Portrait of Carly Carey, Realtor®

Carly Carey


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Thrilling Bay & Ocean Views!

Departure Bay Real Estate

Departure Bay is a prominent bay in Central Nanaimo. The neighbourhood surrounding this area is also referred to by the same name. One of the biggest reasons for Departure Bay's desirability amongst homebuyers is the incredible oceanside views from the properties themselves. Many homes overlook the BC ferries passing in and out of the bay. As well, lot sizes are often larger in this neighbourhood and offer a variety of architectural styles, ranging from character homes to split-level, and even luxury estates. There's also a modest selection of condos and townhomes available on the real estate market. View the latest properties and homes for sale in Departure Bay below or learn more about Departure Bay real estate.

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Water Views
Central Location

Departure Bay Real Estate Stats

Average Condo Price $853K
Lowest Priced Home $419K
Highest Listing Price $1.6M
Total Departure Bay Listings 18
Avg. Days On Market 59
Avg. Price/SQFT $425

Property Types (active listings)

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Top-Rated Neighbourhoods

Departure Bay Real Estate Highlights

  • 01
    Surreal views overlooking Departure Bay & Newcastle Island
  • 02
    A charming variety of homes across refreshingly quiet enclaves
  • 03
    Vibrant & active community spirit
  • 04
    Direct access to one of Nanaimo's most popular beaches
Life In Departure Bay Departure Bay is the perfect place to take full advantage of Nanaimo's natural outdoor beauty & iconic coastal splendor.
Mere minutes from the water

Departure Bay Overview

The community of Departure Bay is located just minutes from the water. Residents enjoy the easy access to the Departure Bay beach, as well as associated outdoor recreational activities. Water sports enthusiasts enjoy kayaking, boating, swimming, and standup paddle boarding in the area, and there are great nearby hiking spots for the everyday explorer, too. Sitting on the beach watching the sun rise and is also a wonderful luxury that this neighbourhood has to offer. 

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Direct Water Access
Popular Beaches
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Friendly neighbours, pride of ownership

Proud Community Spirit

The Departure Bay neighbourhood is known for its strong sense of community and camaraderie. There is a welcoming neighbourliness amongst residents that many love, and its near proximity to the Departure Bay BC Ferries terminal makes transportation a breeze. And, of course, one of the best parts about living in Departure Bay are the gorgeous ocean views right from your window.

Growing families make up a good percentage of Departure Bay homebuyers, as there are many highly-rated education opportunities for the kids in the region. Nearby schools include Rock City Elementary, Departure Bay Elementary, Cilaire Elementary, and Wellington Secondary.

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Strong Community
Great Schools
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Charming Pockets of Homes


There's so much to see and do in Departure Bay, and the community is one of the larger ones in and around Nanaimo. You also may be familiar with some of Departure Bay's sub-neighbourhoods, such as:

  • Sherwood Forest
  • Stephenson Point
  • Cilaire
  • Lynburn Estates
  • Beach Estates

All of these communities feature some fantastic homes for sale, with a market that mainly comprises charming bungalows and older, multi-level properties. 

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Dynamic Neighbourhoods
Charming Properties

Top Departure Bay Attractions & Amenities

Of course, one of the top attractions in the neighbourhood of Departure Bay is the bay itself. Home to waterfront trails and green spaces along the beach, which are perfect for a stroll anytime of the year. There are also stairs down to the actual beach, which is quite rocky, but again, is quite lovely to take a walk down (particularly in the warmer months). There is, however, often a lot of driftwood on the beach itself, but that doesn't prevent visitors (human or local wildlife) from enjoying the beautiful views. As a note, dogs are allowed on the paved trail, but not on the beach. 

Departure Bay has a number of shops and restaurants located by the waterfront, but for more options, the area's various shopping centers and malls, as well as the Nanaimo downtown, are just a few minutes away. The neighbourhood boasts many parks and green spaces, such as the following:

  • Woodstream Park
  • Wardropper Park (dog park)
  • Departure Bay Centennial Park and Departure Bay Spray Park
  • Kinsmen Park (and playground)
  • Sugarloaf Mountain Park

In the southwest end of Departure Bay is the Nanaimo Golf Club, which is an 18-hole public course. There are also a multitude of small, neighbourhood playgrounds for the kids found all around the residential areas. Children can attend the nearby schools, which include Rock City Elementary School, Departure Bay School, Cilaire Elementary School, and Wellington Secondary School.

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Departure Bay waterfront with small islands in distance
Sunrise over islands and water in Departure Bay, BC

Departure Bay Real Estate Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can you swim at Departure Bay Beach?

A: Yes, you can swim at Departure Bay Beach in the designated swimming area during the warmer months. The beach is also great for wildlife watching, beachcombing, kayaking, and more.

Q: How do I get to Departure Bay from Vancouver?

A: We recommend taking the ferry from Horseshoe Bay to the terminal at Departure Bay. The trip takes approximately 1 hour and 40 minutes. Alternatively, you could also fly in to Nanaimo Airport.

Q: Why is it called “Departure Bay”?

A: The area has had many names over the course of history. It was called “Stiil’nep” by the Snuneymuxw First Nation inhabitants, “Bocas de Winthuysen” by the Spanish explorers, and then later named “Departure Harbour” by the Hudson's Bay Company.

Carly Carey
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If you would like to discuss your central Vancouver Island real estate questions from Lake Cowichan through Qualicum and everywhere in between, please reach out. I love talking about Naniamo real estate and I can’t wait to meet you to discuss your next home with you.