In this blog post, I will be going on a Road Trip across New Brunswick discovering the fundy coastal drive across Atlantic Canada.
On this trip, I will first travel around Nova Scotia before heading over to New Brunswick, then returning to Nova Scotia by ferry to complete a loop route.
First starting in the city of Halifax before making our way up to Cape Breton, then heading down to Hopewell Rocks, travelling across the fundy coastal drive. Then take a ferry crossing over to Digby to return to Nova Scotia and drive back to Halifax to complete our journey.
I’ve teamed up with Scott Tisson from Intrepid Escape and we will both be going on a road trip adventure around Atlantic Canada together visiting the provinces of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.
I’ve split this road trip into two blog posts, one of them covering the Nova Scotia road trip leg and this blog post covering the New Brunswick road trip.
Here is my travel guide to visiting the Atlantic Canada province of New Brunswick.
First, we Depart Pictou, Nova Scotia before making our way to New Brunswick. Taking the scenic route 6 along the Sunrise Trail to Amherst and then crossed the New Brunswick border to start our journey in the province.
Starting our journey across New Brunswick at Hopewell Rocks
Driving Time: Pictou to Hopewell Rocks: Via Route 6, 3 hrs.
Welcome to Atlantic Canada and the province of New Brunswick!
I couldn’t have picked a more iconic location as the first stop on your road trip across New Brunswick than Hopewell Rocks.
For thousands of years, the massive tides of the Bay of Fundy have been patiently sculpting their masterpiece in Hopewell Cape, New Brunswick.
With over twenty free-standing sea stacks peppered along two kilometres of shoreline, no Atlantic Canadian vacation is complete without experiencing these icons that are the Hopewell Rocks.
And just when you think you’ve seen it all, wait six hours as the ocean floor transforms in ways you wouldn’t have believed possible.
First, visit the beds of Hopewell Rocks during the day and explore the many sea stacks on foot.
Then return in the evening once the tide has risen and the sun starts to set for a spot of kayaking around the same iconic sea stacks.
Low tide will change times depending on the time of year so best to do some research in advance and work out when best to visit Hopewell Rocks.
Go sunset kayaking around the Hopewell Rocks
Baymount Outdoor adventures are a watersports company based at Hopewell Rocks and offer a sunset Kayak experience to discover the rocks.
Team up with your paddle buddy and go out to sea as the sun starts to set so you can get the best of both worlds and explore the Hopewell Rocks with sunlight and then darkness.
The local kayaking guides make the experience worthwhile and are full of knowledge about the rocks too which is most helpful as you guide your way around the rocks.
It’s a magical experience and a great way to discover the Hopewell Rocks, be sure to book well in advance as spots on the sunset tours sell out quickly.
What a great way to spend your first day in New Brunswick.
Stay overnight in the charming town of Alma
Driving time: Hopewell Rocks to Alma – 40 mins.
Being based for the night in Alma is a great idea as you can easily access Hopewell Rocks, Fundy National Park and the start of the Fundy Trail Parkway.
If you are feeling thirsty, grab a pint at the Holy Whale Brewery, which was built inside a renovated church with loads of different craft beers on tap to try.
Be sure to pick up a flight to sample a selection of tasty craft beers on tap.
They also have a selection of decent coffee on offer in the morning at Budha Bear Coffee roasters.
If you’re looking for a place to eat in Alma, there are several delicious options to choose from. Tipsy Tail is a local favourite, followed by the Alma Lobster Shop and the Octopus Garden is a good shout too.
The Alma Inn also has a good takeaway fish and chips offering if you fancy grabbing something tasty and quick before you go sunset kayaking around Hopewell rocks.
Don’t forget to stop at Kelly’s Bake Shop in the morning for some sticky buns, an Alma staple.
Hike around the Fundy National Park
Spend a day hiking around the Fundy National Park and explore over 120 km of hiking trails.
