Where is Campbell River Located?
How Big is Vancouver Island?
How close is Campbell River to lower-mainland Vancouver?
How Accessible is Vancouver Island?

Where Is Campbell River Located?

Canada, British Columbia


Campbell River, British Columbia, Canada

 Campbell River is located in Canada, the 2nd largest country in the world. Canada is made up of 10 Provinces and 3 territories. British Columbia is the Western most Province in Canada. Along the coast of British Columbia lies Vancouver Island which holds the hidden gem, Campbell River.

Campbell River is located on the 50th parallel in a mountainous region near a river, the Campbell, along the Central East coast of Vancouver Island.

This provides residents with access to beaches, the estuary, waterfalls, lakes, hiking and biking trails, skiing and snowboarding mountains, kayaking and canoeing, caving,  fishing and hunting. Because of our central location, you can ski for half a day and golf or fish the other half; all within a 35 minute drive.

Sometimes called ‘the gateway to Northern Vancouver Island” Campbell River has evolved into the main service centre for the North Island.

The boundaries encompass an area of 33,955 acres with 24 km of waterfront facing the Discovery Passage, recently renamed the Salish Seas.

Vancouver Island is closely surrounded by many islands. The closest of them, Quadra Island, is accessible directly from Campbell River and is a 10 minute ferry boat ride. 


How big is Vancouver Island?

The island is 460 kilometres (290 miles) in length and 80 kilometres (50 miles) in width at its widest point. It is the largest island on the western side of North America at 32,134 square kilometres (km2) or 12,407.0 square miles (sq m.) It is the 43rd largest island in the world. It is also the home of British Columbia’s capital, Victoria, on the southern tip of the island. If you were to drive from one end of the island to the other it would take you approximately 8 hours in good conditions.

See where Campbell River is using the Interactive Google Map Link:

How close is Campbell River to lower-mainland Vancouver?

Campbell River is 240 kilometers from Vancouver. 

There are no bridges linking the island to the mainland. Instead there are 3 ferry routes that link lower-mainland Vancouver with Vancouver Island.

1. Vancouver-Nanaimo (Tsawwassen - Duke Point)

 2. Vancouver- Victoria  (Tsawwassen- Swartz Bay)

3. West-Vancouver-Nanaimo (Horseshoe Bay- Departure Bay)


The closest terminal to Campbell River is the West Vancouver- Nanaimo (Horseshoe Bay to Departure Bay.) This ferry ride takes 2 hours and after arriving in Nanaimo it is approximately a 1 ½ hour drive North to reach Campbell River.


How accessible is Vancouver Island?

Ferry schedules 

BC Ferries

The entire trip between Campbell River and Vancouver takes approximately 6 hours including
the 1.5 to 2 hour ferry boat ride. Often there are long wait times at the ferry terminals due to summer, holidays etcetera. You can call ahead to make paid reservations that will guarantee your spot.


Another option is air travel. It takes approximately one hour to fly from Vancouver to the Campbell River Airport.



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Fun Fact

From 1972-1986 the image on the Canadian $5 Bill was a boat called the BCP45. Built in 1927 and after 68 years of service, was restored and is on display inside the Maritime Heritage Centre.

Alternative education uses ways of teaching that are not mainstream. They are often more flexible and community based such as home schooling and alternate schools.

The Great Earthquake In 1946 Vancouver Island experienced an earthquake which is Canada's largest historic onshore earthquake. Fortunately it caused minimal damage. Learn more!

Strathcona Park was British Columbia’s first Provincial Park and was established in 1911. 

Vancouver Island boasts some of the best caving in the world offering thousand of caves. A few magnificent ones are the Upana Caves, Little Huson Cave Park and Horne Lake Caves.

Vancouver Island is home to some of the largest trees in the world such as the Sitka Spruce tree. The largest Sitka ever recorded stands in the Carmanah Provincial Park. Learn more!

The tallest waterfall in Canada, Della Falls, is located a few hours from Campbell River in Strathcona Provincial Park. The waterfall is fed by Della Lake which sits among mountain Big Interior, Mt. Septimus, and Nine Peaks.

The Discovery Pier was built in Campbell River in 1987 and was Canada’s first salt water fishing pier. It extends 150 feet from shore and is 600 feet long also making it the longest pier in Canada.

The Tyee Club of BC began in 1924 with a group of anglers returning to Campbell River each year in pursuit of the elusive "Tyee" (a coastal First Nations word meaning "chief") which is a Chinook salmon 30 pounds or larger. The largest Tyee caught in 2010 was a 54 pounds!

In 1896 we got the name ‘Salmon Capital of the World’ when a First Nations guide took Sir Richard Musgrave fishing. He caught a 70lb Chinook and wrote about it in a magazine. Large Tyee Salmon are still caught today.

The H.M.C.S. Columbia ship is now an artificial reef and fantastic dive site just off the coast of Maude Island near Campbell River. The 366 foot ship was sunk June 20th 1996.

To celebrate 10 years of twinning with our sister city Ishikari, Japan, we were given a Torii Gate. A Shinto tradition, the gate recognizes a special location. It is located in Sequoia Park across from the museum. Our gift to Ishikari was a totem pole carved by renowned artist Bill Henderson.

Ripple Rock, a famous rock in Seymour Narrows sunk 120 boats, was blown up in 1958 and holds the record for the world’s largest non-atomic blast. Its destruction is still considered a marvel of engineering.

Look for the gorgeous carvings located outside of Campbell River businesses. The carvings, created at the annual Shoreline Arts Chainsaw Carving Competition, have been adopted by local business for display. Read about “Octy,” the carving that started it all!

Visit ‘Logger Mike’, a famous landmark. Originally placed atop a Cedar pole above the main bus stop in 1984 he represents the logging industry. The bus stop has since been relocated and a Spirit Square was built around the Logger Mike’s pole. He now sits atop his ‘new’ 460 year old Cedar pole.

Look for beautiful hand painted banners on street light poles around town on display from May to October. Since 1992, The Arts Council has partnered with local schools, groups, First Nations, artists, and the community to create Campbell River's unique banners.

"Lest We Forget"- The Veteran’s Memorial Cenotaph rests in the Spirit Square. It remembers those who laid down their lives in World Wars. 

You can visit the 50th Parallel Marker along the SeaWalk. The Marker was originally placed in 1975 by the Rotary and a time capsule was buried underneath it. The capsule was made from a saw blade from the old Raven Mill. A new marker was put in place in 2007 but the time capsule was never found.

Orcas, known as Killer Whales, are actually dolphins and not particularly violent. Orcas are black and white and up to 26 feet long. They are classified into pods, the local pod is called J-pod and has around 29 Orcas. Some of them are thought to be around 100 years old!

Salmon Capital of the World! The waterways of the Pacific North-West region are funneled into the Discovery Passage. Marine life must pass through this passage during each tide cycle and the turbulence from these powerful tides stirs up nutrients which causes feeding frenzy.

Road Ethics- If you see or hear an emergency vehicle such as police, ambulance or fire truck with sirens or lights flashing, immediately yield to the vehicle by pulling over to the side of the road and coming to a complete stop, you can be fined if you fail to do this.

In June of 2008 the Mercer Report ranked Vancouver 4th in the world for the cleanest air! Here in Campbell River the air is even cleaner as we have a smaller population, fewer cars and less industrial pollution.

British Columbian communities often win awards for having the best tap water in the world!

Vancouver Island has what is known as an ‘Oceanic Climate.”

Look for First Nations carved Totem Poles located throughout downtown Campbell River.

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