Mountain biking is a popular fall activity in the Central Island.

Nanaimo Airport: Your gateway to Central Vancouver Island and beyond

Renowned for its enjoyable year-round climate, exceptional outdoor recreation opportunities and an ever-growing agritourism scene, there’s good reason Vancouver Island is regularly voted one of the best in the world.

From bustling city centres like Victoria and Nanaimo to quiet coastal towns like Ladysmith and Tofino, sky-high adventures to some of the world’s clearest waters for diving, there’s no end to the possibilities.

And no better place to embark on your journey than the Central Island, easily accessed from the Nanaimo Airport.

Enjoy panoramic views from spots across the Central Island, including Jack Point and Biggs Park in Nanaimo.

Enjoy panoramic views from spots across the Central Island, including Jack Point and Biggs Park in Nanaimo.

So many reasons to Fall for the Central Island

Fall presents an ideal time to get out and explore, with mild temperatures for hiking, biking and paddling, an inspired food and beverage scene, and plenty of activities for all ages.

History & Culture: The historic streets of Ladysmith are in the palm of your hand with the Ladysmith Heritage Trails app, while in Nanaimo, the traditional territory of Snuneymuxw First Nation, see the region’s rich and diverse history on display at the Nanaimo Museum and the Vancouver Island Military Museum. View the historic Bastion in the heart of downtown, or step out on a self-guided walking tour of historic sites.

With oceans, forest and mountains providing natural inspiration for local artists, it’s no wonder that gallery browsing is another welcome pastime here, with galleries, studios and self-guided tours sharing the artistic vision with visitors.

Outdoor adventures: The Central Island’s eastern coast boasts numerous options for getting busy outdoors, whether it’s strolling Ladysmith’s Holland Creek Trail, climbing Mt. Arrowsmith, mountain biking the region’s many trails and obstacles or paddling some of the numerous lakes and rivers – with or without a fishing rod in hand.

You can even indulge a thirst for adventure with a bungy jump or zipline tour or slow things down with a beach stroll and birdwatching along Parksville’s wide-open sandy shores.

And for those missing their winter golf getaway south, local links are year-round destinations here. In fact, the Vancouver Island Golf Trail features 14 championship courses along a 250-kilometre corridor between Victoria and Campbell River!

On the West Coast, Tofino and Uclulet embrace fall weather as Mother Nature unleashes wild waves for surfing and stormwatching. Brave the wind and rain, then warm up inside with a hot fire, a warm drink and good company.

Winery touring is a popular fall pastime, or check out the Island’s ever-growing craft beer, cider and distillery scene. Jennifer Blyth photo

Winery touring is a popular fall pastime, or check out the Island’s ever-growing craft beer, cider and distillery scene. Jennifer Blyth photo

Fabulous flavours: In fact, no matter where you are on the Island, you’re never far from good food and drink, often crafted from ingredients grown, raised or harvested right there.

Vineyards and wineries, craft brewers and distillers and yes, a coffee roaster or two are open for sipping and sampling. From local chefs, farm markets and purveyors, farm-to-fork dining is a culinary staple. And for dessert, don’t forget the famed Nanaimo Bar – you can even hit the Nanaimo Bar Trail to sample come of its many variations.

There's no better place for a fall getaway than central Vancouver Island, easily accessed from the Nanaimo Airport.

Getting here … and there

Centrally located between Ladysmith and Nanaimo on Vancouver Island, Nanaimo Airport is the perfectly positioned jumping-off point for your Island adventures, whether they take you into the Ladysmith-Nanaimo area, south to the Cowichan Valley and Victoria, or north to Parksville-Qualicum, Tofino, the Comox Valley, Campbell River, Mt. Washington Resort and beyond.

Set amid the coastal mountains, with a recent 14,000-quare-foot expansion designed to capture the region’s natural beauty, travellers enjoy a spacious new departure lounge and roomier screening area that allows for speedier, physically distanced security checks. “As we continue to navigate COVID, we have a huge focus on safety, making it as safe as possible for our staff and travellers passing through the airport,” notes Pam Myers, Director, HR, Marketing and Air Terminal Building at Nanaimo Airport.

Many visitors will want to take advantage of the vehicle rentals on-site, but additional options include public transit leaving from the airport five times daily, airport shuttle service and taxi service.

Start planning your Central Island getaway today at

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