Start your planning by heading to the Parks Canada kiosk located on the edge of Alma. Here you can pick up your park permit and a selection of trail maps.
The local guides are full of knowledge at the kiosk and happy to help offer some suggestions based on your walking ability and time frame.
Connect with the land and the ocean at New Brunswick’s first national park, created in 1948 and is open year-round.
We opted for the Coppermine trail which is around 5km long and will take you between an hour to two hours to complete the trail.
This hike offers some incredible coastal viewpoints to enjoy along the trail at around the halfway mark.
The Dickson Fall Trail is also another good and easy option for all abilities with around 1.1km of wooden pathway and takes you to a selection of waterfalls.
Around 30 minutes of walking time to complete so, you could easily do both if you have some more free time.
Fundy National Park is a great way to get out and explore some Canadian nature trails with some stunning coastline too.
Enjoy the Drive along the Fundy Trail Parkway
Not only is the Fundy Trail Parkway an incredible location for multiple hiking opportunities, but It’s also an amazing place for coastal driving.
Driving time is around 30 minutes from Alma to the start of the Fundy Trail Parkway and you can find the entrance at Little Salmon River Road to the Fundy Trail Parkway.
Follow the signage to the new eastern entrance to start your journey.
Spend the day exploring this 2,559-hectare park featuring a 30-km drive hugging the Bay of Fundy coast with stunning views in every direction.
Here you will find beaches, 35 km of hiking and biking trails, and over 20 lookouts offering incredible views. 15-metre waterfall, 60-metre suspension bridge, a canyon and loads of awesome rock formations to discover. Loads to see and do along the Fundy Trail Parkway.
At the end of the drive, you will enter the coastal town of Saint Martins. If you’re looking for a place to eat for lunch, be sure to check out the Caves Restaurant which offers wonderful views of the coast and Sea Caves. They do one of the best Chowder & fish platter offerings in New Brunswick.
Spend the weekend discovering Fredericton
Fredericton is around two hours driving time from St. Martins at the end of the Fundy Trail.
Welcome to the city of Fredericton. New Brunswick’s Capital! Relax with locals over a craft beer, dive into rich history on display throughout the city and explore gorgeous outdoors and parks by land or water.
Fredericton offers a wonderful blend of urban city life with a delightful side of nature chucked in for good measure.
Stay overnight at the Crowne Plaza Lord Beaverbrook Hotel which offers a perfect central location for exploring Fredericton.
Fredericton is an active, outdoor cities with water sports like kayaking, canoeing, and stand-up paddleboarding, beautiful gardens and one of the best cycling and walking trail systems in the Maritimes.
Explore the Wolastoq/Saint John River, which was named a Canadian Heritage River through Parks Canada’s Canadian Heritage Rivers System.
Start your trip to Fredericton off with a slice of morning adventure and Go on a guided canoe paddle adventure tour with Second Nature Outdoors. A wonderful introduction to exploring Fredericton from the water.
Explore the Fredericton Taproom Trail
Later in the Afternoon, head out on an exploration of the Fredericton Taproom Trail.
Pick up a bicycle rental at Savage’s, The longest-established bike shop in Canada since 1897.
once you’ve picked up your bike for the day, head out on one of the premier trail systems in the Maritimes with over 120 km of non-motorised, multi-use trails on both sides of the Saint John River.
The trails are a great way to connect different parts of Fredericton as they pass by National Historic Sites, museums, parks, hotels, eateries, shops, art galleries and taprooms, so make the most out of them when exploring the city.
Cross the spectacular and iconic Fredericton Bill Thorpe Walking Bridge spanning over the St. John River provides the most spectacular views of downtown Fredericton.
Fredericton boasts the largest number of craft brewers per capita in the Maritimes with 26 local breweries, cideries, distilleries, meaderies, and wineries.
Fredericton Tourism partnered with 10 local taprooms to create the Fredericton Taproom Trail, the first trail of its kind in New Brunswick.
