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Bay of Fundy - TOURISM

The Creation & Formation of the Bay of Fundy
by George Ferguson
The Bay of Fundy is strategically situated on the right shoulder of the North American continent. The 280 km (173 mile) - long arm of the Atlantic Ocean is wedged between the Maritime provinces of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia and is accessed through the Gulf of Maine.
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Introducing the Knowledge Centre

We’re starting a collection of the most popular books, videos, and articles to help you learn more about the great Bay of Fundy. Visit us online and take advantage of our New Year’s special.
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Below is a map summary of all the regions surrounding the Bay of Fundy represented here
at BayOfFudy.com. To view a detailed description of what a neighborhoood has to offer,
click on the area of interest and you will be taken to a page containing accommodation,
attraction and travel information, just to name a few.

Learn and explore:
• An amazing eco-system of breathtaking proportions, encompassing three phenomenal eco-zones and magnificent districts of unprecedented natural beauty in raw, wild power.
• More than a thousand kilometres of unspoiled shoreline, carved and etched in a spectacular display of sculptured art.
• Dramatic seascapes.
• Rare and endangered wildlife, spectacular and numerous.
• Feeding ground of a wide variety of whales species, including the right whale.
• Monumental geology.
• One of the marine wonders of the world.
• Salt marshes.
• An incredible diversity of bird life.
• The Reversing Falls.
• Multitudes of adventures and attractions, that will entertain, educate and enrich.
• Learn how to explore the Bay of Fundy

The Tides

written by George Ferguson


The enormous tides of the Bay of Fundy are truly one of the world's great natural wonders.

One hundred billion tonnes of water flows into and out of the Bay on an average tide, twice a day, creating rip-currents, seething up-wellings, swirling whirlpools and a tidal range reaching 16m (53 ft) at the head of the Bay. The volume of water ebbing & flowing is estimated to be 2000 times greater than the daily discharge of the Gulf of St. Lawrence (Thurston, 1994). The immense energy of the tides powers a highly productive, rich and diverse natural ecosystem, in turn shaping the environment, the economy and the culture of the Fundy region.

Tide Information

Bay of Fundy Tides

Canadian Tide Tables

Make A Tide Prediction

Mean Large Tides and Extreme Tides at Selected Ports

Nor'East Saltwater - Tide Charts

Official Tide Gauge Installed at Burntcoat Head

Tides Online - Custom Tide Tables

click on the map below for a larger picture

Map courtesy of Parks Canada

Tides are considered the heartbeat of the oceans of our planet. They are defined as the response of the oceans to the periodic fluctuations in the cosmic forces of the moon, and the sun, and the perpetual spinning rotation of the Earth (Pinet, 1998). This response is in the form of long, gently-swelling waves that are generated throughout the seas and oceans of the world. These equilibrium tides propagate from place to place and are reflected and dissipated just as other long waves. Thus it is that the tide observed at a particular place is not produced locally, but is the sum of tide waves arriving from all over the ocean, each modified by its experiences along the way. The average tidal range of all oceans around the globe is lm (3 ft).

And further galactic forces come into play. During each phase of a new moon or a full moon, when earth, sun and moon are aligned, higher tides result. These are referred to as "spring tides" a term derived from the springing up of the water. Conversely, twice each month when the sun and moon are at right angles to the earth and opposing each other, the tidal ranges are slighter and are defined as "neap tides" (Pinet, 1998).

The tides along the Atlantic coast are principally semi-diurnal, meaning there are two significant high tides every 24 hours. Along the Nova Scotia Atlantic coast, the tidal range is 1.5m - 2.5m (4 - 8 ft) and the tide arrives and departs at approximately the same time everywhere. However, due to the unique funnel shape and prodigious depth of the Bay of Fundy, the water moves back and forth in sync with the oceanic tides outside. This movement leads to a large increase in the tidal range towards the head of the Bay. Tidal measurements in the Minas Basin are the highest recorded in the world 16m (53 ft).

(Imagine bobbing in a small boat on water that is deeper than a five-story building, and in exactly the same place in less than six hours . . . you can walk on the ocean floor).

Photo courtesy of Parks Canada

And still there are other impelling forces at work in the mighty tides of Fundy. The elementary laws of physics establish that liquid in a basin has a characteristic period of "oscillation" and once set in motion, the liquid will rhythmically slosh back and forth (Cutnell and Johnson, 1995). The speed at which it oscillates depends on the length and depth of the basin. The surface rises first at one end, then at the other, while the level in the middle remains constant. The natural period of oscillation in the Bay of Fundy is approximately 12 hours. And by reason of the contours of the Bay, Fundy's oscillation corresponds with, and is reinforced by, the rhythm of the tides in the Atlantic ocean resulting in "resonance" - the second oscillation induced by the arrival of the ocean tide, of the same speed as the first, resulting in a higher tidal range (Thurston, 1994).

