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The Sunshine Coast, British Columbia, Canada
Standing on the ferry, surrounded by water and wooded hills, I feel like I have gone back in time. Technically, I have.
I took off from Sydney at 10 o’clock on a Monday morning and landed here in Canada at 8 o’clock in the morning on the same day. The joys of crossing the international date line from the west! And so, with these extra hours that I have been given, I want to make the most of my time here.
I’ve been given the challenge of exploring the Sunshine Coast, here in British Columbia, in 48 hours. It turns out the hardest thing is not finding things to do – it’s trying to fit it all in!
If you’re wondering how I go, then you need to check out this video of my time on the Sunshine Coast:
From Vancouver, it’s just a short 30 minute drive to the ferry that you take from Horseshoe Bay across to the Sunshine Coast.
While it’s called a ‘coast’, it actually feels more like a series of islands and inlets than the lengths of beaches we’re used to in Australia. The 180 kilometre stretch is a playground for locals from Vancouver and that means it’s the perfect place for water sports.
I hit the water in a kayak rented from Alpha Adventures. The water is nice and calm but there are lots of areas to explore. You can go close to shore, paddle around islands and or head out on a long expedition.
As I kayak along, seals constantly pop up out of the water and watch me glide past. The water is so clean and the trees come right down to the shoreline. With the sun out, it’s glorious!
There are also some great hikes in the area. I head up the trail to Pender Hill, which takes about 30 minutes to get to the top. The main reason most people walk up here is for the views and, it’s true, you get a fantastic panorama of the area.
For me, though, I enjoy the walk up as much as the summit. There’s wonderful scenery along the way as you go through the trees and over rocks. It feels like you could be in the middle of the wilderness but you’re not far from accommodation – and you’re not even that far from Vancouver!
You can find places on the Sunshine Coast that are a bit harder to get to – and one of them is Chatterbox Falls, at the end of Princess Louisa Inlet. You can only get there by boat and plane and I’ve got a lift with Sunshine Coast Air, which gives me some amazing views from the plane on the way there and back.
Because you can’t drive here, it means it’s not as crowded as some other areas. You can walk along the trails and go right up to the falls and there’s a good chance you’ll be the only person around. It’s a beautiful place and I’m in no rush to leave!
But despite all the activities I’m fitting into my time here, one of the great things the Sunshine Coast offers is the chance to relax. There are small handicraft shops along the road, organic cafes, and wellness retreats. It’s easy just to spend your time pottering around and enjoying the atmosphere for a couple of days.
48 hours is not enough time to do everything and I’m already planning a return trip. When I do come back, I’m going to make sure I get the chance to explore more of these things. It’s easy to spend some time in Vancouver and then pop up the coast for a couple of days away from the city.
For accommodation, I highly recommend the Painted Boat Resort in Pender Harbour