Campbell River & Hornby Island - Worth visiting?

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  • Aug 3rd, 2021 3:02 am
Deal Addict
Dec 18, 2007
4691 posts

Campbell River & Hornby Island - Worth visiting?

I'm from Vancouver. I was invited on a trip to Campbell River & Hornby Island for a few nights in early Sept. Apart from sightseeing, we won't be partaking in any outdoor activities. We are planning to rent a house for a night in each location and just chill with my partner's friends. Another couple will be spending another week or so exploring the island.

I am not optimistic about going as I'll be heading off to Banff and Calgary in a few weeks, so I feel that going to Campbell River & Hornby Island will be underwhelming, mostly because I don't know much about these places and what the heck else we can do. A quick google trip doesn't show that there's much to do. The trip also doesn't seem to be that chill as we will constantly be traveling.

If anyone has been to either place, please chime in if it's worth visiting for someone from Vancouver who will only be partaking in sightseeing.
5 replies
Deal Expert
User avatar
Jan 9, 2011
17214 posts
It's hard to get to Hornby from Vancouver with three ferries so it's really not worth it to go just for one night. Things to do in Hornby: camp, chill, read, relax, nap, beach, cottage, kayaking, BBQ, wine on the porch, etc. It's a stay-for-a-week-or-more kind of place. Skip it and go when you have more time.
Sr. Member
Oct 22, 2016
969 posts
Comox Valley
Nature is nice here, you might enjoy been on the ocean, with a slightly rougher coast than Vancouver. However the ferry system is at capacity, and I would forgo any trip from the mainland to Vancouver Island, unless you have a reservation.
Deal Fanatic
Jan 15, 2017
5442 posts
Gotta try the Fish 'n Chips at Dick's Fish n Chips in Campbell River. It's the best ever.
Sr. Member
Feb 4, 2018
598 posts
I was in Campbell River for 3 nights five or six years ago. I had a rental car and enjoyed the spectacular natural beauty just outside of CR--I think it was called the canyon nature trail--highly recommended.

The stars aligned (actually clear skies and very little wind)--perfect conditions for the Historic Mail Route. I hooked up with one of the small seaplane outfits that does a once or twice weekly Canada Post run (by seaplane) to the smaller islands off Vancouver Island. Often, they will ferry tradespeople who are working on some of the fabulous estates on these smaller islands. I had a fabulous afternoon cruising over the waterways, visiting some funky, off-the-beaten track post offices. The pilot even did a gentle zoom when he spotted sea lions sunning on rocks so I could get a premium view. I had emailed the airline prior to flying out to the west coast (think it was called Corlair).

I had a terrific Air BnB just outside the city, a small cottage/studio outside the city, on a lovely property. Hosts lived on-site in a separate residence. All amenities and very reasonably priced. Lots of good food in CR, reasonably priced.
The ocean is calling.........and I must go.
Deal Guru
User avatar
Sep 6, 2002
10809 posts
User452441 wrote: Nature is nice here, you might enjoy been on the ocean, with a slightly rougher coast than Vancouver. However the ferry system is at capacity, and I would forgo any trip from the mainland to Vancouver Island, unless you have a reservation.
Walk on ferry traffic is almost always available the comments above are only if you intend to convey a vehicle.

Above poster is correct everything is busy on bc ferries. Like wise dump motels are $300+ and availability is limited or sold out and if somethings available don’t count on two beds

The okanagan is basically on fire so any tourists coming are likely hitting the coast

Get your plans in order especially around rental cars and hotels. And if you plan to move. A vehicle on a ferry book now.

Source just did a staycation and everything is so bloody expensive I just did day trips with my tourist friend using my downtown Vancouver condo as a base.

Do not underestimate how busy BC is OP. Also it’s a pure natural play. Unless you want to hike and camp. You’re basically going to want to look for short tourist 1 or 2km circle trails. Otherwise what we did is have one (unlucky) designated driver and the rest of us would drink beers and we’d stop by different beach lakes and mountain rivers.

Otherwise Your options. Are like ATV tours, whale watching, fishing expeditions and gondolas. All of which is book ahead.

I don’t know Campbell river but feel free to message me. At least you’re doing your part for the Canadian economy by visiting.

It’s also super annoying to get ice. Many stores are sold out regularly so make sure you chill your cooler. London drugs is usually stocked. Gas stations / corner shops sold out
Autocorrect sucks