Bamberton Provincial Park
About This Park
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.
The park is located on southern Vancouver Island, approximately 45 km north of Victoria off Highway 1. Turn east off Highway 1 onto Mill Bay Road, near the north end of the scenic Malahat Drive. BC Ferries offers service from Mill Bay to Brentwood Bay, a distance of 8 km by sea with a crossing time of 25 minutes. Bamberton Park is located a 5-minute drive south of Mill Bay. Nearby communities include: Mill Bay, Shawnigan Lake, Cobble Hill, Duncan, Victoria.
Maps and Brochures
- Park Map [PDF] (Oct, 2018)
Nature and Culture
- History: Bamberton Park was given to the province by the British Columbia Cement Company in 1959. The name Bamberton was chosen by the donors and commemorates H.K. Bamber, managing director of the British Portland Cement Manufacturing Company, a predecessor of the BC Cement Company, now known as Ocean Cement.
- Cultural Heritage: Traditionally, local First Nations used Johns Creek, which runs through the park, for trout fishing and still utilize the area today for ceremonial purposes in the fall and winter.
- Conservation: Bamberton protects a mixed woodland of second-growth Douglas fir and arbutus, a salmon-bearing creek and eel-grass beds in the estuary. Over time, natural weathering forces may return the creek outflow area to a floodplain with salt marsh communities. The park also features an interesting intertidal zone, popular with school groups who visit the park to study the marine life. In your observation of the intertidal zone, please remember to carefully place overturned rocks in their original position. Do not touch the marine life or remove any shells or marine organisms from the park.
Activities Available at this Park
Pets on Leash
Facilities Available at this Park
The campground at Bamberton Park is wheelchair-accessible. The route from the parking lot at the day use area to the beach is wheelchair-accessible and paved; some portions are steep. Toilet facilities are also wheelchair-accessible.
Cold water taps are located at the campground and day-use area. Taps are shut off during the off-season.
There is a picnicking and day-use area available at this park with a large vehicle parking lot, picnic tables, flush toilets, fresh water and a large grassy area where children can be let loose to play. The day-use area provides easy access to the beach.
The day-use gate is open from 8:00am to dusk.
Pit or Flush Toilets
Vehicle Accessible Camping
This park offers vehicle accessible campsites, nestled amongst a mixed woodland forest. Campsite reservations are accepted and first-come, first-served sites are also available. Bamberton Provincial Park is open year-round, with limited facilities in the off-season.
Bamberton Provincial Park is open year-round, with limited facilities in the off-season.