The Bay of Fundy is one of the natural wonders of the world. Home to the world’s highest tides, this massive bay in Canada spans 16,000 square km (6177) miles between Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.
The tides range change 16 meters (52 feet) with an average range of 35 to 55 feet moving 100 billion tons of water every six hours. In certain places, it recedes as much as 5 kilometers letting visitors walk for hours on the ocean floor. There are many ways to experience these immense tides, and we think it is time we showed you all of them!
Adventures on the Bay of Fundy
With vaccines rolling it, there is light and hope at the end of the tunnel and as we dream of planning for our travels this summer, Nova Scotia is at the top of our list.
Located between the provinces of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, we have had many Bay of Fundy adventures. These are our favourite adventures we had in each province.
- Note: Some activities may be affected by covid-19. Check with each attraction for opening hours and activities. Things are constantly changing as Nova Scotia moves into different stages of Covid so be sure to check before you go. Let’s hope everything opens up for summer. In the meantime, let’s start dreaming about all the great things to do in Halifax!
1. Tidal Bore Rafting – Nova Scotia
Tidal Bore Rafting was definitely the most thrilling adventure on the Bay of Fundy. It’s like whitewater rafting, only this is on a motorized zodiac following the rapidly rising river waters rushing in from the Bay of Fundy.
This roller coaster thrill ride on the water takes places at the mouth of the Shubenacadie River. When the waters from the Bay of Fundy rush in at low tide, it reverses the flow of water in the river smashing the two flows together creating a series of rapids and waves that reach up to 4 metres (13 feet) high!
2. Bay of Fundy Kayaking – Nova Scotia
Our greatest adventure on the Bay of Fundy was going on a two-day kayaking trip on the Bay of Fundy. We paddled out to the Three Sisters’ sea stacks for a close-up view of these amazing rock formations. It is incredible to paddle on the open sea, going through sea arches and narrow passageways. Kayaking the Bay of Fundy is an adventure of a lifetime.
We do not recommend kayaking the Bay of Fundy without a guide. The waters can be very unpredictable with the weather changing in an instant. Out on the bay, it is sunny one minute, and then the mist rolls in, and you feel completely isolated in a haze of fog. If we didn’t have our guide, we may have started paddling to New Brunswick! You can book day trips and overnight trips.
3. Camping the Bay of Fundy
We had the chance to camp on the shores of the Bay of Fundy without paddling trip and it was glorious. Our camp was located on a secluded sandy beach at Seal Cove where we hiked to sea caves and rock formations at low tide in search of fossils. Having the opportunity to camp on the Bay of Fundy is like a dream. You can go to sleep with the tide out for miles and wake up with water just a few feet from your tent.
Park’s Canada offers some very unique camping experiences on the Bay of Fundy as well. See more information here.
4. Chignecto Provincial Park – Nova Scotia
Cignecto Provincial Park is another way to experience the Bay of Fundy from above. Entering at Eatonville, this area has a 5.5 km trail taking you out to boardwalks and viewing platforms high above the cliffs. You have views of The Three Sisters, Eatonville Harbour and the high rugged cliffs of the upper Bay of Fundy.
- See more about opening times and area use here.
5. Burntcoat Head Provincial Park – Nova Scotia
Burntcoat Head Park is the place in Nova Scotia where you can walk on the ocean floor. This 3-acre park has islands exposed when the tides go out, there are a lighthouse and gorgeous views of the sea cliffs. There is an interpretive centre showing the history and geology of the tides, lighthouses and the area.
At Burntcoat Head Park dining on the on the ocean floor is offered as a unique adventure. Imagine sitting on
6. Advocate Harbour – Nova Scotia
Down on land at Chignecto, there are incredible red rocks exposed at low tide near Advocate Harbour. Spencer’s Island is a place to investigate the disappearance of the Mary Celeste who sailed out of the Bay of Fundy and everyone on board disappeared. There is a plaque dedicated to her at Old Shipyard Beach.
7. Cape D’Or Lighthouse
And finally don’t miss seeing the sea cliffs of Cape d’Or Lighthouse. This is one of the quintessential views of Nova Scotia and the Bay of Fundy.
8. Boats of Hall’s Harbour – Nova Scotia
Have you ever seen those pictures of boats sitting on dry land tide up to a dock? Well, if you visit Halls Harbour, you can see that. Colourful fishing boats are moored to docks floating on the water at high tide, but when the waters recede, the entire bay and marina are left completely empty with everything left behind sitting on land.
