Bay of Fundy – Crown Jewel of Beautiful New Brunswick, Canada
The Bay of Fundy in New Brunswick, Canada is one of the coolest places you may have never heard of.
Out of all Canada’s Maritime Provinces, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island tend to get a lot more attention than “plain sister” New Brunswick. So I was pleasantly surprised at finding just how many cool things there were to see and do there. In fact, on a recent trip driving through both New Brunswick and Nova Scotia I’d be hard-pressed to decide which of the two provinces I like better.
Upon learning that only one province in all of Canada has both English and French as official languages, most people would assume that province was Quebec. Although Quebec has a large number of French speakers, it’s really New Brunswick. All the signs and all government services are offered in both languages.
The crown jewel of New Brunswick is the Bay of Fundy. This body of water separating New Brunswick from Nova Scotia has the highest tides in the world. At low tide, parts of the bay empty out completely. In fact, visitors can spend several hours walking around on the “ocean” floor.
At high tide, the water gets deep enough to completely submerge a four story building!
When I visited, I spent an entire day. We hiked and explored at low tide for 3-4 hours in the morning.
The tidal transition takes several hours so we had time to enjoy a leisurely lunch at the visitor’s center overlooking the Bay. As we ate, we were able to watch the water level rise as the tide came in.
After lunch, we toured the visitor’s center’s exhibits and wealth of information about the Bay’s history, geography, flora and fauna and other interesting aspects of the Bay.
As the time of high tide approached, we prepared to launch with a group of other kayakers. Putting in at a nearby beach, we paddled in and around the very same rock formations we had hiked and climbed earlier that morning.
To experience both sides of nature in that way was truly magical and transformative.
The Bay of Fundy is also home to one of the highest concentrations and largest species diversity of migrating whales in the world. In fact, of places with both great diversity and large numbers of whales, the Bay of Fundy is arguably the most accessible by large numbers of people.
Having such a wealth of migrating whales makes it a natural place to go on a whale watching excursion. Although I had been out on a number of whale watching tours before, in the Bay of Fundy was my first time doing it on a sailboat. What a cool experience!
Machias Seal Island is home to the southernmost large flock of nesting Atlantic Puffins in the wild. Tours to the island, which is part of New Brunswick, are strictly limited to small numbers of visitors in order to protect the birds’ habitat.
Canada itself is inextricably associated with maple syrup and the city of Moncton, New Brunswick has (to my knowledge) the only municipally-owned maple syrup making operation in the world.
There are so many other things, from the church in Saint John whose rooftop is the overturned hull of an old sailing ship to the Ganong Chocolate Factory and Museum, which offers daily tours and free samples.
New Brunswick is truly a place you’ve simply got to see for yourself!
(Interested in my travel itinerary? I share the whole thing here.)