Canada has many fascinating attractions, but none are as mesmerising as the Bay of Fundy. The natural wonder is one of the most unique areas in the country and the world, thanks to the natural phenomena that occur there.
In addition to jaw-dropping vistas and a unique history, the Bay of Fundy is also full of attractions both on land and in the water. From scenic golf courses to taking the waves head-on, there is something for everyone at the Bay of Fundy.
To help you plan the perfect getaway to one of Canada’s prettiest bays, we’ve provided a deep dive into the area’s history and 7 fun things to do at the Bay of Fundy.
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What is the Bay of Fundy?
The Bay of Fundy is an ocean bay located just north of Maine, USA. The bay lies between two Canadian providences: Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. For any holiday, it is one of the best places to visit in Canada.
The Bay of Fundy is known around the world for its extreme tides. The average height difference between high and low tide is around 1 metre worldwide, but at the Bay of Fundy, the tidal range reaches 16 metres! The tides cycle twice per day at the bay with 6 hours between.
The unique geological features of the Bay of Fundy date back nearly 200 million years. At this time, all land on Earth was connected, forming the supercontinent of Pangea. Canada’s Maritime provinces, including Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, were located on the equator and had tropical climates.
This is nearly the exact opposite of Canada’s climate today, which features intense levels of snowfall and cold weather. Magma that arose during the breakup of Pangea created rock formations that can be seen around the bay.
The sediment left during the continental drift deposited many fossils at the Bay of Fundy. The dinosaur bones excavated around the Bay have become the focus of many palaeontologists and historians. This is because the species found were able to survive the mass extinction.
In addition to fossils, the Bay of Fundy is also known for its flora and fauna. Marine life is abundant in the area, with different plants and animals creating a unique ecosystem. Whales, sharks, dolphins, and other species have led to many parts of the bay becoming protected areas.
The first time the Bay of Fundy was discovered by Europeans was around 1520, when Portuguese explorers visited the area. Less than 100 years later, the French created the first European settlement in the area.
The Bay of Fundy has been involved in many military conflicts throughout history. When the bay was first colonised and settled, the British and French fought for control of the area. This led to the British forcing the people living in the Bay of Fundy to relocate to the 13 Colonies, the first inhabited areas of what would become the USA.
The Bay of Fundy would see battle again when Americans fought the British during the American Revolutionary War and the War of 1812. The infamous Burning of Washington took place in America’s Capital as the British forces destroyed the White House.
Since the mid-19th century, the Bay of Fundy has become a more peaceful area. Shipbuilding became the staple trade, and business flourished. Today, the Bay of Fundy is a great tourist destination with many attractions and activities.
7 Things to Do at the Bay of Fundy
1. Go Scuba Diving
Although the waters of the Bay of Fundy can be extremely cold, scuba diving is a very popular attraction. Dry suits give tourists the opportunity to explore the bay from the water and see some of the most fascinating areas of the world.
Scuba diving in the bay features a stunning view of the ocean floor. The rocky floor is home to flora and fauna, including sea stars, anemones, seals, and more. In fact, the Bay of Fundy has been ranked higher than the Great Barrier Reef in Australia for its wildlife.
There are many areas to scuba dive from at the Bay of Fundy, and each provides a unique experience. Boats are available to take groups to the middle of the bay for a scuba dive. Each scuba tour company may offer additional extras in their packages, so it is a good idea to check out more than one!
Beaches are also popular spots to begin a scuba diving experience. The most popular beach dive is on Deer Island. The island is accessible via a ferry from the mainland and is great for experienced divers.
The weather and conditions at the Bay of Fundy can change rapidly without much notice. If you plan on scuba diving, make sure to check the weather forecast and check with locals or your tour company to learn about safety precautions.
2. Take a Sea Kayak Adventure
Kayaking at the Bay of Fundy is one of the best activities in Canada for any tourist. The coast is constantly changing because there are 6 hours between high and low tide. In addition, the marine life and other wildlife make each adventure unique.
Although tourists can paddle on the bay solo, it is advised that kayaking groups go with a guide. This is because the tides can change rapidly in speed, direction, and strength. With this in mind, safety is a priority for anyone taking a kayak out onto the Bay of Fundy.
Guided kayak tours are available from many different starting areas on the bay. On the tours, guides take groups along the water to different islands nearby. Information on wildlife, the fascinating nature of the bay, and its history are provided through stories and fun facts by the guides.
One of the most interesting parts of the tour is visiting the Old Sow Whirlpool. It is one of the largest whirlpools in the world and can be seen from the coast of the Bay of Fundy. It is best viewed approximately 3 hours before high tide, which means there are 2 times per day to see the whirlpool at peak activity.
