If you’re looking to experience one of the natural wonders of the world, the Bay of Fundy cannot be beaten. Located between Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, the Fundy Bay has the highest tides in the world, reaching up to 50 feet high! As a result, over 100 billion tons of water flows in or out of the Bay every six hours, more water than the combined flow of all earth’s freshwater rivers.
There are many ways to explore the Bay of Fundy, from whale watching to ziplining, kayaking, watching whirlpools and dining on the ocean floor. The immense power of the ocean has created many natural geological formations that are breathtaking to explore. Even if you’re not the outdoorsy type, there are several adorable fishing villages and coastal towns to explore during your journey while watching the tides from local parks and bridges.
The best time to visit the Bay of Fundy is in the summer months, from May to October. Not only will you enjoy the best weather, but some attractions in the area are only open during the summer months. Therefore, almost all the adventures on this list are ideally done in the summer.
Kayak to St. Martins Sea Caves to explore sea caves and caverns
These 250 million-year-old caves are well-worth visiting during your Bay of Fundy trip. At low tide, you can walk to the caves. At high tide, the caves are partially submerged in water. We recommend taking a kayak tour to explore the caves. A guide will take you out at high tide to experience this magnificent geologic structure and tell its history.
Marvel at the Reversing Falls Rapids in Global Geopark
Watch the highest tides in the world reverse the flow of the St. John River in New Brunswick. This tidal pool is best viewed from Fallsview and Wolastoq parks in St John. Unfortunately, there is only a short period of time where you can see the reversing falls rapids.
There are two high tides and low tides per day. The period of slack tide, which occurs 20 minutes between each extreme of the tide cycle, is when the water is calm. Rocky ledges can be seen pretty close to the surface of the water. These ledges form rapids in the water between Saint John’s pulp mill and the Reversing Falls bridge. After the bridge, there is an underwater waterfall created by the river bed plunging into a pool 60 meters below.
Enjoy the unique Hopewell Rocks at low tide
The Hopewell Rocks formed millions of years ago, even before the Appalachian mountains. They can be explored by foot during low tide or by kayak at high tide. You’ll have to pay an entrance fee to the park to explore, but they are good for two days, which gives you plenty of time to explore. Be sure to check out the Hopewell Rocks at high tide, low tide, and all the surrounding area, including sea caves, sea arches, and the ocean floor.
Have tea at Moncton’s 1883 Thomas Williams House
Take a classy break from exploring the outdoors at the Thomas Williams House in Moncton. Enjoy tea time at this restored Victorian house, served at three different times daily. You can also tour the home and property during the summer.
Raft Tidal Bores on the River
A tidal bore is an extremely rare phenomenon that occurs in only a few places in the world. You can learn about and even raft tidal bores at the Bay of Fundy. During a Tidal Bore, a standing wave travels upstream against the current as fast as 15km/hour, creating up to 12 foot-high rapids. The best place to watch tidal bores is on small rivers that connect to the Bay, like the Shubenacadie River or the Salmon River. You can learn more about Tidal Bores at the Fundy Tidal Interpretive Centre.
Hike the Fundy Footpath
Meander across the suspension bridge at Big Salmon River to follow this challenging trail that hugs the coastline for over 40 kilometers. It’s recommended that you take a few days to trek the Fundy Footpath, camping along the way. This hike is not for the faint of heart and requires careful planning and know-how to traverse the steep ravines, narrow passageways, sea caves, and chest-deep pools formed by the varying tides of the Bay.
Find a Fossil
Joggins Fossil Cliffs are a fantastic place to view fossils from hundreds of millions of years ago. This marvel is created by the extreme tides beating against the ancient rocks, which contain the most complete fossil record of the Coal Age of any place on earth. While you can find fossils at the park, you cannot keep anything you see without a special permit.
Walk on the Ocean floor
Burntcoat Head Park is a great place to explore the ocean floor. Enjoy sweeping views of the surrounding area, a picturesque lighthouse, and red-toned rock as you explore the ocean floor at low tide. Want to take the experience to the next level? Have a guided tour of the floor, followed by a gourmet dinner on the ocean floor.
Adventure at Cape Enrage
If you want to zipline, work through an obstacle course, explore wilderness beaches and shipwrecks, and tour a restored 19th-century lighthouse, then head to Cape Enrage in New Brunswick. You also will be treated to some of the breathtaking views of the Bay of Fundy tides.
The Bay of Fundy is an excellent place to spot whales. The high tides bring in a surplus of food for whales, and the shelter the bay provides makes it the ideal place for whales to calve and take care of their young. Up to 300 whales at a time have been seen in the bay with up to 22 different species. There are many tours to choose from, some in Nova Scotia and some in New Brunswick. Either way, you are sure to be amazed.
Roadtrip the Bay of Fundy
One of the best ways to explore the Bay of Fundy at your own place is to road trip down the southern coast of New Brunswick. Explore everything the bay has to offer as you stay at cute fishing villages along the way.
Hero Image: Destination New Brunswick / Chantal Garcia