Coastal & Inland Communities of the Cowichan Valley

The boundaries of the Cowichan Valley region are not strictly defined on a map, however they generally encompass the southern coastline of Cowichan Bay to the northern edge of the Cowichan Lake area. The main communities within the valley include Shawnigan, Mill Bay, Cobble Hill, Cowichan Lake and Duncan.

Its name comes from the Cowichan First Nations who have inhabited the area for thousands of years. The valley has rich Indigenous heritage and the Cowichan Tribes play an essential role in the region's cultural fabric. 

The scenic drive from Shawnigan to Duncan offers a delightful journey through diverse landscapes. As you embark on this drive, you'll experience the beauty of the regions lush forests, fertile farmland, rolling terrain and captivating ocean views. Highway 1 is also known as the Trans-Canada Highway which provides a meandering route as you head North through charming rural countryside, towering trees and glimpses of the shimmering waters of the Saanich Inlet and Cowichan Bay.  The vistas of the rugged coastline, farmland, vineyards and orchards are breathtaking. 

There are plenty of local farms, orchards, and vineyards along the journey where you can immerse yourself in the local flavors. Roadside produce stands are abundant with fresh local fruits and vegetables. The area is renowned for its agricultural abundance and fertile fields.

Here is a small breakdown for some of the communities you will find along the way.


From serene lakes to mature forests, this area offers a respite from the bustle of the city life and provides a perfect setting for relaxation, adventure and exploration. Shawnigan is blessed with scenery that will leave you in awe. Natures beauty is immense here. The crown jewel of thisidyllic town is Shawnigan Lake. The body of water spans approximately 7 kilometers in length and is pristine for a myriad of water activities including swimming, kayaking and fishing. 

The Kinsol Trestle is a popular spot to take a leisurely stroll along the spectacular wooden railway bridge or  explore the hiking trails along the Kokshila river. Nearby mountains offer challenging terrain for climbers seeking panoramic views from summits. Old Baldy is a favourite amongst the locals.

Shawnigan embraces an artistic and cultural scene with numerous galleries, studios and workshops scattered througout the town. Beyond its natural beauty, the village exudes a strong sense of community and warmth hosting a range of events, markets and festivals. 

Mill Bay:

A coastal town along the shores of the Saanich Inlet that boasts stunning views and picturesque waterfront properties. Mill bay serves as a gateway to the exciting island adventures. The community is situated approximately 30 kilometers North of Victoria. A coastal setting with a blend of small town charm can be found here.

Scenic boat tours are offered here that explore the surrounding islands and diverse marine life. The waterfront boasts boutique shops, sweet cafes and restaurants. 

The heart of the area is the Mill Bay Marina. Its a popular spot for boaters and tourists. The marina offers moorage facilities, boat rentals and essential amenities.

There are numerous opportunities for outdoor recreational activities in the surrounding hills and forests. Mt.Tzoulhalem is a hot spot those seeking for stunning views. 

Mill bay has a close knit community with a strong sense of pride and involvement. It is a lovely place to live whether your are seeking adventure or a peaceful retreat.

 Cobble Hill: 

Situated in between Duncan and Mill Bay lies Cobble Hill with its picturesque farmland. It is renowned for its distilleries, wineries and vineyards where you can indulge in wine tastings and tours. The fertile soil and warm climate make itvery suitable for grape cultivation.

The quaint village center is adorned with charming shops and eateries.

Nestled amidst the rolling hills, this rural haven offers a myriad of outdoor activities from hiking, cycling, golfing and horseback riding. 

Cobble Hill Mountain is a prominent landmark here with scenic viewpoints of thesurrounding area. 

The area is known for its strong agricultural heritage and holds an annual fair displaying the cultural traditions. 

There are a range of amenities to serve its residents including local schools, grocerty stores, restaurants and many businesses. Despite its rural setting, it is conveniently located close to larger urban centers that have healthcare facilities and more services to offer. 

Cobble Hill offers a peacful lifestyle in a rural setting where residents can enjoy a slower pace of life surrounded by stunning landscapes.

Cowichan Station: 


Walking through the streets here will transport you to a bygone era with its charming Victorian homes, quaint cottages and rustic farmhouses. Cowichan Station is known for its well preserved heritage buildings that harken back to its early days as a bustling railway hub.  The community is commited to preserving its historic architecture and provides a unique sense of character that offers countless opportunities for appreciation and photography.

The iconic railway station stands as a reminder of its former glory. The station now houses a charming tea farm and cafe.

