world's highest tides at Head Harbour Light Campobello

Where to watch the world’s highest tides in the Charlotte Coastal Region

There’s one thing that’s always certain along the coast of the Bay of Fundy – the world’s highest tides are coming in, or going out. Nowhere else in the world is the tide so high, so visible and so accessible as it is here in the Bay of Fundy! These tides are the second of the seven natural wonders of North America, just behind the Grand Canyon.

Twice a day the world’s highest tides flood in and out, sometimes up to a difference of 7 metres or 28 feet! With an eye to timing, you can experience this phenomenon and check it off your bucket list!

Drive across the ocean floor to Ministers Island

round red sandstone building built into shoreline

Photo by C. Flemming.

Ministers Island, just outside of St. Andrews, is a part-time island. At low tide, you can drive your car right across the bar to the island! That’s right, drive your car across the ocean floor and get that bragging rights bumper sticker in the gift shop! Then take the time to explore the entire island by foot, take a tour of the historical buildings, and check out the tide pools below the bath house.

St. Andrews by the Sea waterfront

sailboat sitting on dry ground at low tide in St Andrews NB

Where did we park the boat again, honey?

The town of St. Andrews sits on a peninsula jutting out into Passamaquoddy Bay. You can enjoy a great meal while watching the tide at Niger Reef Tea House, Old Thyme Pizza, The Gables Restaurant, the Red Herring Pub, or the Harbour Front Restaurant. Or you can take a stroll by the St. Andrews Blockhouse, to the end of the Market Wharf or out Water Street to Indian Point.

Connor Brothers Pea Point Nature Preserve Black’s Harbour

sandy and rocky ocean shoreline at Pea Point nature preserve NB

Photo by Stephen C Murray.

This is a true gem of a place to truly experience the beauty of the Bay of Fundy tides – and you’ll likely be the only person in sight! Walk the beautiful trails and scout the beach for its sea glass while soaking in the solitude at Pea Point. When you’re finished, why not jump on the ferry and head over to Grand Manan?

Grand Manan

Small dory in seaweed as sun sets

A dory at Dark Harbour. Photo by Stephen Berthelot.

Grand Manan is a rocky, windswept island that stands out at the mercy of the tides. This island has plenty of opportunities to see not only the tides but an entire life shaped by water. Stroll along the sweeping reaches of sandy beach at The Anchorage Provincial Park; hike the many island trails to rocky, cliff like views in places like Hole in the Wall and South Head; head out to Swallowtail Lighthouse or Dark Harbour, or to one of the smaller nearby island for a true taste of life on the edge of the sea.

Old Sow, Deer Island

Deer Island lighthouse with a blue sky background

The lighthouse on Deer Island Point overlooking the Old Sow whirlpool

When the powerful tides rip in and out between Deer Island, Campobello, and the Maine coast, the world’s largest whirlpool appears – the Old Sow. Deer Island Point and Deer Island Campground are great places to see the channel and, if you’re lucky, the Old Sow – which is best viewed from a distance!

Head Harbour Light, Campobello

This nationally designated historic site is, like Ministers Island, cut off from the mainland at each high tide. When the tide recedes, you’ll be able to walk across and explore the fascinating and scenic Head Harbour lighthouse on its rocky promontory.

New River Beach

sandy beach from a distance with people building sand sculptures

The New River Beach Sand Sculpture competition is a must-see summer event. The dark lines across the sand are seaweed at the high tide mark.

If sandy beaches are more your style, you can catch the Fundy tide at New River Beach Provincial Park in Pocologan. Have a picnic, build a sandcastle, then take a walk out along its cliffside trails. When you return to the beach, your castle may be underwater!

Finally, now that we’re on your bucket list, be sure to check out our insider information on how to enjoy summer in our region like the locals do  and watch a video that includes many of the places listed above!