Located between the provinces of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick on the eastern side of Canada is a fairly large bay know as the Bay of Fundy. Part of the Atlantic Ocean, it is a popular spot for whale watching (you can see eight different species from Humpback to Right Whales), sourcing some of the best scallops from the Digby area, and the highest tides in the world.

The difference between high and low tide in some parts of the Bay of Fundy can be as high as 50 feet. Over 160 tonnes of water rush through the Bay during each tide cycle every 12 hours.

Photo Credit: Ashley Bristowe

What is Tidal Bore Rafting?

Water coming in as the tide rises creates a unique phenomenon on the surrounding rivers that empty into the Bay. The tides actually push fresh water back up the rivers, causing large waves similar to rapids, which is also known as a tidal bore. And the best way to experience it? Raft the waves.

One of the best places to see a tidal bore on the Bay of Fundy is on the Shubenacadie River, one of just three rivers on the Bay where this happens, and one of eight rivers in the whole world to experience this unique phenomenon. You can stand at the shoreline watching the tide roll in or you can take a boat tour to see it up close.

Low tide | Photo Credit: Cailin O'Neil

What’s it Like?

Shubenacadie Tidal Bore Rafting Park and Cottages will give you rubber boots, rain suits and life jackets to wear, as you jump in a zodiac boat about an hour before the tide rolls in. They’ll tell you about the history of the area, explain the geography and how the tidal bores work before taking you to a side tributary full of mud. Embrace your inner child and slide down muddy hills, before you’re taken to a dry part of the river to see the tide approaching.

Photo Credit: Ashley Bristowe

Just a few inches high, the tide rushes in covering the sections of dry river, eventually reaching above the water level to create ripples that get larger and larger the further up the river it travels. After a while, so much water is rushing in and mixing with the water headed the other direction that temporary rapids are formed. The tour guides will turn the boat around and take you through the rapids as many times as possible for an amazingly fun and extremely wet experience. For the real adrenaline junkies, come during a full moon when the tides are at their highest.

For more of a first-hand experience, check out this video: