Destination Guide

The Travel Well Guide

The Bay Of Fundy

City: Saint John       State: Nova Scotia       Country: Canada
The Bay of Fundy (French: Baie de Fundy) is a bay on the Atlantic coast of North America, on the northeast end of the Gulf of Maine between the Canadian provinces of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, with a small portion touching the U.S. state of Maine. The Bay of Fundy is known for its high tidal range and the bay is contested as having the highest vertical tidal range in the world with Ungava Bay in northern Quebec and The Severn Estuary in the UK. The name "Fundy" is thought to date back to the 16th century when the Portuguese referred to the bay as "Rio Fundo" or "deep river". The waters are also very fast moving, as the tide travels 280 km (174 mi) in about six hours, and the currents swirl around the islands and underwater mountains, causing areas of turbulence, small waterspouts and small whirlpools, but if conditions are right, the feature called 'Old Sow' near the New Brunswick shore of Passamaquoddy Bay can form a single large whirlpool within an area of churning water as much as 76 m (250 ft) across. The feature gets its name from the moaning sounds that the rough waters make. The erosion caused by this mass of water being sucked in and out of the bay for thousands of years has formed a spectacular landscape of cliffs, sea stacks such as the Flower Pot Rocks, and sea caves, in places revealing fossils that have lain here for hundreds of millions of years. The area is vital for wildlife: on land the saltmarsh and mudflats provide breeding and feeding areas for waders, and there are also abundant puffins and terns during the breeding season. The nutrient-rich waters of the bay support billions of plankton and krill, which form the basis of a complex food chain, with crustaceans, seabirds and fish (including basking and mako sharks), seals, porpoises and Atlantic white-sided, bottlenose, saddle-back and striped dolphins. But it is the big cetaceans for which the Bay of Fundy is most famous. Among frequent visitors here are finback, minke and sei whales, while blue and humpback whales and orca are spotted less often. However, it is the terrifyingly rare and endangered northern right whales that come here in summer that make the Bay of Fundy such a special place for wildlife-watching.

Climate | When to Visit

Visit during: May to July

Directions | How to Reach

By air to Halifax or Saint John, then by road or rail.

miscellaneous | Important Information

Don't miss a boat trip on one of the tidal bores.

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