How could thousands of people, including us, drive by this hidden gem in Goldstream Park every day not realizing what we are all missing?
I was in absolute disbelief when I realized what we had been missing out on all these years.
How could thousands and thousands of people, including us, drive right through Goldstream Park not realizing the hidden gem we are all missing? That’s the beauty of hidden gems I guess, they are hidden.
Well, this hidden gem won’t be hidden to you anymore!
The treasure we found was yet another majestic Vancouver Island waterfall. The Goldstream Park Niagara Falls Waterfall (47.6 meters tall).
We had driven over the Malahat Highway and through Goldstream Park for years, not realizing this waterfall treasure was literally a stone’s throw away from the road.
In fact, we were so close to this waterfall that on one of our trips to Golstream Park we actually walked right by it!
How could this be you might ask?
Well, I will tell you there are no big signs we missed. In fact you won’t find any obvious signs around Goldstream Park at all announcing where this waterfall is.
It also might have had something to do with us being more preoccupied with watching our little kids running around open running water than with reading maps.
There is also the matter of a secret tunnel…
I say secret, because you wouldn’t really think to go through it as there are no signs, and often during the rainy season it is an active stream.
On this particular trip Gretta and I were kidless and off for a romantic getaway to Victoria.
Perfect time to go exploring a new place.
I was so excited about our time together and the waterfall in front of me that I took a plunge right in.
I tried to convince Gretta, but there was no amount of convincing that could get her into that ice water. Let me tell you… it was quite exhilarating having that freezing cold rushing mountain water falling on my head, but well worth the adventure!
Soon you can count yourself among the fortunate who will not need any big signs on how to get to Goldstream Park Niagara waterfall.
Here’s some info to orient to where this waterfall is on Vancouver Island and help you decide if you want to make the the journey Goldstream Park Nigara Falls.
• Just a short 25 minute drive North from downtown Victoria
• 1 hour and 30 minutes South from Nanaimo
• The waterfall and parking lots for the falls are just off the Malahat highway. The Malahat is the only highway that will get you over the mountain pass when driving between Victoria and Nanaimo. There are two parking lots that give you easy access to Goldstream Park Niagara Falls. One coming from the North and the other from the South.
Traveling North: If you are travelling from the Victoria side going North, park in the main parking lot at Goldstream Park and walk towards the Visitor/Interpretive centre. If you see the overview map of the park take a look for “Niagara Waterfall”. After a few minutes into your casual stroll you’ll come to a walking bridge. Don’t go over the bridge, instead look to your left and you will see a large tunnel under the road. Walk through the tunnel and follow the dry riverbed to the Goldstream Park Niagara Waterfall. If it’s the rainy season and the riverbed is running strong, you need to get yourself to the other side of the road not using the tunnel or bring some good rubber boots with you. Be safe, enjoy!
Traveling South: If you are travelling from the Nanaimo side of the mountain pass and going South, then park at the first unmarked parking area on the side of the road as you are coming up to Goldstream Park. Head North down the trail and you will quickly see the dry river bed in the non-rainy season. If it’s the rainy-season take the trail on the side of the running stream. The waterfall is a very short walk from where you parked your car. Enjoy!
Traveling Islanders Tips
Level of Difficulty: The terrain on the hike to Goldstream Park Niagara waterfall is moderate. There is a dry riverbed to navigate with uneven ground (Non-rainy season). If it’s the rainy season and the riverbed isn’t an option then getting to the waterfall becomes a little more tricky. You’ll be navigating a narrow hillside path with one steeper section. If you are moderately fit, you will not have any issues getting to the waterfall.
What else is there to do in the park? A lot! Swimming, Interpretive Programs, Camping, Hiking, Wildlife Viewing, you can even search for gold nuggets in the abandoned mining shafts and tunnels! Our favourite is to take the kids to see the salmon spawning in the Fall. Goldstream Park is also home to some very old and massive trees – some more than 600 years old. Try and wrap around the base with a few friends or family! Always makes for a memorable picture.
The trails and walking paths are vast. They range in difficulty from wheel chair accessible to strenuous hikes for the more adventurous hiker to the top of a mountain- Mt – Finlayson.
Looking for a picnic area? Goldstream Park is a well kept modern provincial park. There is a day picnic area with numerous picnic tables, water taps, covered areas, fire circles, wood stove area and flush toilets close by.
For more info on Goldstream Park, visit the BC Parks Website.