Hello Everyone! This summer we are going to be showcasing each of the 9 Traveller Types as outlined by the Canadian Tourism Commission. Last week we wrote about the Free Spirit traveller type and this week we’re going to talk about the Authentic Experiencer. To find out what kind of traveller you are, be sure to take the handy dandy quiz here! According to the CTC, if you’re an Authentic Experiencer:
You enjoy using all of your senses when you explore and really get to know the places you visit. You quickly adapt to personal challenges and risks, easily figuring out how to make the most of every situation. You want to be fully immersed in your travel experience and tend to stay away from group tours and rigid plans.
Authentic Experiencers are most likely to be seen in nature reserves, hiking and enjoying the great outdoors, at a heritage site or a museum. They are most likely to stay at campsites or in homestays, immersing themselves into the local culture.
Nature Reserve: Buttertubs Marsh
As an Authentic Experiencer, you enjoy immersing yourself into local life. Which is why our first stop on the itinerary is Buttertubs Marsh – one of Nanaimo’s most well known bird and wildlife sanctuary! This marsh is a favourite among the locals. Featuring local wildlife, Buttertubs Marsh is a 2km loop trail that encircles the marsh. With a few observation decks sprinkled around the trail, there is ample opportunity for wildlife viewing and bird watching!
World Heritage Site & Hiking Trail: Morden Mine & Morden Colliery Trail
Next up on the list is Morden Colliery Historic Provincial Park, aka Morden Mine. Just east on Modern Road, off Highway 1 (south of Nanaimo), you’ll find artifacts used to mine coal left over from 100 years ago! This historic landmark is nestled among many footpaths that wind through the beautiful, wooded surrounding park. If you’re interested in a longer walk, the trails lead to the Morden Colliery Trail – a 1.2km trail that meanders through the forest featuring ancient ferns, native plants, and even beaver dams!
Gabriel’s Gourmet Cafe
Time to head back into Nanaimo for some good eats! Local hotspot Gabriel’s offers farm fresh food and Asian fusion dishes. You can stop by for lunch in their eatery on Commercial Street, right across from the Nanaimo Museum. Come in to dine and sit amongst the living walls. Have a chat with the chefs as they prepare your food, from fresh ingredients right in front of your eyes.
Museum: Nanaimo Museum
From Gabriel’s, hop across Commercial Street to the Nanaimo Museum where you can completely immerse yourself in Nanaimo’s proud and diverse culture! From First Nations to Coal Miners to Chinese Immigrants, there is so much to learn about our long and fruitful history! The Nanaimo Museum has many permanent exhibits, but they also feature really cool travelling exhibits. For example, until May 31st you can learn all about the Departure Bay area in the exhibit “Discovering Departure Bay”. Over the summer, from June 1st to September 1st, “Canada Day 1” arrives – a travelling exhibit from the Canadian Museum of Immigration!
Friday Evening Market
The newest addition to Nanaimo’s many farmers’ markets, the Friday Evening Market, is a perfect stop before your last destination for the evening. Running from 4pm to 8pm in Diana Krall Plaza, the Friday Evening Market features local produce, baked goods, local art, live music, and much more! For dinner, why not try some fresh, locally caught seafood, charcuterie meats, and/or farm-fresh eggs? This is the perfect stop to pick up some supplies for a truly local dinner while camping overnight at Newcastle Island Marine Provincial Park!
Campsite: Newcastle Island Campsite
With your newly purchased local eats, and camping gear, in tow, climb aboard the Newcastle Island Ferry to your home-for-the-evening. The ferry, which leaves every 30 minutes from Nanaimo’s Maffeo Sutton Park, is a quick 10 minute pickle-boat ride over to Nanaimo’s Marine Provincial Park.
Here, you’ll find everything you need for a truly authentic experience. From 22km worth of trails to discover, beautiful beaches, local wildlife, and rich history, there’s plenty to keep you and your party busy. Pick out one of Newcastle Island’s 18 individual campsites, or 5 group sites, and pitch your tent for the evening.
Camping underneath the stars by the glow of Nanaimo’s city lights, Newcastle Island’s Campsite is sure to satisfy the Authentic Experiencer in you!
This wraps up the sample itinerary for all of you Authentic Experiencers. The above ideas are merely suggestions for you to consider. There’s much, much more to explore in Nanaimo! Even if you aren’t an Authentic Experiencer, check out some of these amazing things that Nanaimo has to offer!
For more information, check out our Authentic Experiencer tag for more ideas on things to see and do in Nanaimo!
– Sarah & Sean