kalpilin | Pender Harbour

ḵalpilin (Pender Harbour) is located on the traditional territory of the shíshálh Nation. Currently, the population of ḵalpilin - Pender Harbour is fewer than 3,000 people. 

If you want to visit a true water-centric community, ḵalpilin is a must. Located north of Sechelt along Highway 101, ḵalpilin is the name of a harbour, which is surrounded by small communities such as Madeira Park (salalus), Kleindale, and Garden Bay (séxw?ámin). These small communities form a horseshoe around the ocean coastline and are interspersed with freshwater lakes. There are plenty of outdoor adventures to be had in and around ḵalpilin, and like many parts of the Sunshine Coast, the area is also home to a substantial artist population which makes it a great place to find live music, galleries, and artist studios. 

The Pender Harbour Visitor Information Booth in Madeira Park is open in the summer, 5 days a week from Wednesday - Sunday. Access public washrooms and free parking, plus our helpful staff at the Visitor Information Booth can help you with activity and event suggestions, maps and directions, and accommodation or transportation if needed.

Curious to learn more about the place names? The she shashishalhem language is the traditional language spoken by the shíshálh Nation which is a Coast Salish dialect. Follow the link below to learn more and listen to audio recordings for pronunciation.

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Things to Do

There are many ways to enjoy the natural surroundings of Pender Harbour. Kayak or stand-up paddleboard in the calm waters of the many lakes in the area (including Katherine Lake, Hotel Lake, and more), or along the intricate coastline of Pender Harbour’s many bays. There are various paddle sport rental companies and tours available in the area.

Fishing is also a popular activity in Pender Harbour, where anglers cast their rods to catch salmon, lingcod, and more. If you’re into scuba diving, bring your gear and check out world-class diving spots like the Agamemnon Channel, which is the piece of water between Pender Harbour and Nelson Island.

Hikers can head up Pender Hill or Mount Daniel, both of which feature amazing views of the waters below. And Francis Point Provincial Park is a great hike for almost all skills and fitness levels—just take extra care on wet days as there are smooth, rocky areas that can be quite slippery. Keep an eye out for arbutus trees, local birds, and a small lighthouse in this park.

Mountain bikers can jump onto the Suncoaster Trail which goes from Homesite Campground to the beginning of Egmont Road, or they can try the trails crisscrossing through Kleindale and Middlepoint. If you’d prefer to hit the links, golfing is available at the Pender Harbour Golf Club.

You can also explore the local arts scene and discover unique pieces to take home at places such as the Harbour Gallery or FibreWorks Studio & Gallery. Looking for some R&R? Indulge yourself in spa services at places such as the Painted Boat Resort followed by a relaxing lounge in their Spa Serenity Garden.

Where to Stay

Pender Harbour is home to resorts, hotels, motels, and B&Bs of all kinds, ranging from cabins in the forest to sprawling suites with ocean views of the harbour. Due to the idyllic scenery and all that Pender Harbour has to offer, many of these options can fill up far in advance, so it’s best to reserve accommodations in advance.

There are numerous campgrounds in the area available for both tents and vehicles/RVs, and boaters can also anchor in and around the harbour, plus many local marinas offering transient moorage.

Food + Drink

Restaurants, cafes, and bakeries can be found throughout Pender Harbour. Madeira Park is where you’ll find the most options, but several resorts in Pender Harbour offer dining opportunities.

Looking for groceries? You can pick up the essentials in Madeira Park at the IGA Grocery or the Oak Tree Market.

Events

Pender Harbour has plenty of coastline, and many community celebrations are held on or near the water. Annual events like the April Tools Wooden Boat Challenge, May Day Festival, and the Pender Harbour Days Boat Parade are long-standing community events loved by locals and visitors alike. And the Garden Bay Sailing Club holds weekly Harbour Races which are visible from the shore.

There are also great music events to check out in Pender Harbour. These include the Pender Harbour Blues Festival (June) and the Pender Harbour Chamber Music Festival (August).

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