Me and my family as well as two other camping parties decided to spend the Canada day long weekend at The Living Forest Oceanside campground and RV park. The three of us were tenting so we booked well in advance. We stayed in sites T-21, T-23 and T-24. I'll give a quick summary of the pro's and con's of this campsite.
-friendly check in, friendly and fairly prompt communication via email when booking
- beautiful view's from specific sites, especially ours (T-23)
- flush toilets as opposed to outhouses, fairly clean
- hot coin showers ($1 for 5 minutes)
-nice little ice cream stand on grounds, convenient for hot days
-small little beach access area and numerous trails throughout.
-paved roads throughout, great for kids riding bikes and chalk drawing
-decent little playground for younger children.
- not a lot of partying going on considering the crazy number of camp spots.
- NOISE!!The campsite does not allow any "outside" music which means no stereo's or boom boxes etc. This was great in the "keeping with nature" theme the park seems to have but we were unable to enjoy the sounds of the birds chirping etc due to a screaming child in site T20. We were camping with four kids of our own. I am normally a very empathetic person especially when I hear a child crying but this kid SCREECHED at the top of its lungs for hours on ends and the parents did NOTHING to console him/her. And this wasn't just once in a while. It was ALL day and ALL night. I know this is more a complaint about the parents of this child but even if this shrieking child had not ruined two nights of our trip, surely the close proximity of the campsites would have been a deal breaker anyways. I am used to "condo camping" side by side but you could hear everything your neighbors said or did.
- bathrooms. I dislike outhouses and would be willing to stand in line for 45 minutes to use a flush toilet and that's often what I did... Waited in line for the bathrooms. The people to bathroom ratio was not even. They need more toilets.
- wood. They charged $7 for 7 WET pieces of wood. I don't think wood should be something that they make a big fat profit from, it should contribute to the enjoyable camping atmosphere that you are paying for.
- lack of garbage cans. They ask that you not put your campsite garbage into their bathroom garbage cans yet the only garbage cans I could find were near the office. If one is walking their dog on a leash (as we often did) it would be nice to put the dog poo bags we carried somewhere rather than having to carry them all the way to the entrance of the campsite.
- They don't sell a lot of necessity items in their office. While they have ice and overpriced chips or marshmallows, they have no tooth brushes, aspirin, suntan lotion, tooth paste, sanitary supplies, bars of soap or shampoo... Just the little things that one might not think to pack. There is a dollar store a short drive away but again, that involves leaving the campground.
- bugs! We really enjoyed the view from our campsite and the forest area is lovely but the bugs are INSANE. My son had more than 30 bug bites on his body despite rubbing ourselves with fabric softener sheets (which is supposed to keep bugs away) using "off" bug spray and wearing long sleeved shirts and pants! It was insane.
- The cost. $26-$48 a night is the summer price range. Not a steal by any means but not outrageous. Just know before you go, the campsite cost includes only TWO guests, any additional people cost: children 6-17 are an extra $1, extra adults are $4 PER night.
Needless to say, we will not be back anytime soon!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- 53 waterfront acres, 300 sites. Open year round. Rated as one of the two best parks in BC, and in the top 25 in Canada! Located 5 minutes to downtown Nanaimo, a waterfront city of 80,000, and only 10 minutes to ferries. Perfect base camp to explore Vancouver Island. Summer swimming in a pristine river, oceanside full serviced sites, kayak rentals, walking trails, WiFi - even a gourmet coffee deck overlooking the ocean! Reserve online. ... more less