The Bay of Fundy is one of the natural wonders of the world. Home to the highest tides in the world, this huge Canadian bay stretches 16,000 square kilometres between Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.
Tides vary 16 metres (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 up to 3 miles (5 kilometers) allowing visitors to walk for hours on the ocean floor. There are many ways to experience these immense tides, and we think it’s time to show you them all!
Bay of Fundy Adventures
With the vaccines rolling in, there is light and hope at the end of the tunnel and as we dream of planning our trips this summer, Nova Scotia is at the top of our list.
Located between the provinces of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, we’ve experienced many adventures in the Bay of Fundy. Here are our favorite adventures we’ve had in each province.
Note: Some activities may be affected by covid-19. Check with each attraction for opening times and activities. Things are constantly changing as Nova Scotia moves into the different stages of Covid, so be sure to check before you go. Hopefully everything will be open for the summer. In the meantime, let’s start dreaming about all the things to do in Halifax.
1. Rafting on the tide – Nova Scotia.
Tidal Bore rafting was undoubtedly the most exciting adventure in the Bay of Fundy. It’s like whitewater rafting, only this one is done in a motorized zodiac that follows the rapidly rising waters of the river rushing in from the Bay of Fundy.
This roller coaster of thrills on the water takes place at the mouth of the Shubenacadie River. When the waters of the Bay of Fundy rush in at low tide, the flow of water in the river is reversed and the two flows meet creating a series of rapids and waves that reach up to 4 meters high.
2. Kayaking in the Bay of Fundy – Nova Scotia.
Our biggest adventure in the Bay of Fundy was a two day kayaking trip in the Bay of Fundy. We paddled out to the Three Sisters sea stacks to see these amazing rock formations up close. It’s amazing to paddle in the open ocean, through sea arches and narrow passages. Kayaking in the Bay of Fundy is a unique adventure.
We do not recommend kayaking the Bay of Fundy without a guide. The waters can be very unpredictable and the weather changes in an instant. In the bay, one minute it’s sunny and then the fog rolls in, and you feel completely isolated in a haze. If we didn’t have our guide, we might have started paddling towards New Brunswick. Day and overnight trips can be booked.
3. Camping in the Bay of Fundy
We had the opportunity to camp on the shores of the Bay of Fundy without paddling and it was glorious. Our campsite 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 in the Bay of Fundy is like a dream. You can go to sleep with the tide out for miles and wake up with the water just yards from your tent.
Park’s Canada also offers some unique camping experiences in the Bay of Fundy. 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 Eatonville, this area has a 5.5 km trail that takes you to boardwalks and observation decks high on the cliffs. You’ll be able to see the Three Sisters, Eatonville Harbour and the high, sheer cliffs of the upper Bay of Fundy.
See more about opening hours and use of the area here.
5. Burntcoat Head Provincial Park – Nova Scotia
Burntcoat Head Park is the place in Nova Scotia where you can walk along the bottom of the sea. This 3 acre park has islands that are exposed when the tides go out, there is a lighthouse and beautiful views of the sea cliffs. There is an interpretive center that shows the history and geology of the tides, lighthouses and the area.
At Burntcoat Head Park, dining at the bottom of the sea is a unique adventure. Imagine sitting on
6. Advocate Harbour – Nova Scotia
On the mainland at Chignecto, there are incredible red rocks exposed at low tide near Advocate Harbour. On Spencer Island you can investigate the disappearance of the Mary Celeste, which sailed out of the Bay of Fundy and all aboard disappeared. There is a plaque dedicated to her on the beach at Old Shipyard.
7. Cape D’Or Lighthouse
8. Hall’s Harbour Boats – Nova Scotia
Have you ever seen those pictures of boats sitting on the mainland tide up to a pier? Well if you visit Halls Harbour, you can see it. Colourful fishing boats are moored to docks that float on the water at high tide, but when the waters recede, the whole bay and marina are completely empty with everything left on land.
Head to Hall’s Harbour Lobster Pound for lunch or dinner and sit on the patio eating fresh Nova Scotia lobster while enjoying the extraordinary views of the Bay of Fundy.
