Kicking off 2022 – Mountainaire Campground

Camping Review – Mountainaire Campground – May 20-23, 2022

Location: Nanaimo Regional District
Selling Feature: Proximity to Nanaimo River, campground activities
Price per night: $56 + GST
Hookups: 30 amp electrical and water.

Campground sits on 40 acres and offers large, treed sites.

I want to start off this blog with a request for readers to provide me some feedback, I want to make this into a meaningful travel review site for families looking to get out into the world and wanting some feedback from other families who have been there. If you have any suggestions to make this better, please leave it in the comments below. Thanks in advance!

Getting There

We started out camping season with the traditional May Long weekend at Mountainaire campground in beautiful Nanaimo. Booking was made online about 3 months in advance, by then, most sites had already been taken though and I could only find a partial service site, water and electricity. With our larger grey and black water holding tanks though, a long weekend isn’t a problem and there is free sani-dump for registered guests on site. The three night booking for this came out to $176.40 with taxes.

Access to the campground is fairly straightforward, but its important to note that the access road off of Spruston Rd is a right turn only off of Highway one, and comes up on your rather quickly. If heading northbound, you’ll have to do the quick U-Turn route at the Nanaimo River Road. The campground is gravel roads, so can get dusty, of course this helps encourage drivers to slow it down coming into and around the campground.

Campground

The campground itself is quite large, it sits on a 40-acre parcel, the sites are a mix of relatively private and some large double sites with a good mix for those camping with friends and family. Our site didn’t offer much in the way of privacy to the double site next to us, but we were at the end of the road with the rest of the sides protected by trees and bushes and on the awning side of the trailer did feel quite private.

30-amp power was available and site 1 sits nicely at a crossroad with only a double site as the only neighbour.

Check-In and Site Access

Staff at check in were friendly, provided us a map and instructions on getting to our site and the WiFi access. Maneuvering was easy into our booked site and I was backed in and unhooked in about 10-minutes. We always use a surge protector plug and it showed the electrical was not a problem. It is always recommended to use some form of surge protection, I use a Camco Dogbone RV Circuit Analyzer as some campgrounds are known to haphazardly install more electrical sites without permit which can cause problems with the sensitive circuits in the trailers. We were in site # 1 which was just up the road from the playground and at 36’ x 45’ was a nice 1,620sq ft.

Activities and Amenities

Mountainaire offers a host of on and off site activities that are child-friendly. The campground is a short hike from the stunning Nanaimo River. It takes you to a swimming hole called Crystal Bowl. Closer in, the campground has a small general store with basic necessities for those of us who forget small items on their first camping trip of the year, like dish soap, for us. There is a very nice adventure playground, it is a plastic/wood playground that has been well kept and maintained. This is located next to a large field where soccer/Frisbee is being played by families (us too!). The highlight of the long weekend activities was their Saturday evening fireworks. I mean, you don’t expect a lot from a campground fireworks display, but I mean this was amazing, approximately 20-25 minutes long, it honestly was better and more intimate (campground only) then going to Downtown Vancouver for sure. I was thoroughly impressed a campground would spend what was likely thousands for this show so huge kudos to the staff and management.

Conclusion

Mountainaire campground offered good value for money. The campground was well laid out, staff were friendly, sites affordable, and the long weekend fireworks display was simply amazing. The kids enjoyed the playground greatly and would happily run back down there on their own to play. Less then 90 minutes from Victoria, the campground offers easy access from Mid-or-South Island, as well as the Duke Point or Departure Bay BC Ferry terminal. For the price we paid, I’d happily come back for another long weekend, even without the fireworks display, it offered fun and relaxation for the whole family.

Have you been to Mountainaire Campground? Share your thoughts in the comments below. Have questions? Please post them and I will do my best to answer.

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