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Campers peaceful paradise in Goldstream

A natural wonderland of Greater Victoria

By Tim Collins

The trees are massive and majestic, forming a canopy that has sheltered this land for many hundreds of years.

Walk the paths and trails and you’ll discover waterfalls and the meandering river that snakes through the park. As you go on you’ll marvel at the diverse flora that ranges from a riot of wildflowers to 600-year-old Douglas firs to flowering dogwood, lodgepole pine and arbutus.

More than anything, it’s quiet in the campground at Goldstream Provincial Park, so quiet that it’s hard to believe that this pristine area, so divorced from the hustle and bustle of city life, is only minutes away from Greater Victoria.

“We love camping,” said Adelyn Dolding as she eyed her bike, getting ready for her next ride.

Adelyn and her little brother Drew were two of a gaggle of campers who were relaxing at one of the 167 campsites at the Goldstream Park campground over the Victoria Day long weekend.

Her mother, Gillian Dolding, had come to the campground to enjoy the park and the kid-friendly chance to get away from it all.

“It’s a chance for all of us to get away from phones and computers, and the daily routine and just relax,” said Dolding. “We’re here with friends and their kids and it’s just fantastic.”

The two families on this campsite had a plethora of bikes standing by and had equipped all six children with them with walkie talkies.

“The kids love to explore on their bikes. We gave them the walkie talkies and they just roam around. They have friends on other campsites here and together they all go exploring. It’s amazing,” Dolding said.

A few campsites down the road, Pano Skivanos, his wife Lindsay, as well as Stephan Cameron and his family had come travelled to Goldstream Park from Sidney.

“What I love about this place is the fact that you have this incredible, quiet rainforest just minutes away from our home,” said Skrivanos. “The rest of our group went out for a hike and we were left behind to do the dishes, but that’s okay.”

Lindsay settled a little deeper into her reclining chair and nodded.

“I didn’t mind at all. I watched them (the men) do the dishes really hard,” she said with a laugh.

The level of relaxation was palpable.

It was the same kind of story a little further away where we met Ariana Carrasco and her friend Trish Stewart. They’d come from Duncan with their partners to enjoy the park, somewhat negating the convenience experienced by the other campers we’d met.

“It’s really not that far of a drive, but it’s amazing that this is here for people who live so close (in Victoria)” said Carrasco. “It’s so quiet here and our dog just loves it. It’s an adventure.”

The tranquil nature of the park is a big drawing card for the campground, and it’s something that Park staff are determined to maintain.

“There’s no big parties or noise here,” said Chloe Szetesi, one of the park officers working the gate at the park. “We’re really family oriented. People come here because it’s so kid friendly and a really wonderful place to unwind and relax.”

Of course, getting into that prime camping spot requires a little planning. The campground was completely full when we visited and Szetesi advised campers to book at least a week or two in advance.

“It can get very busy, but even when all of our camping sites are full, this place is still very quiet and you really get the feeling that your very much alone, away from it all.”

Reservations for Goldstream Park campground can be made at or by calling 1-800-689-9025.