Sunshine Coast: Gibsons

The last leg of our BC Coastal Circle Tour was also the reason why we planned a circle tour in the first place. Our super generous friends Nancy and Gordon offered to let us use their home in Gibsons while they were away on vacation for a week, so we extended our Vancouver Island trip to draw a big round circle through the beautiful Sunshine Coast.

After traveling for a little more than a week, both Big Bro and Little Bro were getting home sick. So it was a godsend that my parents were able to join us in Gibsons for the last half.

Although Sunshine Coast extends north to Powell River and ends at Desolation Sound, I feel the northern section that requires another ferry ride is distinct and separate, since most tourists from the Lower Mainland, us included, keep to the southern section. We’ve visited Gibson and Sechelt multiple times, but have only spent 1 night in Powell River so far (an error we hope to correct in the future!).

Since we have so much material to share on Sunshine Coast, we will split this post into 3 sections by proximity to Langdale Ferry Terminal (where visitors from Vancouver land).

Hopkins Landing

Almost right off the Langdale Ferry Terminal sits Hopkins Landing. We’ve never paid any attention or visited this place before, but since we were big on crabbing this trip, we couldn’t miss the closest public fishing pier.

Hopkins Landing Pier

There’s limited parking at the end of a small road, but we were lucky to find the last couple spots available.

The pier was a narrow, elevated platform with railing on only one side, which made it slightly sketchy.

Grandparents didn’t let Little Bro out of the buggy. Ferry in the background.

Thankfully, a flight of stairs led to the sandy/rocky beach. As a bonus, since we visited at low tide, the boardwalk on the pier provided the perfect shade away from the scorching sun.

While Grandpa worked the crab traps from the pier, I took out my paddleboard to put in the ring traps away from shore.

After almost 2 hours of hard work, we got… nothing. It was definitely a mistake to come at low tide, since there is generally more activity at high tide.

No crabs!

We came back to the same spot that evening at high tide, and we definitely got more action. But on the flip side, the pier was taken over by a bunch of rowdy high schoolers diving from the pier, playing loud music and sharing what looked like a bong.

We kept our distance and threw in our traps from the sides, and actually got quite a few undersized crabs.

If we stayed longer, I think we might have caught some keepers. But the scene wasn’t our vibe, so we left early.

Of all the piers we tried on Sunshine Coast this trip, Hopkins Landing at high tide was probably the most promising given the number of crabs we were pulling up. It would be ideal if we could visit at high tide in the morning when the pier is more quiet.

Gibsons Seawalk

Gibsons Seawalk is a 1.2km stretch of easy walking path between Gibsons Public Market and Armours Beach. Partly paved and partly gravel, the Seawalk is stroller friendly. The easiest access point is from the Public Market. Other access points in the middle involves steep grade or stairs.

Fighting the steep slope in the middle of the Seawalk

It’s worth a visit for the views of the harbour and mountains, and to stretch out those toddler legs.

Gibsons Public Market

Gibsons Public Market is a tiny little market with lots of charm. It only houses a handful of merchants on the lower level, an eating area and a small bistro on the upper level, and a tiny little aquarium which we didn’t get to see because it only opens a few days a week.

Bonniebrook Beach

Based on Nancy and Gordon’s recommendation, we visited Bonniebrook Beach for a bonfire dinner. The long rocky beach felt hyper-local, since it’s somewhat tucked away on the edge of Gibsons and never featured on the travel brochures.

There was a lot of space to spread out on this large beach, which was nice. Nancy and Gordon already claimed a little nook as their little base where they frequented.

There weren’t washrooms available here, and no running water though, so we had to lug our supplies in.

Secret Beach

One evening after dinner, we decided to walk to Secret Beach to explore. It was a nice stroll, but we were keenly aware of the lack of elevated sidewalk.

Lots of deers wandering around in Gibsons

After getting to the trailhead, it’s a quick downhill to the beach.

It’s another pebbly beach, smaller than Bonniebrook and less accessible due to the descent. But also due to the relative isolation, it feels nice and intimate.

To-do list:

Soames Hill Park

This is a part of our 2022 BC Coastal Circle Tour. Read on!

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