GETTING TO THE SUNSHINE COAST and POWELL RIVER
Click to download this map for the Sunshine Coast from Visitor's Choice Map Guides
The most common way to reach the Sunshine Coast - whether you're heading out of the city or coming over from Comox on Vancouver Island - is via BC Ferries. Yes, you can bring your car! Fares, schedules, reservations, cafeteria information and more can all be found on the excellent BC Ferries web site.
If you are planning to do a 'Circle Tour' of the Sunshine Coast and Vancouver Island, or have family on the Coast and make a lot of trips, BC Ferries offers special discounts based on the type of travelling you plan to do. Coasties are lucky to have access to a special 'BC Experiences' card that provides a 25% discount on a balance-forward basis (you stock your card with a dollar amount of your choice and then use it to pay for trips at the terminal, where the card can also be reloaded, or you can have your account set on auto-load via your credit card). Other cards include the BC Coast Card and Assured Loading Card, all of which can be applied for online at BCFerries.com.
Accessing LANGDALE is via Horseshoe Bay through the Langdale/Sunshine Coast wickets. If you can be reasonably sure of reaching the terminal 30 minutes or more before a departure, the approximate $17 to reserve your space is well worth the investment. In general, ferries on the Horseshoe Bay-Langdale run go every two hours. The boat switches over to the summer schedule on April 1, 2014. This ferry takes approximately 40 minutes for the crossing.
EARL'S COVE-SALTERY BAY
For Powell River, you'll drive 86km on Hwy. 101 - the Sunshine Coast Highway - to reach Earl's Cove. This crossing is slightly longer at 50 minutes and covers 9.5 nautical miles. As you can see below, exceptions to the schedule are the rule :) It pays - boy does it pay - to pick up rack card schedule and keep it in every vehicle you drive. There's nothing worse than mis-timing your arrival at the terminal only to see the boat departing without you and sometimes four hours to kill until the next sailing (afternoons)! This boat also moves to a Summer Schedule on April 1, 2014.
POWELL RIVER-COMOX FERRY
Of course you can also travel to the Sunshine Coast in a clockwise direction, beginning from the Vancouver Island side via the Comox/Little River terminal. This is a long crossing across the Salish Sea (previously known as Georgia Strait) at 1 hour, 20 minutes. There are only four (4) sailings per day on a year-round schedule, so connecting with the Saltery Bay boat is a challenge and is best accomplished and most enjoyable with at least one overnight on the Powell River side of the Sunshine Coast.
FLYING TO THE SUNSHINE COAST?
The following companies fly to the Sunshine Coast: Harbour Air 1.800.665.0212 (Floatplane), Tofino Air 1-877-461-5749 (Floatplane) and Fly! Coastal 604-885-4422 (Sechelt Airport-Victoria Airport). If you would have liked seeing more information about flying to the Coast, please consider asking these outfits to contact Bigpacific.com to expand their information available to the public.
BUSES: COMMERCIAL AND TRANSIT
Motorcoach access is via Malaspina Coachlines 1-877-227-8287, which travels from YVR/Vancouver Airport, through Vancouver and all the way up to Powell River and Lund. Be sure to let them know you'd love to have schedules handy on Bigpacific.com when you call.
For regular bus connections from the Langdale ferry Terminal and Gibsons, Sunshine Coast Transit is a regional transit entity offering regularly scheduled services from Langdale to Halfmoon Bay. It does not run to Pender Harbour or points north. Click on the map for more details of routes, fares and schedules.
- Visitor's Choice Map Guide to the Sunshine Coast (incl. Powell River)
- Sunshine Coast Transit Riders Guide 2012