Discovering Hopewell Rocks: A Must-See on Canada’s East Coast

Hopewell Rocks is one of New Brunswick’s most famous attractions. The large sandstone rocks are a natural wonder, having been created and carved throughout time by the powerful Bay of Fundy tides. The tides in the Bay of Fundy are the highest in the world! They result from a combination of the gravitational force of the moon and the particular dimensions of the Bay of Fundy. Visitors to Hopewell Rocks can literally watch the Bay of Fundy tide rise at a rate between 4 and 6 feet (1.5 to 2 metres) per hour as 100 billion tonnes of water flows into the bay twice daily.

Hopewell Rocks is a beautiful site, and allows for a wonderful morning or afternoon of exploring the ocean floor and appreciating the incredible power of the ocean among towering rock formations and cliffs.

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Hopewell Rocks is located on the Canadian province of New Brunswick’s Bay of Fundy Coastline. It’s approximately one hours’ drive from Moncton, and a 45 minute drive from Fundy National Park. Before you visit, it’s important to check the season dates and times. The time you have to spend exploring Hopewell during your visit is solely dependent on the timing of the tide. The best time in the day to visit depends on the time of year. The park hours themselves change from season to season, so a little research in advance of your visit is necessary in order to get the best experience possible.

Admission to Hopewell Rocks is $10 per adult, and $7.25 per child ages 5-17 years. Children ages 4 and under are free, and there are different rates for seniors, students and families as well. A ticket for Hopewell Rocks is valid for two consecutive days, which is convenient if you wish to see the site at both high and low tide. When we visited, we spent the late morning/early afternoon of one day exploring during low tide, and stopped in again as we were leaving the following morning to see the site at high tide. Unless you want to kayak, there isn’t a lot to do at the site during high tide, but if you’re passing through, it’s interesting to see what high tide looks like in comparison to low tide.

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Exploring Hopewell Rocks

Hopewell Rocks is a self-directed park, however knowledgeable staff are located at key areas to answer any questions you may have or to provide context to what you are seeing. After you arrive and buy your ticket, the walk down to the entrance to Hopewell Rocks is about 10-15 minutes. There is also a trolley that moves guests up and down if walking isn’t your thing. I would recommend giving yourself an hour or two to explore the 2 km of sea floor that is exposed during low tide. The rocks themselves are fascinating, and are commonly referred to as Flower Pot Rocks because of the trees and other vegetation growing out of the tops of them.

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they really do look like flower pots…

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Be sure to wear comfortable, waterproof-ish footwear so you can explore all the coves that are exposed during low tide, and so you don’t get wet as you walk alongside the crashing waves. It can also get quite windy at Hopewell Rocks, so bring a jacket/windbreaker, and hang onto your hat! Scott’s Toronto Blue Jays cap blew off when we were walking near the edge of the water and he had to run into the waves to retrieve it!

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I find as I have gotten older, I’ve begun to really appreciate the world in it’s natural state. Although the Hopewell Rocks are literally just giant, neat-looking rocks on a beach, seeing them in person transforms them into so much more than that. Scott and I talk often about how much we loved walking the beach, completely in awe of the beauty of our surroundings.  I highly recommend stopping in to experience Hopewell Rocks for yourself if you’re visiting New Brunswick, or exploring your way through Canada’s incredible East Coast.

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*All photos & opinions are my own. 

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