Go to Hall’s Harbour Lobster Pound for lunch or dinner and sit on the patio having fresh Nova Scotia lobster as you enjoy extraordinary views of the Bay of Fundy.
9. Joggins Fossil Cliffs – Nova Scotia
home to the world’s most complete fossil record from the coal age showing life from 300 million years ag0. (That’s 100 million years older than the dinosaurs. The Joggins Fossil Centre has specimens of fossils and displays depicting life in this coal old coal mining town and the geological history of the area.
10. Hopewell Rocks – New Brunswick
Hopewell Rocks are the famous flowerpot rocks of the Bay of Fundy in New Brunswick. Like the Three Sisters, you can kayak around the rock formations at high tide. At low tide, there is a visitor’s center where you can walk down to see the formations. For three hours on either side of low tide, people are free to explore the ocean floor, sea arches, sea caves, and the coastal sea cliffs. It’s truly a one-of-a-kind experience.
We stayed close to the Hopewell Rocks to experience it at both high and low tide. Entrance fees are good for two consecutive days which lets you experience both tides and sunrise and sunset
11. St. Martin’s Sea Caves – New Brunswick
I think the most extraoridnary formations on the entire Bay of Fundy, (Nova Scotia and New Brunswick combined) are the Sea Caves of St. Martins. These beautiful caves are located in the St. Martins’ Harbour and visitors can walk out to explore inside when the tide is low. They are massive and it is ominous to think that in a few short hours they will be completely filled with water.
There are formations and other bays to explore, so spend some time walking along the rocks for an interesting afternoon.
12. Boats of Saint Martin’s
Spend a day in Saint Martin’s and see the boats in the marina sitting on dry land. Like Hall’s Harbour, this is the typical East Coast scene we’ve all been searching for. These Cape Islander fishing boats are waiting for the sea to come back. When the tide comes in, it’s hard to believe that these boats will be floating level to the deck!
13. Duck Pond Beach
Located just 20 minutes south of the famous St. Martin’s Sea Caves, Duck Pond Beach is a local hangout. This beautiful beach is a long sandy beach that stretched out to split rock. There is an elevation change of 7 meters (22 feet) At low tide you can walk right between split rock. At high tide, it looks like an island off shore.
14. Hike the Fundy Footpath
One of the greatest hiking routes in all of Canada is the Fundy Footpath located in the Fundy Trail Parkway. The Fundy Footpath is a very challenging 40 km long (24 miles) coastal route hiking trail in 3 – 5 days.
15. Fundy Trail Parkway
Or you can drive along the parkway stopping at viewpoints where paths and stairways lead you down to secluded beaches. Not to be mistaken with Fundy National Park, the Fundy Trail is a coastal route that hugs the Bay of Fundy with sea cliffs reaching 250 meters, (820 feet) into the air. The parkway will soon connect Sussex to Alma where you’ll be able to drive right into Fundy National Park.
16. Cape Enrage – New Brunswick
Cape Enrage is a towering sea cliff with a lighthouse perched at its point. This is a popular stop on the Bay of Fundy because there is so much to do! Imagine rock climbing on the Bay of Fundy! There is a zip lining and rapelling outfitter right at the point and you can dine at the old lighthouse keepers house.
Be sure to go down to the beach in search of fossils and for another chance to walk on the ocean floor.
17. Reversing Falls – New Brunswick
A pretty cool phenomenon that happens right downtown Saint John is the Reversing Falls on the Saint John River. Now that you’ve been reading for awhile, you understand the power of the Bay of Fundy. When the tide recede from the bay, water rushes into the Saint John River reversing the flow of water causing the river to collide with the bay waters. This creates a waterfall in the center of the river that is reversed.
Saint John has done an amazing job creating lookouts and viewpoints above the falls. You can book a boat tour to the reversing falls, and you can zipline over them!
- See all the great things to do in Saint John here.
18. Tidal Bore – New Brunswick
The same thing happens in Moncton New Brunswick on the Petitcodiac River. There is a viewing platform where you get a front row seat of the Tidal Bore coming in from the Bay of Fundy. Considering how far inland it is from the Bay of Fundy, it is incredible. People actually surf the waves in Moncton.
Enjoy our video of the Bay of Fundy
So, it’s not exactly experiencing the highest tides, but getting out on a boat on the Bay of Fundy is a must. Whale watching is one of the top things to do in both Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. It’s never a bad thing to get out on the water in the Maritimes.
And these are fun adventures on the Bay of Fundy. If you go to the Maritime provinces of Canada, make sure you hit up one of these great experiences.
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