If you’re lucky, you may have gotten word about this remarkable place called Port Alberni! Nestled in a valley surrounded by majestic mountains, the ocean breeze, and a thriving temperate rainforest, Port Alberni is a place you want to mark on your map. But, where exactly is Port Alberni located?
In Canada, the farthest province to the west is British Columbia. On the southern end of British Columbia is a large island called Vancouver Island. Don’t be fooled - the actual city of Vancouver is on the mainland, a short ferry ride away. The northern tip of the island has towns like Port Hardy, Port McNeill and Sayward. South Island has BC’s capital city Victoria, along with Duncan and Ladysmith. However, the mid-section of the island is the most interesting.
Right in the heart of Vancouver Island is the city of Port Alberni. Its west-central location has it placed between coastal communities like Ucluelet and Tofino on one side and Parksville and Nanaimo on the other. Port Alberni is located within the Alberni Valley, one of many communities within the Alberni Clayoquot Regional District. Despite being inland, the deep Alberni Inlet reaches inside Vancouver Island from the Barkley Sound, the Broken Group Islands and the open Pacific Ocean. It provides the Alberni Valley with a contrasting landscape between the ocean and the top of the mountain ridges. This also makes it accessible by water.
Port Alberni is positioned ideally for access from other island communities. It doesn't matter where you are on the island, it is straightforward to find Port Alberni. To the east along Highway 4 is Cathedral Grove within MacMillan Provincial Park, Cameron Lake, and the seaside communities of Qualicum Beach and Parksville. Past Parksville you will find Nanaimo, where the B.C. Ferries link to other islands and mainland Vancouver. Continuing northbound from Qualicum Beach, you will find the Comox Valley with it's international airport, Courtenay, and Campbell River.
Back in Port Alberni, westward on Highway 4 will lead to Tofino and Ucluelet, or travel south either down the inlet or along Franklin River Road to Bamfield. If you are familiar with any of these places, then finding Port Alberni is as simple as going North, South, East, or West until you get there! Seaplane services to Vancouver are also accessible from Port Alberni, making it even easier to get to by land, air, or sea.