitated eagle back into the wild. For more information about the Eagle Release Day and other upcoming events, visit www.niwra.org.
Cathedral Grove, MacMillan Provincial Park
Cathedral Grove, located in MacMillan Provincial Park, is one of the most accessible stands of giant Douglas fir trees on Vancouver Island. Here, visitors can stroll through a network of trails under the shadow of towering ancient Douglas-fir trees; majestic pillars untouched by the modern world with some more than 800 years old. Cathedral Grove provides visitors a great opportunity to view the inner workings of a west coast rainforest with a series of short hiking trails, sitting benches and viewing platforms for everyone to enjoy.
Van Isle Fishing & Marine Adventures
Dolphins, transient orcas, migrating grey whales, seals, sea lions, river otters, sea birds and bald eagles are regularly spotted on Van Isle Fishing & Marine Adventures eco tours in Deep Bay and the Salish Sea (formerly the Strait of Georgia). Explore hidden bays and go beachcombing for shells and beach glass, cruise by sea lion rookeries and watch bald eagles swoop down to grab a salmon in their talons. Set amongst a breathtaking backdrop, this is a tour you will be sure to remember. www.vanislefishingandmarineadventures.com
About Parksville Qualicum Beach:
A discovery-filled vacation awaits visitors to Parksville Qualicum Beach. Only a short drive from the B.C. Ferry Terminal in Nanaimo, this sheltered region of eastern Vancouver Island, invites guests to enjoy year round traditions, natural splendors, and the cultural highlights of its unique towns and villages. Offering guests a quirky blend of activities set against a magnificent backdrop of mountains and old growth rainforest, Parksville Qualicum Beach is a chance to connect with nature, with family, and its lively local culture. For more information, call 1.888.799.3222 or visit www.ParksvilleQualicumBeach.com
Sonya Hwang, Ki Communications