New Brunswick, the gateway to the east coast. A blend of the beauty of the deep forests and the openness and freshness of the ocean. With spectacular nature events and some mysterious ones as well, there is a plethora of things to see and do in New Brunswick.
1. Hopewell Rock Provincial Park and the Tides of the Bay of Fundy
The Bay of Fundy boasts the highest tides in the world at an incredible 16 meters (53 ft). Two times a day, the Bay of Fundy fills and empties billions of tonnes of water every approximately 6 hours. The best place to see this amazing occurrence is Hopewell Rock Provincial Park.
Stand at the edge and watch the water flow out of the bay, and then walk down the spiral staircase to walk on the ocean floor. Experience the feel of being 50 ft under the water without the water. Walk on the silt, which is surprisingly hard, and look at the beauty of the water-carved cliffs. The giant pedestals that reach, seemingly, to the sky. Check out this once-in-a-lifetime experience here on my youtube channel.
2. Tidal Bore in Moncton
A tidal bore is created when a rising tide is pushed through a small canal such as a river. An actual wave of water will wash down the river towards its destination. This unusual phenomenon that can only be found in a few places in the world is best seen in Moncton on the Petitcodiak River, which is one of the best places to witness this.
The Petitcodiak River, also known as the Chocolate River, flows through downtown Moncton. You can tell why The Peditcodiak River gets its nickname because of the colour of the water. The sediment is constantly churning due to the changing tides of the Bay of Fundy. As the tide rolls in, so does the wave. It is fun to watch those wave roll down the river, and if you are lucky, you can see surfers surfing the tidal bore of the Chocolate River.
3. World’s Longest Covered Bridge, Hartland
Covered bridges were an everyday occurrence back in the 19th century. Very few are left in the world today, and even fewer that you can drive through. In Hartland, New Brunswick, you can find the World’s Longest Covered Bridge.
The bridge was first opened in 1901, and was covered in 1922. Bridges were covered to protect the wooden trusses from the weather. Spanning 381 meters (1282 ft) across the St. John River, it is a ride across a bridge that also takes you back in time. A truly unique experience in the heart of New Brunswick.
4. Reversing River, Saint John
Located in St. John, where the St. John River meets the Bay of Fundy, an extremely rare phenomenon takes place. Rapids change direction with the tides. As the St. John River enters a narrow gorge before reaching the Bay of Fundy a series of rapids develop. With the rising and lowering of the tides, the river rapids change direction.
Interestingly, there is a small window where the waters of the gorge are calm. The rising tide creates a Slack tide. As the water fills the gorge, the volume of water calms the rapids. The Slack tide is only 20 minutes, allowing boats to move from the river to the bay or vice versa. One of the best places to watch this amazing occurrence is while dining at the Reversing Falls Restaurant. A definite must-see while visiting New Brunswick.
5. Giant Lobster, Shediak
The east coast is known for its fresh seafood. In Shediak, they celebrate that in a big way. The World’s Largest Lobster sits proudly as a testament to Shediak’s Lobster industry. At 5 meters (16 ft) tall and 11 meters (36 ft) long, weighing nearly 90 tonnes, it is not something you can just drive by.
While visiting the World’s Largest Lobster, be sure to stop at the gift shops and local market beside the attraction. The Shediak Paddle Shop is a great place to find that perfect souvenir.
6. City of Saint John
St. John, New Brunswick, is a bustling small city sitting by the Bay of Fundy. Filled with history and interesting architecture, there are a plethora of attractions to keep you busy. Traverse above the city on a Skywalk that takes you from building to building without going outside. Visit Canada’s first library and stroll through the Saint John City Market for local produce and products.
Be sure to stop in Barbour’s General Store for a historic shopping experience while getting all your tourist information and booking any of the many tours offered. See a show at the Historic Imperial Theatre where Harry Houdini once performed. St. John is Canada’s oldest city and is definitely worth the visit.
7. Grand Falls
Nestled on the St. John River is the town of Grand Falls. Named for the cascading waterfall that falls 23 meters (75 ft) into a mighty gorge. A picturesque setting for a wonderful travel destination. This small town of about 6000 people in the heart of New Brunswick’s main industry is potatoes. You can find the main processing plant for McCain frozen foods here.
While you’re visiting the falls, make sure to take advantage of some of the other attractions nearby. Zipline across the gorge or hike a hiking trail. Kayaking tours and rock climbing are also available in the scenic little town of Grand Falls.
8. Magnetic Hill, Moncton
Magnetic Hill will leave you wondering if what you saw is really what you saw. When you put your car in neutral at the bottom of the hill, it seems as though you are being pulled up the hill by a magnet. But are you?
This fun New Brunswick tourist destination began in the 1930s with a lady by the name of Murial Lutes. She began to sell snacks and souvenirs and named it Magnetic Hill. Back then, it was one of 3 popular travel destinations in Canada next to Niagara Falls and Banff National Park. While you are defying gravity at Magnetic Hill, make a stop at one or two of the many attractions that are there now. It is a fun experience that you can take home and try to explain to friends and family.
9. Ministers Island
At Hopewell Rock, you can walk on the ocean floor. At Minister Island, you can drive on it. Minister Island is a National Historic Site located on the south end of New Brunswick. A roadway is available for you to get to the island but only at low tide. You can drive, bike, or walk across this natural causeway.
On the island, concerts are held every Sunday, as well as special events throughout the season. There are several historic buildings to tour while you are on the island. Home to Cornelius Covenhoven, what started as a summer cottage in 1891, ended in a 50-room mansion. The Icehouse and Creamery and the Carriage House are just a few examples of the buildings you can see while here at this National Historic Site. Walk the trails and enjoy the island atmosphere, but remember, when high tide comes, and you are on the island, that’s where you are staying until the tide goes back out.
10. World’s Largest Axe, Nackawic
In Nackawic New Brunswick, you will find a beautiful community with one large difference. Nackawic is home to the World’s Largest Axe. True to its name and fame, also known as “The Big Axe,” it is big. 15 meters (49 ft) high and 7 meters (23 ft) wide it towers above the flowing St. John River. The huge stump the axe is plunged into is a 10-meter (33 ft) cement stump. Climb onto the stump and have a picnic or be lucky enough to catch an event where it turns into a stage.
Stop into The Big Axe Brewery for some great craft beer while you grab a selfie with the World’s Biggest Axe!
New Brunswick is a wonderful place to play and stay. Check out my New Brunswick Experience in the Last Leg of an Incredible Journey blog.
What is your favourite thing to do and see in New Brunswick? Is it on my list? Let me know in the comments.
Thanks for coming along on my Chipmunk Adventure!
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