Premier Listings for Cowichan Bay

The charming and picturesque seaside village of Cowichan Bay is located on the east coast of southern Vancouver Island, British Columbia. The Cowichan Bay settlement started in the 1850s as a Hudson’s Bay Company fort. The original site was located at the flats at the top of Cowichan Bay. Cowichan Bay was the earliest development north of Victoria, with Europeans settling on the secluded Cowichan Bay to farm and trap, and eventually moving into fishing and logging. In 1862 the HMS Hecate arrived with a boatload of settlers. A store and hotel soon followed, and by 1900 Cowichan Bay was a tourist mecca with steamboats calling regularly at the government dock.

Cowichan Bay draws its name from an Island Halkomelem word meaning warm country or land warmed by the sun. The name originated because of a large rock formation on the side of Mount Tzuhalem that supposedly resembled a frog basking in the sun. Originally both Cowichan Lake and the settlement were known as Kaatza, the Cowichan word for big lake. The Cowichan Bay area and much of the southern Strait of Georgia is the traditional land of the Cowichan First Nation.

Today, the village of Cowichan Bay and the surrounding area is home to historic buildings and a host of artists, craftspeople, unique shops, and cottage industries – including some fine local wineries and organic farms. Take a step back in time to enjoy the slower pace of life in this community that embraces the values of local resources and sustainability.

Drive up for the afternoon, moor your boat for the day, or settle into a hotel or bed and breakfast for a few days to unwind and take in all that there is to do in the Cowichan Bay and Cowichan Valley area. Explore the natural environment while whale watching, kayaking, fishing, hiking, or wandering along the beach, estuary, and marinas.

Population: 2,575

Location: Cowichan Bay is located in the Cowichan Valley on Vancouver Island, a 30-minute scenic drive from both Victoria in the south and Nanaimo in the north.

 
Birdwatching: Spring and fall present remarkable opportunities to view birds as they travel along the Pacific Flyway. Some of the protected areas where they pause and refresh themselves include Hecate Regional Park in Cowichan Bay. Over 200 species of birds are attracted to the feeding grounds at the mouth of the Koksilah River and Cowichan River.

At Pier 66, join a fishing, boating, diving, whale watching, or sightseeing charter, or rent a kayak and explore on your own. Sailing tours are also available for a relaxing sail through the protected waters around Saltspring Island and the other Gulf Islands.

Lawn Tennis Courts: The South Cowichan Lawn Tennis Club features one of the oldest lawn tennis courts in the world, second only to Wimbledon.

Cowichan Bay Maritime Centre: The Wooden Boat Society displays hands-on exhibits at the Cowichan Bay Maritime Centre and provides the facilities and equipment for wooden boat building, restoration and maintenance. The centre offers hands-on courses in traditional boat building techniques and restorations.

Cowichan Estuary Nature Centre is an interpretive centre providing interactive opportunities for all ages to learn about the Cowichan Estuary, its watershed, marine life, and the natural and cultural history of the area. Visitors can see and touch marine and intertidal creatures in our aquarium and touch tank, use our microscopes, telescopes and interactive displays, and enjoy wildlife and bird watching from our viewing tower and along our oceanfront interpretive trail. The Centre is located in Hecate Park at 1845 Cowichan Bay Road, and is managed by the Cowichan Land Trust and kept open to the public by a team of volunteers.

The spectacular Cowichan River Provincial Park protects significant stretches of the Cowichan River, known as a first class recreational corridor. The park is internationally recognized for its wild salmon and steelhead trout, and for the historic Cowichan River footpath that winds through dense Douglas-fir and Western Hemlock forest. Stroll along the footpath – a sensational 20 km hiking trail following the river to Skutz Falls.

Mount Tzouhalem: Hike or mountain bike up Mount Tzouhalem for a spectacular view of the region. The moderate hiking trail follows the ridge of Mt. Tzouhalem, providing 180 degree views of Cowichan Bay and Duncan. You’ll be able to see Mt. Whymper, Mt. Prevost and the Malahat. Access to the trail is from the St Ann’s Church parking lot, down the gravel road on the east side on the parking lot.

Hecate Park, located on Cowichan Bay Road, serves as a popular picnic and beach area for locals. The park’s boat launch provides an ideal location to launch for day fishing or cruising on pristine Cowichan Bay.

Events: The Cowichan Bay Regatta is the second largest regatta on Canada’s West Coast, and don’t miss the annual Boat Festival in June.

Golf: Golf courses in the area include the Cowichan Golf and Country Club and Duncan Meadows Golf and Country Club in Duncan, and Arbutus Ridge Golf Club in nearby Cobble Hill. Vancouver Island Golf Vacations.

Canoeing & Kayaking: Discover nature’s treasures by sea kayak – come eye to eye with an array of fascinating marine life. Relax your mind and soul on a leisurely tour over emerald waters among seals, cormorants and kingfishers. For those wishing to immerse themselves in the power and majestic beauty of the West Coast, guides will lead on a multi-day excursion.

Fishing: Fish along the Cowichan River, one of the most consistent fishing rivers on the Island; a fishing/hiking path stretches 31 kilometres (19 miles) along the riverbank. Brown, rainbow, and steelhead trout, as well as vigorous salmon runs, make fishing here legendary. Chinook, coho, and steelhead that school in Cowichan Bay enter the river to spawn in November and December. There’s also a steelhead run in March.

