Bamberton Provincial Park
Bamberton Provincial Park is a provincial park located in Mill Bay, British Columbia, Canada. The park area consists of a beach that borders on Saanich Inlet, and is connected to a camping area by several trails. The traditional name of the beach is qʷələs in the Saanich dialect. It shares its name with the now abandoned company town of Bamberton.
For years, the warm waters surrounding Vancouver Island’s Mill Bay have been a popular destination for local salmon fishers. The inviting water and the 225-metre long sandy beach have also made nearby Bamberton Provincial Park an ideal spot for parents to bring their families.
While the kids frolic in the warm waves, parents can lounge in the sand and enjoy the views across the inlet – to the east are the shores of the Saanich Peninsula, with the southern Gulf Islands and Mt. Baker beyond. Rising sharply to the west are the mountains of south Vancouver Island.
Fronting on the west side of Saanich Inlet, of particular interest in this park is the abundance of arbutus trees, identified by its thick, leathery green leaves, reddish trunk and peeling bark. The arbutus is Canada’s only broadleaf evergreen and is found only on Vancouver Island and the lower coast of mainland British Columbia.
A vehicle accessible campground is nestled in this forest environment, where eagles and osprey can be seen circling high above. Waterfowl and seals are frequent visitors to the surrounding waters.
The park is very popular in the summer months, and can be busy as well in June, when a number of nearby schools make field trips to study the intertidal life on the beach. With Victoria just a 30-minute drive south over the scenic Malahat Drive, Bamberton is within easy reach of many tourist attractions. You can also hop on the Mill Bay ferry for the 25-minute trip to Brentwood Bay and visit the world-renowned Butchart Gardens.