Along the interior Fundy coast, the phenomenal tides have left conspicuous evidence of their power and might: At Hopewell Rocks the tidal currents have carved and sculpted towering statues of red sandstone. Topped by evergreens, they resemble huge flowerpots and stand as one of many Fundy marvels. At St. Martin's, the endless tidal action has carved out spelunkerperfect sea caves. And with each receding tide, vast nutrient-rich mudflats are exposed in the Minas Basin.

The highest- profile phenomenon produced by the tides is the world-famous Reversing Falls at Saint John, where the majestic Saint John River plunges over cascading falls and a narrow passage on its way to the ocean. Twice each day the huge river must yield to the superior power of the Bay. As the tides slowly rise above the level of the river, the falls reverse, and the Saint John river flows upstream (Pinet, 1998).

A similar spectacle occurs at the head of the Bay of Fundy in the form of Tidal Bores. Chignecto Bay and Minas Basin form two arms at the head of the Bay, fed respectively by the Peticodiac River and the Salmon River. At high tide, the extraordinary volume of water in the Bay floods into the rivers. As the river banks narrow, the compressing waters rise in a spectacular surge and a visible standing wave, sometimes lm (3 ft) in height, as the maelstrom of roaring, churning water races upstream at speeds close to 15 km per hour (10 mph). Witnesses have likened the sound to that of an approaching railway train, and first-time viewers are usually struck with awe and fear (Thurston, 1994).

In broad overview, the stupendous Fundy tides are a titanic catalyst to a succession of extraordinary scientific, environmental and ecological wonders. Individually, they are microcosms of the perfectly evolving elements of nature. Collectively, they meld in concert to form a macrocosm considered one of the world's most natural and unspoiled. And underlining the fragility of nature is the certainty that with the continuous passage of time, the surging, monumental tides will ultimately destroy themselves as they slowly erode and disintegrate this unique basin.


Pinet, P.R. 1998. Invitiation to Oceanogoraphy, web enhanced ed. Jones and Bartlett Publishers. Boston, Ma.

Burzynski, M. and Marceau, A. 1984. Fundy: Bay of the Giant Tides, 3rd ed. The Fundy Guild Publishing, Alma, New Brunswick.

Cutnell, J. D. and Johnson. 1995. Physics, 3rd ed. John Wiley and Sons, Inc. New York

Dolgoff, A. 1998. Physical Geology, Updated version. Houghton Mifflin Co. New York

Randall, D., Burggren, W. and French, K, 1998. Animal Physiology: Mechanisms and Adaptations, 3rd ed. W.H. Freeman and Co. New York.

Smith, R.L. and Smith, T.M. 1998. Elements of Ecology, 4th ed. Benjamin - Cummings Publishing Co. Menlo Park, Ca.

Thurston, H. and Horner, S. 1998. Tidal Life. Nimbus. Toronto.

Bird Watching

Bar Harbor/Acadia Region (Maine)

  • Acadian Whale Watcher (Bar Harbor) - Combination puffin and whale watch trips; sunset whale watching; lighthouse/seals nature cruise.
  • Sea Bird Watcher Company (Bar Harbor)
  • Wendell Gilley Museum of Bird Carving (Southwest Harbor) - Outstanding collection of works by this internationally known native sculptor.

Pleasant Bay Region (Maine)

  • Addison Marshes (Addison) - Excellent bird watching for shore birds.
  • Bog Brook Flowage (Beddington) - Huge bog pond for canoe/kayak and bird watching.
  • Peter Weil Sculpture and Gardens (Steuben) - Steel sculptures of animals, birds, sports, mythology, and literature themes; beautiful gardens in a stream setting; picnicking.
  • Petit Manan National Wildlife Refuge(Steuben) - 1991-acres of rugged, wind-swept terrain over 10 miles of ocean shoreline; great variety of wildlife on interpretive foot trails.
  • Puffin Trips (Jonesport) - To Machias Seal Island, 10 miles off coast, to observe nesting puffins and other sea birds.

Machias/Eastport Region (Maine)

  • Birdwatching (Eastport) - Intertidal clam flats.
  • South Lubec Sand Bar (Lubec) - Birdwatching.
  • Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge (Calais)
  • Puffin Watching Excursions (Cutler) - To Machias Seal Island and lighthouse.

St. Stephen/St. Andrews Region (New Brunswick)

Grand Manan/Campobello Region (New Brunswick)

  • The Anchorage (Grand Manan) - Picturesque campground by the ocean with hiking trails, interpretive programs and a Day Adventure excursion. A golden opportunity for bird-watching from the bird blinds in the migrating bird sanctuary.
  • Castalia Park (Grand Manan Island) - Wilderness beach, picnic park at salt marsh and beach - great for bird watching.
  • Cline Marine Whale Watching (Deer Island) - Quoddy's original whale watching company. Whale watching, bird watching, and beautiful scenery in the Bay of Fundy!
  • Grand Manan Whale and Seabird Research Station (Grand Manan) - Dedicated to marine research, conservation, and education. Marine natural history museum.
  • Machias Seal Island - The island is a bird sanctuary for Atlantic puffins, razorbill auks, Arctic terns and many others. Guided tours available. Halfway between Grand Manan and Machias, ME.
  • Rare Birds Photographed in New Brunswick by Stuart Tingley - A collection of images of rarities photographed in New Brunswick over the years.
  • Whale Cove Beach (Grand Manan Island) - Wilderness beach. On the northern part of the island are the Seven Days Work, Ashburton Head and the Bishop rock formations. High cliff and nesting seabirds.

