Discover the Ocean Floor on Hopewell Rocks in New Brunswick

When I first saw the image of Hopewell Rocks, my mind was blown away by its unique natural formation, and I wondered when I could visit it in person. This summer, I got my chance.

Hopewell Rocks is a famous natural site in the Fundy Bay area. It was formed a million years ago by tidal erosion and it holds the record of having world’s highest tides, up to 52 feet. The rock consists of sandstone rock and dark sedimentary rock. Due to the tidal water activities, the surrounding scenery is modified a few times a day.

When I was at the Bay of Fundy, I decided to travel to the Hopewell Rocks to check out this natural phenomenal. I have spent a few hours at the Hopewell Rocks and its charm does not cease to amaze me.

Day trip to Hopewell Rocks

Hopewell Rocks, New Brunwisk
This part of the rocks is sanctioned off for potential rock sliding, but it is still viable for spelunking. 

Hopewell Rocks is a 30-minute drive from Moncton and 40 minutes away from Fundy National Park, where I was staying at that moment. There is an entrance fee of $10 per adult, and the ticket is valid for two consecutive days for you to experience the rocks at both low tides and high tides.

I spent three hours on the Hopewell Rocks in the late afternoon, but did not experience the high tides. During the summer season when I visited, high tides happen either in the early morning, or later at night. Read the tide chart to learn more.

Walk on the Ocean Floor

Low tides, walking on the ocean floor
Low tides, walking on the ocean floor, Hopewell Rocks, NB, Canada – by Julie Cao

During low tide, you can walk on the seabed beneath the Flower Pot Rocks, through the giant rock formations that have different shapes that are affected by the daily flow of the water. The ocean floor is muddy and brimming with seaweed and this makes it a miraculous experience. While walking, you can notice the long stretch of the ocean and the stunning view of the Fundy Bay.

View of the Fundy Bay on Hopewell Rocks, New Brunswick
View of the Fundy Bay on Hopewell Rocks, New Brunswick – by Julie Cao

You can spend hours in this stunning place without getting tired, but be cautious and check with guards for information about the tides. People sometimes hike out to the far area close to the water, and you could end up walking in water high up to your hips. The tides come up incrementally, and within a few hours, the three-story stairways are immersed in water.

Stairways to the ocean floor at Hopewell Rocks
Stairways to the ocean floor. It gets flooded during the high tides

Kayak during in the high tides

There is no better experience to add to your Hopewell Rocks trip than kayaking through the world’s highest tides. You can join an experienced kayak guide for 90 minutes of kayaking where you walked in the low tide. During the high tides, the rock formations turn into islands. The combination of kayaking and walking on the ocean floor is very pleasant and offers you different insights of the Hopewell Rocks.

Kayaking during high tides, Hopewell Rocks, NB/photo credit: Claude37 via Flicker

Check out Interpretive Center

At the beginning of the trip, I browsed through the display that features the interesting geology, culture, and history about the rocks and Fundy Bay. At the end of the Interpretive Center is the High Tide Café, where I had my late lunch. The café serves chowders, fish and chips, sandwiches, meat plates, and lobster. There is an outdoor seating area that you can eat while enjoy a spectacular view of the Bay of Fundy.

More attractions

Demoiselle Beach: In addition to the trail of the rock formations and main beaches, there is another trail to the Demoiselle Beach, where you will see the combination of rock formations and salt marches. The end of the trail offers stunning views of bird species and mammoth – like deer, moose, coyotes, and red foxes.

Fundy National Park : The highlight of the Fundy Bay trip is apparently the Fundy National Park where the ocean meets the forest. I have spent three days wandering the trails, walking on the beach, and eating delicious seafood. There are many information boards along the trail and the national park displays the formation of the Fundy Bay, the tides, the biodiversity, and our fragile eco-system. It is such a wonderful place that combines Bay of Fundy exploration with education.

Cape Enrage:

Cape Enrage, New Brunswick, Canada
Cape Enrage, New Brunswick, Canada 

Cape Enrage is at the end of the scenic Route 915 and is actually one of the Marine Wonders of the World. Cape Enrage is known for its 53 feet vertical high tides, which happen twice daily, the stunning view of the Fundy Bay and the neighboring province, Nova Scotia, and the oldest working lighthouse in New Brunswick. Zipline and rappelling activities are also offered to add to the excitement of your Fundy Bay adventure.

Final thoughts

I had a wonderful time at Fundy Bay and Hopewell Rocks, and I loved that the weather altered between the misty days and sunny days, which offered wonderful photography opportunities. There are days on the beach that the visibility was extremely low, and the line between the beach and the sky could hardly be seen in the mist. Blue skies and sunny days are perfect, but the damp and misty weather add more dynamics to Fundy’s unique landscape.

Herring Cove on a misty day, Fundy National Park, New Brunswick - by Julie Cao
Herring Cove on a misty day, Fundy National Park, New Brunswick 

The seafood was not that cheap compared to the ones in Prince Edward Island, but the lobster was fresh and there were two lobster shops – Alma Lobster Shop and Collins Lobster Fisherman’s Market –  in the getaway village of Alma for visitors to purchase seafood. Finally, I recommend that you spare few days at the Fundy Bay area. New Brunswick surely has many beautiful cities and attractions, but Fundy Bay is really the one that I love and miss the most.

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Discover the Ocean Floor on Hopewell Rocks in New Brunswick

Julie Cao

Julie Cao is a travel blogger, travel writer, and global citizen currently living in Toronto Ontario.

8 thoughts on “Discover the Ocean Floor on Hopewell Rocks in New Brunswick

  • October 31, 2016 at 11:06 pm
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    This reminds me of the Dragon Head Coast in Jeju! The rock formations look amazing, and kayaking at high tide sounds like such a unique experience.

    Reply
  • November 1, 2016 at 12:21 am
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    The rock formations look amazing. I would love to photograph this spot on a sunny day. I love it when they have information centres that explain the history of the location

    Reply
    • November 1, 2016 at 2:37 pm
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      Actually I hardly experience a sunny day during my trip to Fundy Area but it was sunny on the day I went to to the Hopewell. The weather is always changeable and unpredictable in the Fundy region.

      Reply
  • November 1, 2016 at 12:25 pm
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    Hopewell rocks on low tide is amazing wow – It looks fake, which makes it so beautiful. The greens on top and all! Can’t wait to discover NB one day!

    Reply
    • November 1, 2016 at 2:39 pm
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      It looks so surreal when I first the picture on the guide book. Fundy Area is where the ocean meets the forest, so it is all green on the top and next to the water. Simply amazing.

      Reply
  • November 1, 2016 at 6:59 pm
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    This looks like such a fun area to just chill out and hang. I can’t believe how gorgeous this looks – truly picturesque. Man, I really need to visit Canada ASAP!

    Reply
  • November 1, 2016 at 8:36 pm
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    Wow this looks fascinating! I love snorkeling to see what’s under the sea but here you can do that without getting wet! You’re right to warn about the incoming tides though, I’ve seen water rise frighteningly quickly when the tide comes in!

    Reply

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