North of Cowichan Bay is Duncan, the civic centre of the Cowichan Valley and the traditional home of the Coast Salish First nation. Known as the City of Totems, Duncan boasts over 41 distinctive hand-carved cedar poles on public display in parks and downtown streets.

South of Cowichan Bay is Mill Bay, located at the south end of the Cowichan Valley. Travellers on the Island Highway can stop in at Mill Bay and enjoy the village’s quiet waterfront streets and wonderful Gulf Island views.

Premier Listings

Photo of EMR Vacation Rentals
EMR Vacation Rentals
Vancouver Office: EMR Vacation Rentals Inc. #1118 Richards Street Vancouver BC V6B 3E6 Victoria Office: (Mailing address) #106-1016 McCallum Road Victoria BC V9B 4C6 Home Phone: 604-628-4435Home Phone: 250-483-6790Home Fax: 530-660-3079Work Phone: 1-866-800-8880Work Phone: 0-800-520-0932 UKHome Phone: 0-800-181-8907 GermanyVisit Website

Biographical Info

EMR is a fully licensed Travel Agency offering fully furnished vacation homes, condos, suites, and estates in Victoria, Vancouver, Tofino, Whistler, the Okanagan, and on Vancouver Island. We have a large inventory of unique properties to select from. This includes properties that feature oceanfront, beach front, breathtaking views, private hot tubs, luxurious settings and more.

Return to top.
Photo of Genoa Bay Marina
Genoa Bay Marina
Unit #1 5100 Genoa Bay Road Genoa Bay Duncan BC V9L 5Y8 Home Phone: 250-746-7621Home Fax: 250-746-7621Work Phone: 1-800-572-6481Visit Website

Biographical Info

Genoa Bay Marina offers lush tree-lined shores, towering vistas, and sheltered moorage. Our prices are affordable, and our services include Transient and Permanent Moorage, a General and Marine Store, Car and Video/DVD rental, Laundry, Showers and Washrooms, Fax service, Postal services, Internet and email access, and the Genoa Bay Cafe. Shipwright and Mechanical services are also available.

Return to top.
Photo of Arbutus Ridge Golf Club
Arbutus Ridge Golf Club
3515 Telegraph Road Cobble Hill BC V0R 1L4 Home Phone: 250-743-5000Work Fax: 250-743-5518Work Phone: 1-800-446-5322Visit Website

Biographical Info

Arbutus Ridge Golf Club is located in the seaside community of Cobble Hill on Vancouver Island, a scenic 40-minute drive from Victoria and Nanaimo and just 10 minutes away from the cultural city of Duncan. Arbutus Ridge is rated the #1 Destination Golf Course in British Columbia and the legendary 17th hole is ranked One of the Top 18 Golf Holes on Vancouver Island.

Return to top.
Photo of Genoa Bay Café
Genoa Bay Café
Genoa Bay Marina Unit #1, 5100 Genoa Bay Road Genoa Bay Duncan BC V9L 5Y8 Home Phone: 250-746-7621Home Fax: 250-746-7621Work Phone: 1-800-572-6481Visit Website

Biographical Info

The Genoa Bay Cafe offers a fine selection of Pacific Rim cuisines, featuring fresh seafood from local waters, meats, produce and poultry from the farms of the Cowichan Valley, and the relaxed ambience of a waterfront setting at the Genoa Bay Marina. The Genoa Bay Cafe guarantees a unique and memorable experience. Open 7 days a week.

Return to top.
Photo of Cobble House Bed & Breakfast
Cobble House Bed & Breakfast
3105 Cameron-Taggart Road Cobble Hill BC V0R 1L6 Home Phone: 250-743-2672Work Phone: 1-866-743-2672Visit Website

Biographical Info

Cobble House Bed & Breakfast is located in Vancouver Island’s Wine Country, the Cowichan Valley, just 45 minutes north of Victoria and 60 minutes south of Nanaimo. Centrally located for exploring southern Vancouver Island in different directions, Cobble House B&B is nestled in a 40-acre private natural forest, with Shawnigan Creek flowing by along one side.

Our three guest rooms are spacious, comfortable, smoke free and well equipped, all with private bathroom and comfortable sitting areas. Start your day right with a delicious full breakfast in our lovely dining room. If you want to unwind with a relaxing Vancouver Island getaway, we offer that peace and tranquility and relaxed atmosphere. Wir sprechen Deutsch. Wij spreken Nederlands.

Wildlife is a daily occurrence. Relax on our flower-filled deck in the summer to enjoy the birds and hummingbirds at their feeders. Deer will often wander by and occasionally elk or bear pay a visit. We’ve also seen mink, many owls and even river otters on the lawn!

Enjoy the many outdoor activities the Cowichan Valley has to offer, from golf, horseback riding, boating, and whale watching to kayaking, fishing, mountain biking, cycling and hiking. Walk the Trans Canada Trail and the famous Kinsol Trestle. Bring your bike to cycle the wineries. Enjoy afternoon tea at the Tea Farm, the only place in Canada to grow tea. You can meet a water buffalo herd, smell the lavender, visit the Chemainus murals, immerse yourself in native culture, or watch the Raptors fly. There really is something to suit everyone’s interests and we’re happy to assist you with all the information you need.

Return to top.