9. Joggins Fossil Cliffs – Nova Scotia
houses the world’s most complete fossil record of the coal age, showing life from 300 million years ago (100 million years before the dinosaurs). The Joggins Fossil Centre has fossil displays and exhibits showing life in this former coal mining town and the geological history of the area.
10. Hopewell Rocks – New Brunswick
Hopewell Rocks are the famous pot-shaped rocks in the Bay of Fundy, New Brunswick. Like the Three Sisters, you can kayak around the rock formations at high tide. At low tide, there is a visitor center where you can go down to see the formations. For three hours, on either side of low tide, people are free to explore the seabed, sea arches, sea caves and coastal cliffs. It is a unique experience.
We stay near the Hopewell Rocks to experience them at both high and low tide. The entrance fee is valid for two consecutive days, which allows you to experience both tides and sunrise and sunset.
11. St. Martin Sea Caves – New Brunswick
I think the most extraordinary formations in the entire Bay of Fundy, (Nova Scotia and New Brunswick combined) are the St. Martins Sea Caves. These beautiful caves are located in St. Martins Harbour and visitors can go out to explore them when the tide is out. They are huge and it is ominous to think that in a few hours they will be completely filled with water.
There are formations and other bays to explore, so spend some time walking around the rocks for an interesting afternoon.
12. Boats of St. Martin
Spend a day at Saint Martin’s and see the marina boats sitting on dry land. Like Hall’s Harbour, this is the typical East Coast scene we all look for. These Cape Island fishing boats are waiting for the sea to return. When the tide comes in, it’s hard to believe these boats will be floating at deck level!
13. Duck Pond Beach
Located just 20 minutes south of the famous St. Martin Sea Caves, Duck Pond Beach is a local hangout. This beautiful beach is a long sandy beach that stretches all the way to the split rock. There is an elevation change of 7 meters (22 feet). At low tide you can walk among the split rock. At high tide, it looks like an island off the coast.
14. Walking along the Fundy Trail
One of the best hiking trails in all of Canada is the Fundy Footpath, located on the Fundy Trail Parkway. The Fundy Footpath is a very demanding coastal hiking trail of 40 km (24 miles) in 3 – 5 days.
15. Fundy Parkway Trail
You can also drive along the route stopping at overlooks where trails and stairs lead you to secluded beaches. Not to be confused with Fundy National Park, the Fundy Trail is a coastal route that hugs the Bay of Fundy with cliffs reaching 250 metres high. The route soon connects Sussex with Alma, where you can drive to Fundy National Park.
16. Cape Enrage – New Brunswick
Cape Enrage is an imposing sea cliff with a lighthouse perched on its tip. It is a popular stop in the Bay of Fundy because there is so much to do. Imagine rock climbing in the Bay of Fundy. There is a zip line and rappelling company right at the tip and you can dine in the old lighthouse keepers house.
Be sure to head down to the beach in search of fossils and for another chance to walk along the seabed.
17. Reversing Falls – New Brunswick
A rather interesting phenomenon occurring in downtown Saint John is the Reversing Falls waterfall on the Saint John River. Now that you’ve been reading for a while, you understand the power of the Bay of Fundy. When the tide recedes from the bay, water rushes into the Saint John River reversing the flow of water and causing the river to crash into the waters of the bay. This creates a waterfall in the center of the river that reverses.
Saint John has done an amazing job creating overlooks and viewpoints over the falls. You can book a boat tour to the inverted falls, and you can zipline over them!
See all the things to do in Saint John here.
18. Tidal Bore – New Brunswick
The same is true in Moncton, New Brunswick, on the Petitcodiac River. There is an overlook from which you can get a front row view of the Tidal Bore coming from the Bay of Fundy. Considering how far inland it is from the Bay of Fundy, it’s incredible. There are people surfing the waves in Moncton.
Enjoy our video of the Bay of Fundy.
19. Whale watching
Not that you’ll experience the highest tides, but going out on a boat in the Bay of Fundy is a must. Whale watching is one of the best things to do in both Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. It never hurts to get out on the water in the Maritimes.
And these are fun adventures in the Bay of Fundy. If you go to Canada’s Maritime Provinces, make sure you get up close and personal with one of these great experiences.
Read more about Nova Scotia Travels:
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