Currents of nearly 7 miles per hour have been reported at Old Sow. The whirlpool is created due to rising tides passing by the islands, pushing through narrow areas, and the water pressing against the ocean floor. At peak times, the whirlpool can get as wide as 76 metres.
3. Unwind at a Golf Course
In addition to stunning water experiences, the Bay of Fundy is also known for its golf courses. In fact, some of the most popular golf courses in Canada can be found within driving distance of the bay.
There are nearly 40 different golf courses at the Bay of Fundy, ranging from 9 to 18 holes. Each course takes the beautiful Canadian nature into consideration to create a calming vista to unwind in.
Each course has a unique layout, different scenery, and its own difficulty level. The courses at the Bay of Fundy range from beginner to advanced, making them perfect for beginners and experienced golf enthusiasts.
4. Visit a Vineyard or Winery
The Bay of Fundy has recently become a growing wine region, and it is not something you want to miss on your visit. The wineries of the area take advantage of the stunning views of the bay to create luxurious experiences.
Cobblestone paths lead tourists to the cellars and dining rooms at the vineyards where tastings are held. Award-winning wines and ciders are available for tastings at each location, in addition to tours and stories of the vineyards’ histories.
Tours of the wineries include the grounds and towns that neighbour them. The small villages are bursting with history as deep as the bay itself. If you’re a wine lover, the vineyards at the Bay of Fundy are a must.
5. Experience the Tidal Bore
The main attraction of the Bay of Fundy is the tidal bore. A tidal bore is a phenomenon which occurs twice a day during high tide. The tidal bore is caused by the rising tides overpowering the streams from outflowing rivers.
When the tides at the Bay of Fundy rise, the water is compressed by the outflowing rivers. This creates a mesmerising standing wave that can reach a metre tall. The tides move in at speeds of up to 10 miles per hour.
The tides and tidal bore create strong currents and rapids in the bay. During tidal bores, waves have been recorded reaching nearly 4 metres high. It is said that the speeding waters sound like an oncoming train as they overpower the rivers and create the tidal bore.
One of the most fun activities at the Bay of Fundy is during the tidal bore. During the summer, tourists can go tidal bore rafting and experience the strength of the waves. Experienced guides take groups on rafting adventures full of splashing water, and the rafting sessions often include mud sliding as well.
Whether you admire the tidal bore from the shores of the Bay of Fundy or choose to experience the waves head-on from a raft, they are an incredible experience. Seeing the tidal bore is a must for anyone visiting the Maritime provinces of Canada.
6. Go Whale Watching
Whale Watching Tours are one of the most popular attractions at the Bay of Fundy. The tours are held from June through October each year. They give tourists an amazing opportunity to see the marine life living in the bay and are great for adults and children alike.
The tours can vary based on which type of boat you choose to venture out on. There are 4 main vessels used for the tours: catamarans, sailing vessels, fishing boats converted into tour boats, and zodiacs.
Zodiacs are inflated rafts commonly used by military forces. Although they provide a rougher experience and are not as smooth sailing as the other vessels, the zodiacs are the lowest in the water and provide a unique view of the whales.
There are many tour companies available to book at the Bay of Fundy. Although they may offer different prices and extras, the companies all visit the same areas of the bay and see the same amount of whales.
Even in the warmer months during summer, the bay waters remain cold. The temperatures can be as low as 2℃, and winds often spray water into the air. If you are going on a whale watching tour, make sure to bring extra layers and dress warm!
7. Explore Fundy National Park
Fundy National Park has been open to the public since 1950. The park features the breathtaking bay shores and the wildlife that call it home. During low tide, visitors can walk on the ocean floor and see first-hand what lies beneath the water. Then, when the high tide rushes in, the ocean floor becomes covered again with the sea.
Throughout the park, there are 25 hiking trails to discover. Some trails lead guests along the shoreline of the Bay of Fundy, while others head inland. The inland trails take visitors through the forests to scenic vistas of waterfalls and valleys.
In addition to the hiking trails, the park also offers multiple campsites, one of the best golf courses in the country, and a heated swimming pool to enjoy. In the winter months, activities such as tobogganing, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing are popular at the park.
For anyone interested in connecting with nature and exploring the beautiful Canadian wilderness, a visit to Fundy National Park is one of the best things you can do.
The Bay of Fundy is a Great Tourist Destination
The Bay of Fundy is a natural wonder located right on the edge of Canada and the Northern United States. From the extreme tides and second-largest whirlpool in the world to the surrounding forests and villages, there are endless ways to spend a holiday in the area.
The best thing about the Bay of Fundy is that it is more than a pretty vista; you can jump in head-first and experience the waters, ocean floor, and nature first-hand. From exhilarating rafting excursions to walking along the ocean floor, the experiences at the Bay of Fundy are second to none.
If you’re planning a trip to Canada, check out this blog on Canada Travel Statistics.