Let’s be honest- who could really say no to a cuddle with a baby goat? One of the lesser known things about Vancouver Island is that the island, from end-to-end, is speckled with unique farm experiences that give you a totally unique perspective of Vancouver Island. From petting zoos to dairy farms, buffalo to mini llamas- each experience has its own unique story that is sure to excite kids and adults alike. A visit to a farm is an excellent way to support the local economy, support ethical farming practices, and buy seasonal produce, which is an awesome way to travel sustainably.
Bringing you and the family that much closer to nature, animals, and heritage experiences- here are some farm activities on Vancouver Island that aren’t to be missed on any trip to the island.
Farm Experiences on Vancouver Island
Petting Farm at Yellow Point
With a farm store full of goods including locally pastured meats, honey, blueberry leaf tea, and wool products- you’ll be in awe of how much variety this adorable farm creates. Their cute and friendly mini farm animals are the real treat, however, and they operate a seasonal petting farm during opening hours where you’ll have the opportunity to get up close and personal with baby goats, mini donkeys, kune kune pigs, and mini horses.
Trail Riding at Paradise Acres
A stunning 125-acre ranch is the perfect backdrop for your trail ride at this family-run ranch located just outside of Nanaimo. With a 360 view of Mount Arrowsmith and Mount Moriarity- this horse ranch has horses for all ages and abilities. The best way to experience Paradise Acres, however, is with an overnight stay at the ranch where you’ll be treated to Island-hospitality in a world class setting.
Barnyard at Holly Hill Farm
North Island-travellers will love Holly Hill Farm, located in the heart of Campbell River. Guests of Holly Hill will have the opportunity to experience a free-range barnyard where you’ll be able to hold chickens, snuggle bunnies, brush goats, and hand-feed their alpacas and horses. If you’re looking for a hands-on farm experience, this is one of the most intimate experiences you can have on Vancouver Island.
Mini Animals at Superior Farms
A neonic-free garden centre located in Parksville, while you’re getting your plants, flowers, and home decor- don’t forget to stop in for a visit with their mini animals. Get up close and personal with their mini goats, mini cows, and more as you coo in awe at these adorable creatures. A family-friendly activity for all that can be done while you run your greenhouse errands.
Ruckle Heritage Farm
Salt Spring Island
On this Gulf Island experience, take a guided tour around this heritage farm while hearing about it’s longstanding history on Salt Spring Island. As you explore the picturesque property, you’ll have the opportunity to play with the farm’s tiny tenants- Nigerian Dwarf Goats. Following your tour, you’ll be given a $10 voucher to spend at their farm stand- where you can shop fresh produce and other local goods.
Self-Guided Tour of Little Qualicum Cheeseworks
A visit to Vancouver Island isn’t complete without a trip to this family-run cheesemaking facility. Guests can partake in a free self-guided tour of the grounds, located on Morningstar Farm, and learn all about their milking robot while you say hi to the many animals on the farm including cows, sheep, goats, and other friendly farm animals. Don’t forget to grab some of their delicious cheese on the way out, or even stop in their cafe for a snack.
Beacon Hill Children’s Farm
You heard us correctly- it is possible to have a farm experience while you are visiting the biggest city on Vancouver Island. The Beacon Hill Children’s Farm is located within the picturesque Beacon Hill Park in the centre of Victoria, and is a great way for kids to interact with animals, and develop a mutual respect for animals through a fun petting zoo experience. We recommend going on a sunshine-filled day to experience the park in all it’s glory.
Water Buffalo at Coleman Meadows Farm
Located in the Alberti Valley, Coleman Meadows Farm is home to a happy (and very cute) herd of grass-fed Water Buffalos. A truly magnificent animal to see in person, the farm allows visitors and also features seasonal flowers alongside their farm store of water buffalo meats, gelato, yogurt and cheese. They are open to the public on Saturdays from 10-2.
Woosterville Mini Llama Farm
A family-run llama farm with tours available by appointment, walk around their land with llamas of all shapes and sizes (and personalities to boot). Each llama has unique characteristics, and your sure to find your llama soulmate here. Located in the beautiful Cowichan Valley, these adorable llamas are not to be missed.
We hope these ideas help spark some inspiration for your next farm-inspired trip to Vancouver Island. While we may be known for our trails, coastlines, and adventure- farm experiences are a unique way to get involved with our local culture, support sustainable farming practices, and practice responsible tourism through support of local farming institutions. Here’s to your next trip on Vancouver Island, filled with cuddles with farm animals, local produce, and picturesque trail rides.