By day, houseboats are the perfect vacation home base, a hub for the day’s exploring, sightseeing, swimming, fishing trips, water skiing and other water sports. Later, slip your houseboat into a secluded cove and tie up for the night. Enjoy a peaceful evening with family or friends and watch the moonlight reflecting on the water as dazzling stars appear. Be the captain of your own ship as you steer your vacation through magnificent scenery and miles of secluded shoreline. Houseboating is offered in the following regions of Vancouver Island and the Sunshine Coast:
Houseboating on Sproat Lake, Port Alberni
Sproat Lake in the Alberni Valley is noted for its warm water and is favoured for fishing, swimming and water skiing. Sproat Lake has a number of popular attractions, including a wonderful beach, and the provincial park on the lake shore is a popular family camping destination in summer.
Houseboating on Cowichan Lake, Southern Vancouver Island
Proudly referred to as the Warm Land, Cowichan Lake is one of the largest bodies of fresh water on Vancouver Island.
“Kaatza” or “The Big Lake”, as it’s known by its native inhabitants, Cowichan Lake is over 30 kilometres long and one of the largest bodies of freshwater on Vancouver Island. Houseboaters can cruise on crystal clear water along 150 kilometres of shoreline adjacent to the famed Carmanah Valley and the Walbran old growth forests.
This expansive water wilderness is located in the Cowichan Valley on Vancouver Island, adjacent to the famed Carmanah Valley and the Walbran old growth forests.
Cruise the approximately 150 kilometres of shoreline on the crystal clear waters of Cowichan Lake. See the bald eagles flying and the deer roaming this magnificent area embraced by surrounding mountains covered with lush dense green forest. You can really experience the natural beauty of it all.
The 25-mile length of Cowichan Lake, with its mountain views and many sheltered bays, makes for a perfect backdrop to a most pleasurable BC cruise, guaranteeing a vacation of a lifetime with family and friends. Houseboat rentals are based at the Cowichan Lake Marina in the village of Lake Cowichan.
Recreation Sites on Cowichan Lake
Lakeview Park Campground – owned and operated by the Town of Lake Cowichan
Gordon Bay Provincial Park
Hiking around Cowichan Lake
Cowichan River Footpath in Cowichan River Provincial Park winds along the scenic Cowichan River from Glenora to Skutz Falls, crossing the river there and follows the north bank almost to Cowichan Lake. The footpath takes hikers along some of the most scenic river stretches on Vancouver Island.
Carmanah Walbran Provincial Park is located adjacent to the West Coast Trail unit of Pacific Rim National Park, on the West Coast of Vancouver Island. Road access to the Carmanah trailhead is via Highway 18 from Duncan to Lake Cowichan, and a further 70 km on gravel logging roads.
Fishing on and around Cowichan Lake
Cowichan Lake is home to winter steelhead and rainbow and cutthroat trout. The best cutthroat fishing is in late October to early November. For freshwater fishing, the Cowichan River is perhaps the finest year-round trout stream in British Columbia, with its large brown trout (up to 10 lbs.) and resident rainbows and cutthroats.
Houseboating in other regions of British Columbia