Sun, February 7, 2016

Naramata, B.C.
Saturday, February 6, 2016
Intermittent clouds


Discover Naramata is a volunteer organization, it acts as an informal Chamber of Commerce. Here are the most common questions we are asked about the village and the surrounding area.

Is there camping in Naramata?
There are no commercial campgrounds near the village. At Chute Lake, 15 km. from Naramata and at a much higher elevation, there is a rustic Forest Service campground with pit toilets, and nearby Chute Lake Resort also has campsites. In the village, the Naramata Centre has a campground, but it is only for people registered in their programs.

How big is Naramata?
The area has an estimated population of 2,000. Many people work in Penticton, the adjacent city, population 33,000.

When was Naramata founded?
Naramata was founded in 1907 by John Moore Robinson, a land promoter who also founded the communities of Summerland and Peachland. He obtained the land from rancher Tom Ellis. Robinson divided the area on the benchlands around the townsite into five acre parcels, and promoted the orchard industry. Orchards thrived due to the hot, dry summers, cool nights and plentiful water for irrigation.

Is there a beach?
Naramata’s Manitou Park has the largest public beach. There are changerooms, washrooms, playground, and horseshoe pitch. No fires. No dogs, please. There is a dog beach adjacent to Manitou Park, just around the corner on the southeast side.

What is grown in Naramata?
Naramata is foremost an agricultural community. The Sunfresh Cooperative Packing House used to occupy a large parcel of land in the village centre, but was closed in 2008 due to the decreasing amount of fruit being grown in the local area. The building suffered structural damage and was demolished in 2011. To date no buyer has come forward to develop the site.
While tree fruits were the primary crop of yesteryear, the past decade has seen the emergence of a strong wine industry on the so-called “Naramata Bench”. Vineyards are increasing in number every year, and account for the largest number of cultivated acres. There are currently more than 24 wineries that claim “the Bench” as their home.

When is the best time to see the blossoms or find fresh fruit?
The exact times vary from year to year depending on the weather and from tree to tree depending on the variety. However, from about April 7 through May 20, Naramata’s orchards spring to life with a wide array of color and fragrance. From the end of June through early October you’ll find boughs heavy with the sweet, ripe harvest!

As a general rule, you can expect to find blossoms or ripe fruit as follows:

Fruit Blooms Picking
Apricots April 7 – April 30 July 15 – Aug. 10
Cherries April 15- May 10 June 25 – July 20
Peaches April 15- May 10 July 30 – Sept. 1
Pears April 20 – May 16 Aug. 15 – Sept. 15
Plums April 20 – May 16 Sept. 1 – Sept. 20
Apples April 25 – May 20 Aug. 1 – Oct. 10

Is there public transport?
The Naramata Community Bus is operated by Berry & Smith Trucking, which also operates the Penticton Transit System. The bus runs between Naramata and Penticton three times a day, with a fourth daily trip in the summer, six days per week.

Can I get there from Kelowna?
The easiest way to get to Naramata is via Penticton. However, for the adventurous, there is a gravel road from Kelowna, best suited to summer travel only in vehicles with adequate ground clearance.

From Lakeshore Drive in Okanagan Mission, take Chute Lake Road to the Gillard Forest Service Road. Follow Gillard Forest Service Road for almost 9 km. Turn right on the Kettle Valley Railway right of way, and follow the KVR for 11 km. to Chute Lake. Just past Chute Lake Resort, the Chute Lake Road down to Naramata is the right turn after driving over the small railway bridge that crosses Chute Creek. Follow Chute Lake Road for 11 km. Turn left at North Naramata Road, Naramata village is 4 km. south

There is no time savings going from Kelowna to Naramata via Chute Lake, both routes take over one hour.

What is the Kettle Valley Railway?
The KVR was a rail line completed in 1915. It provided a transportation link between the southeast corner of British Columbia, an area rich in mineral resources, with coastal BC, the economic and population hub. The railway was one of the last built in North America with virtually non-mechanized means, using the sweat and muscle of men and horses. It was also a railway built through some of the toughest terrain on the continent. Gradually, sections of the railway were closed, as highways were built into the interior of BC, and the cost of winter maintenance on the railway soared. The section of KVR above Naramata saw its last train in the early 1970s. The tracks and ties were removed less than ten years later. The province of British Columbia then acquired the right-of-way from Canadian Pacific Railway and the KVR is now part of the 16,000 kilometre Trans Canada Trail system.

What is Naramata’s weather?
Generally speaking, the area enjoys hot, dry days with cool nights in the summer. The winter is mild, with temperatures hovering around the freezing point. Most years feature a few weeks of temperatures below -10˚C., when local winemakers can produce ice wines of high calibre.

What kind of shopping is available?
Naramata’s main service centre is Penticton, a city 16 km. (10 miles) south. Naramata does have a general store, post office, liquor agent, a few fine arts, artisan and craft shops, a lavender farm, bookstore at the Naramata Centre, and a clothing store featuring locally designed and sewn garments. A full business directory is on the rest of this website-open the section page that covers the business you are looking for.
There is no retail gasoline outlet in Naramata, so please check your gauge before heading out from Penticton!

What is the lay of the land?
Naramata village occupies perhaps 100 acres of gentle sloping land along the shore of Okanagan Lake. The village is flanked on the north and south by benches, several stepped plateaus occupied by orchards, vineyards and meandering country roads.

Is there a Chamber of Commerce in Naramata, or somewhere to get tourist information?
Yes. Discover Naramata operates a tourist info centre in the former Naramata Garage, across Robinson Ave. from the general store in the “downtown core”, as we like to call it. The info centre is open May 15 to October daily, except Monday/Tuesday in the “shoulder season”. Most information is available on this website, however.
Naramata is an unincorporated community, governed by the Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen, similar to a U.S. county. Tourist information is available on our LINKS page, and regionally through Tourism Penticton on Vees Drive in Penticton.

If you have specific tourism related questions, please look through the list of businesses on our Visitor Directory Pages for listings of services that may be able to answer your questions.

How is the fishing?
There is a public wharf into Okanagan Lake where some people try their luck for the Kokanee, a small inland salmon. Serious fishers are more apt to drive 30 minutes to Chute Lake, a high elevation mountain lake, 20 minutes from Naramata.

What about the birdlife?
The South Okanagan is well-known for its diversity of birds as well as many rarities found nowhere else in Canada. Take a walk along the KVR to the Little Tunnel to see Canyon Wrens, Rock Wrens and White-throated Swifts. Turkey Vultures, Osprey, and Bald Eagles are often seen soaring above the village while Manitou Park can be enjoyed for its many songbirds and woodpeckers, including the rare Lewis’ Woodpecker. See the Meadowlark Festival website:

Does Naramata have any nightlife?
As you’ve probably gathered from this website, Naramata is a tranquil village, with limited commercial activity. For nightlife, The Naramata Heritage Inn & Spa, and Naramata Pub have occasional live weekend entertainment. Some wineries also feature live music in conjunction with promotional events, or as part of their restaurant offerings.