The pride of this region is the Koksilah River Provincial Park.  It features hiking trails that wind through old growth forests and the rivers cascading waters with lush vegetation. This tranquil oasis is ideal for picnics and birdwatching or just immersing yourself in the beauty of the surroundings.

The Hub at the Cowichan Station is a central place for all ages to come together for social, economic and health benefits. The Cowichan Station Area Association, with support of the CVRD, School District 79 and other funding partners have transformed the building into a vibrant volunteer run community centre serving the locals across the valley.

There is a sense of camaraderie fostered here amongst the residents. Whether you're strolling the streets, admiring the architecture or immersing  yourself in the arts and local culture, Cowichan Station will capture the heart of all who visit this enchanting place.

You can find a link to their website by clicking their logo.

Cowichan Bay:  

A seaside haven with its coastal allure. Cowichan Bay is a true gem for nature enthusiasts.

This long standing fishing village is thriving with local fisherman unloading their catch on the wharf. You can take a fishing charter here to experience the thrill of reeling one in yourself. 

The waters surrounding the bay are teeming with marine life including seals, sea lions, otters and a rich variety of seabirds in their natural habitat. 

The Estuary Nature Center provides educational exhibits and interactive displays showcasing the diverse flora and fuana. You can participate in guided nature walks and learn about the bay's ecological importance and sustainable fishing practices.

Cowichan Bay offers stunning views where fishing boats bob gently on the water. Its a common spot to find kayakers paddling through the bays calm waters or whale watching tours seeking to spot the majestic Orcas. You can take a leisurely stroll along the marina boardwalk to soak in the views of the bay. 

The village is full of arts and crafts with artisan shops, galleries and boutiques. There are many delicacies to be found at the local eateries that line the the streets.  The artistic atmosphere adds an extra layer of charm to the village making it a haven for collectors.

The Maritime Centre provides a glimpse into the the history of the region. It showcases the traditional boat building techniques and history of the maritime industry. 

Cowichan Bay offers a harmonious blend of heritage, nature and community spirit. The serenity of the bay creates an unforgettable coastal experience.


Recognized as one of Canada's top cultural destinations, Duncan offers a wonderful blend of history, art and outdoor adventure. 

Known as the 'City of Totems' for its rich Indigenous heritage. Duncan is a vibrant urban center that proudly showcases an impressive collection of over 80 totem poles that each tell a unique story of the regions culture. Here you can find the Quw'utsun' Cultural and Conference Centre that teaches the traditions and artistry behind the intricate carvings. Duncan boasts a thriving art scene with numerous galleries and studios where local Artists present their creations.

The streets in the village centre are lined with boutiques, galleries, cafes and local shops offering fresh produce, artisianal products and live music. There is also a busy Farmers Market where you can savor local produce and handmade crafts. 

The Station Street Arts Centre houses several galleries and art classes. They hold an annual Fine Arts Show celebrating the regions artistic talent.  

There is a thriving food scene here that will satisfy any palate. Establishments take pride in using locally sourced ingredients from the areas agricultural bounty.  Farm to table restaurants provide a culinary experience with local wines, cheeses and fresh seafood. 

Surrounded by breathtaking landscapes, Duncan has plenty of outdoor recreational activities with its many trails as well as its access to Mount Tzouhalem and Maple Mountain that have stunning vistas of the valley.  The Cowichan River is perfect for kayaking, fishing and swimming.

Duncan has various festivals and events throughout the year including the Cowichan Valley Wine Festival plus Summer and Winter Solstice celebrations that are highlights of the region.

Duncan effortlessly combines its heritage with warm community spirit and offers a little something for everyone. Its truly a gem of Vancouver Island. 

New Listing: Cowichan Station

4465 Phipps St. - $699,900   MLS#935114

Click on the Image For full Details
Duncan A well sited 2 bedroom, 1 bathroom home nestled on a level 1.66 acre treed lot, surrounded by nature in a rural setting. Centrally situated in the heritage community of Cowichan Station with its local shops, 'The Hub', Sunrise Waldorf School, Bright Angels Park, Blue Grouse Estate Winery and the Cowichan Golf Club all nearby. A perfect escape from the city with convenient highway access to neighbouring towns of Duncan and Cobble Hill which offer all services and amenities.  Just under 900sqft with two bedrooms, one 4-pc bath, a laundry room, a living room iwth patio doors to the deck, a spacious kitchen with plenty of cabinetry & counter space and a charming sunroom. Recently updated with thermal windows, a metal roof with fir and oak floors throughout. There is a detached storage shed handy for all your Cowichan River toys and gardening equipment. Bring your dreams and expand on this gorgeous property, downsize and retire as it is or make this lovely spot your first home!

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