Nanaimo’s not-so-secret getaway deal: Ferry to Newcastle Island, cultural tour and salmon barbecue for just $75.

Explore the island’s rich history and deep connection with the Snuneymuxw people

Spectacular scenery, a delicious salmon barbecue and cultural walking tour come together on Nanaimo’s Newcastle Island to create one of the best getaway deals in town.

Even better, Saysutshun – or Newcastle Island Marine Provincial Park – is just 15 minutes away via passenger ferry, and the ferry, tour and dinner together costs just $75 per person. The next barbecue is July 15 – get tickets from the Snuneymuxw band office at 668 Centre St., Nanaimo and discover why this magical place was – and is – so special.

Cultural Explorations: Part of the traditional lands of the Snuneymuxw people, before European contact they had many winter villages along Nanaimo Harbour, each including several longhouses.

Saysutshun has always been special to the Snuneymuxw people as a place of healing. After a death, loved ones would visit the island to release their tears and heal body, heart and mind.

The island was also used for gathering traditional medicine and as a training area for competitive canoe pullers to keep themselves in top physical shape.

Today, visitors to this provincial marine park can reserve a guided walking tour with an experienced Snuneymuxw guide who will talk about the island’s First Nations history and the sites that remain. Reserve your guided cultural tour by emailing

Traditional Salmon Barbecue: For a traditional dining experience, enjoy a salmon barbecue, where a Snuneymuxw chef will describe the traditional sockeye salmon cooking process and teachings handed down through generations. Pre-book your barbecue at least two weeks in advance for a minimum of 20 people, who will enjoy delicious salmon, baked potato, salad, fresh fruit, traditional baked bread and drinks. Reserve by emailing

Need more reasons to visit? Other popular Newcastle Island activities include hiking and biking, a swim at the sandy Kanaka Bay or Midden Bay, and oceanside camping at the provincial campsite, with potable water and showers, plus firewood available for purchase. In addition to the traditional salmon barbecue, food is also available at the Saysutshun Bistro, located in the restored 1930s teahouse at the Newcastle Island Pavilion. The full-service facility also welcomes weddings and special events, including meals for up to 250 people from catering partner the Grand Hotel.

What you need to know:

Visit Newcastle Island in Nanaimo Harbour by foot passenger ferry or private boat. Through Sept. 15, the ferry leaves every 30 minutes from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. from the Maffeo Sutton dock for the 15-minute trip. (Reduced schedules are available year-round.)

The ferry fare is $5 return, with pets $1, bikes $2 and other equipment/gear $1.

If you’re hopping the passenger ferry to the island, park at Nanaimo’s Maffeo Sutton Park, 150 Comox Rd., where the first three hours are free.

Learn more at or call 250-802-0255.

Comments are closed

Just Posted

City councillor wants policy on recording meetings

City of Nanaimo Coun. Bill Yoachim addressed criticism on the subject

Further work postponed on middle Colliery Dam

New study suggests extreme flood flows might be less likely than previously estimated

VIDEO: Orcas put on a show near Hornby Island

Louis Jobodin shares photos and video of his experience

City of Nanaimo’s garbage collection rates could change again

City staff advises council about a complication with Phase 2 implementation

Thief takes truckload of lumber

A suspect stole $2,000 worth of lumber last week on Dufferin Crescent

Car crash blocks off Meredith Road

Emergency crews responded after a car and a sport-utility vehicle collided just before 1 p.m. Monday

Did you get Hitched in Courtenay on Sunday?

The first annual wedding show saw big crowds and included two fashion shows

Vernon to host largest Special Olympics B.C. Winter Games in 2019

Games to be held Feb. 21-23, with more than 800 athletes expected to take part

Sentencing hearing begins for ex-BC Liberals employee in ‘quick wins’ scandal

Former communications director Brian Bonney pleaded guilty last October

Island passengers say Sunwing left them stranded in Abbotsford

Company says late arrival led to difficulties securing accommodation, transportation

Ice dancers Virtue and Moir to carry flag for Canada at 2018 Olympics

The pair earned a gold medal at the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games

North Island wedding fair coming to Courtenay on Sunday

Head to the Florence Filberg Centre for the first annual Hitched Wedding and Events Affair brought to you by Black Press

Diplomacy on agenda at North Korea summit in Vancouver

Foreign ministers from 20 countries are meeting Tuesday to discuss security and stability on the Korean Peninsula.

Most Read