Sunshine Coast

The Sunshine Coast is located on the southern coast of British Columbia, Canada, extending 177km (110mi) between the entrance to Desolation Sound on the northwest and Howe Sound on the southeast.

The rugged mountains bordering these inlets cut it off from direct road connection to the rest of the province, so although part of the British Columbian mainland, it relies on ferry or air transportation.

Welcome to the traditional territories of the Squamish (Skwxwú7mesh), Sechelt (Shíshálh), and Sliammon (Tla’Amin) and Klahoose First Nations. The First Nations people have been on this land since time immemorial. Part of the larger Coast Salish people, they engaged in fishing, hunting, and trade, and were noted for their totem poles, cedar canoes, and unique language. Today, the Coast Salish people continue to contribute culturally and economically to the Sunshine Coast. From artist demonstrations to education about the ecosystems, the First Nations of the Sunshine Coast are ready to share their abundance of history and rich culture.

Overview

Details

Season
December through early April

Location

Contact

Province

Getting There

The Sunshine Coast is located in southwest British Columbia, Canada and stretches 180 km (110 mi) along the Salish Sea from Howe Sound to Desolation Sound.  Overall, it lies just northwest of Vancouver. Although it is part of BC’s mainland, access to the region is by air or by water due to the mountainous terrain.  There are no bridges connecting the Sunshine Coast to Vancouver or Vancouver Island regions.

Driving

If you’re bringing a car:

To bring your vehicle to the Sunshine Coast, you must take a car ferry via BC Ferries’ scheduled service for vehicles and pedestrians from either Vancouver (to Gibsons) and Vancouver Island (to Powell River). These ferries take all vehicles (including bicycles) as well as foot passengers, and pets are welcome too. Check the BC Ferries website for information on fares, schedules and ships’ amenities and services. Extra sailings are added during peak periods. Review schedules closely for your travel dates.

Reservations are available, but not required, on most Sunshine Coast sailings to and from Vancouver and Vancouver Island. Part of the ship is always available on a first come first served basis. Reservations can be very helpful during summer and holidays when you want to sail at a specific time and to avoid long waits at the terminal.

BC Ferries also provides transportation to Texada Island, Keats Island, Gambier Island and between the two halves of the Sunshine Coast (Earl’s Cove/Saltery Bay).

Flights

If you don’t plan to bring a car, skip the boat altogether with a short flight. From the Vancouver International Airport (YVR), you can fly direct to Powell River via Pacific Coastal Airlines, and to Sechelt via Harbour Air or Fly! Coastal. From Vancouver Island, both Sunshine Coast Air and Harbour Air operate regular flights from Victoria and Nanaimo to Sechelt. Not only is this quick and convenient, but it is a beautiful way to experience more the Sunshine Coast’s landscape.

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