Tuwanek is an interesting sub-community on the Coast. Lumped in with Sechelt, Tuwanek is out at the very end of Sechelt Inlet Road on the east side of the inlet. The 10km moseying road winds past forest, parks, the Sandy Hook enclave, Tillicum Bay, Lambs Bay and the turnoffs for the Mt. Richardson/Tetrahedron Plateau recreational areas before terminating at one of the Coast’s sweetest little beaches.
Tuwanek is the definition of ‘sleepy’ as hamlets go. Residents love the area for the semi-bush surroundings – it’s very wild considering the easy road accessibility and proximity to the main boating channel of Sechelt Inlet. Sailboats swing at anchor, canoes, kayaks and rowboats festoon the beaches and rocky shores, and gulls and shorebirds poke along the shore, adding their voices to the sound of the breeze in the trees and the stays clinking on boats.
The community of Tuwanek is made up of work-at-homers, retirees, and a number of accommodation businesses. Historically there has been divided opinion about the proliferation of short term rentals, which range from tiny wooden cottages to a shoreside behemoth that sleeps 20.
My take is that non-tourism business residents offer a cautious welcome to guests in the community if they come with a spirit that respects the sleepy nature of this micro-community, and with a desire to fit in rather than dominate. It’s a testament to Tuwanek that often people who visit for a vacation later relocate and join the hamlet’s stewards in protecting this unique part of the Sunshine Coast.
Activities in Tuwanek
Tuwanek is the jumping off point for Sechelt Inlet adventures by kayak – kayaks can be rented just up the road at Lamb’s Bay at Pedals and Paddles Kayak and Paddleboard Rentals – or put in at Lamb’s Bay beach access in Tuwanek or at the road’s terminus near Tuwanek Trail (Tuwanek Spit). If you are going out on the water, make sure you are in a legal space to leave your vehicle; if going out overnight or for a multi-night exploration of the Sechelt Inlet Marine Parks system, it’s best to park at Pedals and Paddles and pay the nominal launch/parking fee.
Tuwanek is also home to great dive sites ranging from beginner to intermediate. Between the shoreline and Lamb Island the sandy bottom and relatively shallow depth makes for a great beginner dive with plenty to look at. For more skilled divers, the HMS Chaudiere is the first Destroyer Escort to be sunk as an artificial reef in BC, back on December 5, 1995. A deep dive, it is strongly recommended to have a Chaudiere expert diver along on any visits to this impressive reef with multiple entry and exit points. (Review: http://www.best-scuba-diving-vacations-in-british-columbia.com/chaudiere.html)
Here’s a great video of diving the Chaudiere:
Tuwanek is dog-friendly for well-socialized and obedient dogs, and masters who carry cleanup bags. Do NOT allow pets on to private property and DO clean up, whether above or below tide line on the beaches. I mean, ewww, I shouldn’t have to tell you that, right?