There is no shortage of enticing activities to enjoy on the land adjoining Nanaimo’s waterfront.

From relaxing seaside walks to dining, shopping or enjoying an evening of theatre, life on the seaside of the ‘Harbour City’ offers point of interest at every turn. The Port of Nanaimo has been an active player in the planning, development, and management of most of these foreshore amenities and highlights.

Mailloux Harbour from the air.

Harbourside Walkway

A 4.5 kilometre walkway that shows off many of Nanaimo’s Harbourside attractions.

Built in 1987, the Walkway has become one of the best-used recreational facilities in the city stretching from Cameron Island in the South to Departure Bay (BC Ferries Terminal).

A stroll along its landscaped path reveals many of the projects the Port Authority has encouraged and promoted to boost recreational opportunities for residents and visitors alike. Close-up views of Gabriola, Protection and Newcastle Islands with access to their connecting ferries are also part of the Walkway’s many features.

Lessees – Newcastle Channel – Port of Nanaimo

Port of Nanaimo Boat Basin

Pioneer Waterfront Plaza

This jewel in the harbour’s crown was completed in 1993 and provides a focal point for the downtown waterfront.

Shops, restaurants and public facilities and meeting spaces all come together at the Pioneer Waterfront Plaza – see List of Tenants.

This Plaza provides access to the Inner Harbour and Boat Basin so that visitors who arrive by sea can be found mingling with shoppers, diners and walkers.

Public parking is concealed beneath the Plaza deck and the Wharfinger’s office, as well as the Seaplane Terminal are located nearby.

The upper deck (20,000 square feet) is available to the public for many activities & special events.

Nanaimo Inner Harbour

Inner Harbour

Nanaimo’s heart and soul was born on this waterfront and it is preserved with the support of the Nanaimo Port Authority.

Nanaimo’s past, present and future is tied closely to this stretch of waterfront. Site of major transportation connections, industry, entertainment, recreation and culture, the heart of the community keeps beat with the rhythm of the sea.

Nanaimo’s Port Theatre, shown above, was named in recognition of the Port Authority’s leading role in the development of this performing arts centre.

W.E. Mills Landing & Marina

The 600 foot pier off Cameron Island provides moorage for short and long-term users.

Originally designed to attract “pocket” cruise ships and other vessels too large to use other docking facilities in the harbour, the W.E. Mills Landing has become a favourite with visitors to the Harbourside Walkway.

Dockside visitors are afforded the possibility of giving a casual inspection to moored naval vessels, yachts and other ocean-going visitors close-up while they brush shoulders with the crews of these worldly visitors.

Fishing and Walking Pier at the Nanaimo Inner Harbour looking out onto the ocean.

Fishing & Walking Pier

Construction of this popular highlight of the harbour was completed by Nanaimo Port Authority in 1993.

Adjoining Maffeo Sutton Park beside Swy-a-Lana Lagoon, the Fishing and Walking Pier is accessed via the Harbourside Walkway. The pier serves as a breakwater for the Inner Harbour and Boat Basin and has become a popular spot for crab fishers, as well as a destination for tourists and strollers out to enjoy the waterfront. Next to “Spirit Square”.

Swy-a-Lana Lagoon

Swy-a-Lana Lagoon

At the center of downtown Nanaimo’s Maffeo Sutton Park, the Lagoon is a popular stopping-off point for walkers.

Built in 1984, the man-made lagoon provides the community with a year-round children’s playground and beach. Swy-a-Lana lagoon uses the natural ebb and flow of tides to create a marine habitat and, at low tide, a series of waterfalls. Next to “Spirit Square”.

Home of the Dragon Boat Festival, its location makes it the centre of attention during the Marine Festival, world-famous Bathtub Races and other annual celebrations.

Sea Plane Terminal - Port of Nanaimo

Seaplane Terminal

The Port of Nanaimo Seaplane Terminal opened in 1985.

Daily scheduled floatplane service from Nanaimo harbour to downtown Vancouver harbour, Richmond (Airport) and Sechelt is provided by Harbour Air and Sunshine Coast Air. SeaAir Seaplanes operates at Brechin Point on the Newcastle Channel. Charters and scenic flights are also available.

The Terminal also has a Marine Pub and Bistro with a large patio deck and outdoor BBQ.


Nanaimo Port Helijet

Passenger Terminal

The Nanaimo Port Authority Cruise Ship Facility Project was initiated to promote tourism and expand economic diversity within the central island region.

The facility provides a new access for tourism to the region through the docking of cruise vessels. With the commitment from our funding partners; The Infrastructure Stimulus Fund, the Province of British Columbia and the Island Coastal Economic Trust, the Nanaimo Port Authority construction commenced in June 2010 after six years of planning.

Completed in 2011, the Passenger Terminal and Welcome Centre provides features that cruise industry operators look for in a facility:

  • A safe berth with access and egress tested at the Star Center,
  • Enhanced vessel security,
  • Fast disembarkation of passengers and crew,
  • Elimination of tender usage and associated operating costs,
  • Access to a unique welcoming centre and
  • Complete handicap accessibility.
  • Helijet Operation to Vancouver

Visitors are welcome to get up close when a Cruise ship calls in the Port! Directions to Passenger terminal – Cruise – Helijet


Administration Office

Within the Welcome Centre, a floating box houses the administrative offices.

Hidden structural steel components support the assembly and provides the appearance of a floating box, a unique feature of the Welcome Centre. Port Management and staff work from these offices which include a Board Room for Port Directors and various meetings with clients and stakeholders.

Address: 100 Port Drive, Nanaimo, BC V9R 5K4.

Directions – Map to Port Authority Administration 

Vehicle Processing Centre Barge at Port of Nanaimo

Vehicle Processing Centre

Residents and visitors are welcome to drop by the Nanaimo Assembly Wharf.

The public may view unloading procedures for the Vehicle Processing Centre located near the Port Administration offices. People won’t believe the size of the auto carrier from the shoreline viewing point.

Duke Point Wharf - Nanaimo

Duke Point Assembly Wharf Terminal

750 Jackson Road, Nanaimo

  • Main Dock – Max. Vessel Design LOA 231.35m
  • Main Dock – Controlling Depth of 13.5m
  • Additional Barge Berth – Max LOL 80.52m  Max Depth 4.12m
  • LHM500S Mobile Harbour Crane 9100mt Capacity)
  • Heavy Load rating on caisson constructed berth
  • DP World Terminal Operator – ILWU labour employed
  • T.C. Certified 24/7 Security Guard & Video Monitored
  • 15 acres paved storage space
  • 10 acres additional laydown yard on main terminal