St. George/Lepreau Region (New Brunswick)

Saint John Region (New Brunswick)

  • Rare Birds Photographed in New Brunswick by Stuart Tingley - A collection of images of rarities photographed in New Brunswick over the years.
  • Red Head Marsh (Saint John) - Excellent for viewing waterfowl and other marsh birds such as pied-billed grebe and locally rare species such as green-backed heron and least bittern.

St. Martin's/Sussex Region (New Brunswick)

Albert County Region (New Brunswick)

Moncton Region (New Brunswick)

  • Canadian Wildlife Service Wetlands Display (Sackville) - Provides a description of the various types of wetlands within the Atlantic Canada region as well as a display exhibiting specimens of wetland birds.
  • Rare Birds Photographed in New Brunswick by Stuart Tingley - A collection of images of rarities photographed in New Brunswick over the years.
  • Sackville Waterfowl Park (Sackville) - Wetland preserve, migratory birds
  • The Sandpipers of Johnson's Mills (Dorchester) - Sandpipers can be viewed feeding on Fundy's mud shrimp before their flight to South America.
  • Tintamarre National Wildlife Area (Sackville) - An opportunity for avid bird-watchers to view marsh birds, many species of ducks, rails, pied-billed grebes, and American bittern. Be prepared to walk - and wear your boots.

Cumberland County/Chignecto Region (Nova Scotia)

  • Amherst Point Migratory Bird Park (Amherst Point) - Migratory birds, wetland habitat

Colchester/Truro Region (Nova Scotia)

  • Acres of the Golden Pheasant (Truro) - Over 50 species of birds including parrots, parakeets, finches, canaries, and peacocks.
  • McElmon's Pond Provincial Park (Debert) - Picnic park at edge of pond; migratory waterfowl

Hants County Region (Nova Scotia)

Kings County Region (Nova Scotia)

  • Evangeline Beach (Grand Pr้) - Migratory shorebirds
  • Robie Tufts Nature Centre (Wolfville) - Interpretive display of chimney swifts - birds that gather en masse at dusk from late May to late August and create an aerobatic display before darting into a chimney to roost.
  • Sheffield Mills Eagle Watch (Sheffield Mills) - Eagle watching

Annapolis County Region (Nova Scotia)

Digby Region (Nova Scotia)

Yarmouth Region (Nova Scotia)


Welcome to BayofFundy.com!

BayofFundy.com has harnessed the power of the World Wide Web to provide a destination website that is indispensable for travelers and residents alike. By combining the efforts of tourism operators, we promote the region as a prestigious Bay of Fundy destination.

More about BayofFundy.com
Corporate Profile
About the site...
Travel Regions
What can BayofFundy.com do for my business?
How can I participate in this exciting initiative?

Our marketing efforts create a sense of community among the thousands of visitors who view the website each month. These visitors are interested in exploring the region; they are searching for potential places to visit. We are developing programs that will assist them in their search.


BayofFundy.com's mission is to:

  • unite Bay of Fundy initiatives under one banner;

  • promote sustainable tourism in the region;

  • create a sense of community among the visitors to the website; and 

  • support sustainable initiatives around the Bay of Fundy.

What can BayofFundy.com do for your business? We are helping to build the Bay of Fundy as a prestigious brand that crosses provincial and federal boundaries and fosters community involvement. We can help your website to stand out from the thousands of sites being added to the web each day. As a part of this initiative your business will be visible to the thousands of visitors to the site each month.

BayofFundy.com sets itself apart from its competitors in two critical manners: theme guides and travel regions. Reliable ‘guides’ are being recruited to provide content on various aspects of and activities in the region. For instance, we will recruit an expert to provide content on whales in the Bay of Fundy. This expert will write columns on a regular basis – perhaps monthly – regarding the various species of whales, their migrations, conservation efforts, and so on. Interested in becoming a guide?

BayofFundy.com considers the entire Fundy region as a whole, without consideration of political boundaries. Our regional approach fosters community involvement and a sense of co-operation among operators.

The second critical component of the site is the establishment of travel regions. Regional identities will be developed through substantial local input. In this way, BayofFundy.com will serve as an organizer for community initiatives on the web. Our company will facilitate the development of community projects to support tourism in the Bay of Fundy region and the conservation of this unique ecosystem.

Please enjoy your visit our website and feel free to contact us directly (email: info@bayoffundy.com or 506-659-2044) for further information.

Best regards

Bill Postma

Bill Postma, CEO


BayofFundy.com's Corporate Profile






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St Martins Caves


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Covered Bridge


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Wharf (Low Tide)


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