This town of 2200, at the confluence of the Gold and Heber rivers on the Island’s west side, was built in 1965 for employees of the local pulp mill. Since then the town’s scenic location has made it popular with campers, fishermen, hikers and photographers. The town, located at the western end of Highway 28 form Campbell River, is known as the ‘cave capital of Canada”, for its nearby Upana Caves.
The village of Friendly Cove or Tuquot on nearby Nootka Island is a national Historic Site, where English explorer Captain James Cook first landed in Canada’s Pacific coast and traded with Chief Maquinna and the Mowachaht people in 1778. Later, the Spanish arrived, exploring the coast northwards from Mexico and building a fort near the village. There is a new interpretive centre in the old church, with area artifacts including a gift from the modern-day Spanish government.
The town’s deep sea docks are home to the MV Uchuck, which supplies small communities along the Island’s west coast (and does special cruises on Wednesday and Saturday), as well as to Air Nootka seaplane service.
Gold River Attractions
36.5 km past the Gold River InfoCentre
In the fall watch the spawning salmon past this point.
Conuma River Estuary
38.9 km past the Gold River InfoCentre
Watch local animals like elk, deer, and bear.