Navigating Your Way to Whale Watching in Campbell River: Where to Park

Navigating Your Way to Whale Watching in Campbell River: Where to Park

Campbell River, nestled on the east coast of Vancouver Island in British Columbia, is renowned for its spectacular whale watching opportunities. The picturesque landscapes and diverse marine life make it a must-visit destination for nature enthusiasts and wildlife lovers. However, before embarking on your adventure to witness these magnificent creatures, you'll need to know where to park in Campbell River for whale watching. In this blog post, we'll guide you through the best parking options, ensuring that your journey to spot whales is a smooth one.

Discovery Harbor Marina

One of the most convenient and popular places to park for whale watching in Campbell River is the Discovery Harbor Marina. This marina is a hub for many whale watching tour operators. They provide ample parking for visitors, and you can safely leave your vehicle while you embark on your marine adventure. Plus, you'll enjoy the bonus of stunning waterfront views as you start your tour.

Downtown Parking

Campbell River's downtown area offers various parking options for those planning to go whale watching. There are parking lots, street-side parking spots, and parking garages scattered throughout the city. Downtown parking can be a good choice if you prefer a more leisurely stroll to the marina or if you want to explore the town after your whale watching trip.

Thulin Street Parking Lot

Located just a short walk from the Discovery Harbor Marina, the Thulin Street Parking Lot is an excellent choice for those who want a convenient parking option. You can easily access the marina from here, and it provides a secure place to leave your vehicle while you embark on your whale watching adventure.

Island Highway Parking

If you're driving along Island Highway (Highway 19) to reach Campbell River, you'll find several parking areas alongside the highway. These parking spots are ideal for visitors arriving from other parts of the island or the mainland. While not directly adjacent to the marina, they offer convenient access to the town and marina via a short drive.

Reserved Parking with Tour Operators

Many whale watching tour operators in Campbell River offer their customers reserved parking spaces. When you book a whale watching tour, inquire about the parking options they provide. This can be a hassle-free way to secure parking near the marina and avoid the stress of finding a spot on your own.

Tips for Stress-Free Parking

  • Arrive early: Parking spaces near the marina can fill up quickly, especially during the peak whale watching season. Arriving early ensures you'll have ample time to find a spot and complete any necessary paperwork before your tour.
  • Research parking fees: Some parking areas in Campbell River may have fees, while others are free. It's a good idea to check the parking regulations and fees in advance to avoid any surprises.
  • Carpool or use public transportation: If you're traveling with a group, consider carpooling to reduce the number of vehicles. Alternatively, you can explore public transportation options to get to the marina.


Campbell River is a prime destination for whale watching, and parking should be the least of your concerns when planning your adventure. Whether you choose the Discovery Harbor Marina, downtown parking, or other options mentioned above, rest assured that there are plenty of convenient parking spots available. So, go ahead and make your reservations, pack your camera, and get ready to witness the majestic whales that call the waters around Campbell River their home. Your unforgettable whale watching experience is just a parking spot away!

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