Secluded Bays and Inlets
The Sunshine Coast is a popular destination and a route to Princess Louisa Inlet, Desolation Sound and the Great Bear Rainforest. Stretching from Howe Sound to Desolation Sound, the Sunshine Coast is renowned for casual hospitality and endless sunsets as you journey through secluded bays, striking inlets and tight archipelagos, with enticing communities and full service marinas along the way.
Meet the First Nations
The Sunshine Coast is home to three First Nations: Tla’amin, Shíshálh, and Skwxwu7mesh who have lived on the Salish Sea since time immemorial. They continue to paddle and fish these waters and welcome visitors to their territories. Visit the Tems Swiya Museum in Sechelt, the Tla’amin Salmon Hatchery north of Powell River, or the Sunshine Coast Museum & Archives in Gibsons to explore First Nations’ history and culture. Even better, take a cultural paddling tour with I’Hos Cultural Tours or Talaysay Tours.
It’s an island, sort of
There are no roads to the Sunshine Coast. Your first stop is Gibsons, a United Nations most liveable community, with hospitality that reaches right down to your boat. Smitty’s Oyster House is a popular destination. Tie up right in front and sit at the long table with newfound mates. Molly’s Reach, famous from TV’s The Beachcombers show, is at the top of the wharf. Stroll through the shops and eateries of the Landing, where a statue of George Gibsons gazes over the harbour.
The thickly forested coastline hides world-class hiking and mountain bike trails that take you from the water’s edge to the mountaintops. Your next port is Sechelt. There is a float for visiting boaters adjacent to its downtown. However, the best way to visit Sechelt is via the Agamemnon Channel and Sechelt Inlet. North of Sechelt, Secret Cove and Smugglers Cove offer a choice of destination marinas with full services, high amenities and secluded anchorages. The tide pools are strewn with purple starfish. The fishing only gets better and better and marine life more abundant.
The mid-section of the Sunshine Coast is a miniature maze of islands, bays and fjords. Maderia Park and Pender Harbour are destinations in themselves, with many marinas, access to seaside villages and to a range of ocean and land experiences. Resorts and marinas here offer accommodation, bicycles, kayaks, and guided hikes. Follow the link to marine parks to find wilderness anchorages.
Explore the archipelagos, Jervis Inlet and make a must-visit to Princess Louisa Inlet, described as the “most beautiful anchorage in the world,” with 2100 metre-high (6500 feet) high granite cliffs and more than 60 waterfalls. Sunshine Coast Tours offers an informative 5-hour tour to where Chatterbox Falls cascades into Princess Louisa Inlet. Egmont offers plenty of berths and hospitality. It is well worth the trip down Sechelt Inlet to Porpoise Bay where a berth, a pub and fine casual dining await. Be sure to ask about safely navigating Skoocumchuk tidal rapids. They are rightfully one of BC’s most visited natural wonders.
The Salish Sea is bisected here by lengthy Texada Island. Stop at the sailing club and go ashore to experience an island culture in transition from forestry and mining to a haven for rustic living. The passage north to Powell River is protected by Texada. Powell River is the last sizeable community until Prince Rupert, which is close to Alaska. You will find a full range of services, amenities and outdoor activities. This is a jumping off point for the Fjords, Islands and Passages Region. You are in extraordinary fishing waters now. The last haven on the Sunshine Coast is at Lund, where you will find a berth, a bed and a beer at the Lund Hotel Marina. Around the peninsula in Okeover Bay are marinas, a resort and the exquisite Laughing Oyster Restaurant. If you are heading further north, get your amenity comforts while you can.
Relaxation guaranteed. Only accessible by ferry, boat or float plane, the Sunshine Coast is a popular tourist destination with B.C. locals, especially in summer months. Spend time off points and underwater structure fishing tidal eddies for salmon looking for baitfish. Setting traps for prawns can be very productive in deeper protected water along the coast. Spend a day out, while the prawn traps soak, searching for evidence of bait or salmon on the calm, protected waters of the Georgia Strait, located between the mainland and Vancouver Island.
Main image at top of page: Sunrise, credit Destination BC/Albert Nomandin