The next time you think that driving to a weekend camping destination is too much hassle, consider Bamberton Provincial Park Campground.
We recently stayed at this lovely family oriented campground at the beginning of July and were pleased with how convenient the commute was, just 30 minutes from Victoria. Yet, once settled in the woods, we still felt that sought after feeling of escape.
We were convinced to choose Bamberton Provincial Park Campground for a number of reasons. Since at the time I was 9 months pregnant, our first priority was to not be too far away from emergency services or a drive back to Victoria if necessary. Another reason was that we didn’t have much time to spend traveling, as it was supposed to be a quick weekend camping excursion, so we didn’t want to waste the precious summer hours in a hot truck on the highway. In our many years of camping together as a couple, we had never considered staying somewhere so close, after all, we wanted to truly get away! Well, I can’t believe we’ve been passing this gem for so long when we travel along the Malahat Highway. We were able to wake up on a Saturday morning, clean our house before leaving, pick up some groceries for enjoying at the campsite, and then get on the road. We arrived at check in time, early afternoon, and still had most of the day to enjoy. What a great feeling!
On Sunday, we had friends travel with their kids from Victoria, to spend the day with us lounging at the beach. We made the very quick drive from our campsite to the beach parking lot, bringing along our chairs, coolers and toys for building sand castles. It was a perfect setting – plenty of parking, a good amount of beach and grassy area for the kids and adults to splash, swim and play in the ocean, washroom and outdoor shower facilities, and lots of shade for those that are a little too pregnant for 30 degree weather!
After we had our fill of sand and sun, we headed back up to the campsite to roast some hotdogs for dinner and enjoy a campfire together. Although the campground looked like it was full, or almost full to capacity, we felt that each site was fairly private and we couldn’t noise, other than our own radio and chatter.
Overall, this was a wonderful camping trip, and was such a treat to only have a 30 minute drive home on departure day. We will definitely be coming again. Afterall, it is very family oriented, and by the time we go on our next trip, we will have a little one to bring along with us.
Items to Note:
- There are outhouses available throughout the campground and were kept fairly clean and well stocked.
- Water is available by tap near the outhouse stations
- This seems to be a very popular destination, especially for those local to the South of end of Vancouver Island. I highly recommend booking ahead of time. When using the online booking service, most sites have a few pictures available so you can visualize what you are booking, if the driveway is sloped, and if there is sun/shade on the site.
- The beach is accessible by walking from the campground, but it may be too much of a trek for some if you are carrying chairs, coolers, umbrellas, etc. If you decide to drive your vehicle down the road from the campsite, there was plenty of parking available.
- From the parking lot to the beach is a paved path that is in a large zig-zag shape, as it is quite sloped downhill. I’m not saying that it’s unpleasant, after all, I went down and back up 9 months pregnant. However, you may want to consider using a wagon or cart if you are carrying a heavy load for your day at the beach.
- Although we had our dog Snoopy with us, he wasn’t allowed to join us at the beach – No Dogs Allowed
- Another note for dog owners – The campground is across the water from Butchart Gardens. We were camping on a Saturday night, which also happens to be when the fireworks show runs regularly at Butchart gardens during the summer months. The sound was very clear and was unsettling for Snoopy. He was fine if he had our company, but just a word of warning for those with furry family members that get frightened.