This year for the New Brunswick Day long weekend, Z and I decided to take a drive along the Fundy Coast and visit the Hopewell Rocks.
The Hopewell Rocks are located along the Bay of Fundy and about a 2 and half hour drive from Fredericton. As the official site says: “The Hopewell Rocks is a place to pause…a place to appreciate a remarkable story interwoven through time, tide, and the intricacies of nature. These are the highest tides in the world. And they happen twice a day….every day.”
The route to the provincial park is pretty easy, and although we just went there for the day, most people plan and spend a weekend there, as that gives you time to see the Rocks both at high and low tide, as well as explore the Fundy National Park and other attractions nearby. Luckily for us, the tide schedule was on our side this weekend, so we actually caught the tail-end of the high tides, and got to walk the ocean floor at low tide.
The Hopewell Rocks are open seasonally, usually from mid-May until mid-October, from 9am to 5pm. The entrance fee is CAD $14 per adult(19+), CAD $12 for seniors and students (with a valid student ID), and CAD $8 for children between 5 and 18. Children 4 and under can enter for free. The entrance ticket is valid for 2 consecutive days, hence the fact that most people spend a weekend in the Fundy Coast. As per the guides, if you are a local New Brunswicker, the best time to visit is in May and beginning of June, or near the end of September and early October. I guess that means all the tourists arrive at The Rocks between mid-June and end of August. 😀
To really appreciate the massive rock formations that have been shaped over centuries by the weather and the tides, make sure you check the tide tables so you can plan your day(s) accordingly. On average, the ocean floor is completely accessible from one end to the other (2kms./1.25 miles) 2.5 hours before and after low tide, 90% accessible 3 hours on either side of low tide and 80% accessible 3.5 hours on either side of low tide. There are varying degrees of accessibility up until 4 hours on either side of low tide.
It’s your choice whether you want to see the high tide or the low tide, or both! Some visitors prefer to see the high tide first and then return later to walk the ocean floor and explore the beach, coves and flowerpot rock formations. Others want to explore the beach and flowerpot rocks first, then return to see those same formations surrounded by water, as the highest tides in the world fill the Bay of Fundy. Many visitors (like us!) make plans to stay for the whole day. They walk the ocean floor, then stay to watch the shift between low and high tides. It’s fun to see how quickly the tide comes in. Tide times vary daily and on some days access to the ocean floor may fall outside of hours of operation, so again, check the tide table before planning your visit.
The road to the Hopewell Rocks, along the Fundy Coast, is also spectacular, and there are many places to stop and take pictures and/or just enjoy the view.
We hope to visit the Hopewell Rocks again next year in early summer, and maybe stay a day or two at the Fundy National Park to explore the surrounding attractions as well.