I would recommend first heading to Picaroons Brewing Company Roundhouse Tap Room as your first stop as here you can pick up your Brew Bucks and map to get started. I would recommend a pint of the Irish Red, which was a lovely drop.
Collect your Fredericton Taproom Trail passport map and every time you buy a pint or flight at one of the participating taprooms, receive a stamp to unlock a special Fredericton Taproom Trail T-shirt once you’ve collected your stamps.
Many of the taprooms are just off the city’s trails and located close to each other so it’s easy to bike to a few in one afternoon or evening.
So, get your pencil out, go through the Fredericton Taproom Trail passport map and circle the ones that tiggel your fancy and see where the day takes you.
When you’re feeling peckish, a unique place to eat in the evening is the Lighthouse by 540, locally sourced dishes served in a lighthouse setting.
My favourite finds in Fredericton is the Lunar Rogue Pub, which is named one of the great whisky bars of the world, with over 850 different whiskies available to choose from. Perfect for a relaxing dram of whisky after a full day of adventure.
Also, worth checking out in Fredericton, New Brunswick is the newly renovated Beaver Brook Art Gallery.
The renovation and expansion design of the building itself is incredible and is an incredible peace of design and architecture.
The Beaver Brook Art Gallery has over 300 works, including paintings by J. M. W. Turner and Salvador Dalí. If you have some extra time in Fredericton or looking for an alternative program on a rainy day, then this is sure worth the visit.
Travel to St. Andrews for a spot of whale watching
Spend the morning exploring the charming downtown of St. Andrews by the sea.
The town has long been one of New Brunswick’s premier vacation destinations.
Wander the historic town and see houses that were barged across the bay from Castine, Maine, and then rebuilt here in Saint Andrews by the United Empire Loyalists in 1783.
Stop for lunch at Char And Chowder for one of the best lobster rolls in St. Andrews before your whale-watching excursion.
Arrive at Fundy Tide Runners for your 2 pm whale watching experience.
Whale watching with Fundy Tide Runners (located in the Day Adventure Centre at the head of Market Wharf, off of Water Street).
Hop aboard the Tide Runner, a 24-foot rigid-hulled Zodiac HurricaneTM and experience the wonders of the Bay of Fundy.
After donning your flotation suit and a short trip briefing, you will embark on the adventure of a lifetime.
Once underway, the boat will weave its way among the bays and channels of the West Fundy Isles.
The rugged beauty and diverse bird and marine life surround you.
The world’s highest twice-daily tides stir up a bounty of food in local waters, which attract several species of migratory whales.
These include the Minke, Finback, Humpbacks and the North Atlantic Right Whale, the rarest whale in the world.
In addition to the whales, you will likely encounter harbour seals, harbour porpoises, Atlantic puffins and bald eagles.
A fantastic way to spend some time out at sea exploring Atlantic Canada.
Make your way to the city of Saint John
Driving time to Saint John from St. Andrews is around one hour.
Spend some time exploring the Uptown area of Saint John, Canada’s oldest incorporated city, and the only city on the Bay of Fundy.
Stay at the Hilton Saint John for great views of the harbour and a short walk to town.
If you’re looking for a place to eat, Saint John Ale House is a great spot for local Moosehead beer and mussels with chips. Perfect spot to spend your evening in Saint John.
Take the ferry crossing from Saint John, New Brunswick to Digby, Nova Scotia
By taking the ferry crossing from Saint John, New Brunswick to Digby, Nova Scotia, you can easily connect the two Canadian provinces with a complete road trip loop route.
Now that the Fundy Trail Parkway is open on both ends, you can start from Halifax, drive up to Cape Breton and work your way along the coast of New Brunswick.
Check in to the Bay Ferries terminal in Saint John, Bay Ferries for Digby, Nova Scotia. travel to Digby, Nova Scotia.
Depart New Brunswick via Bay Ferries for Digby, Nova Scotia.
If you would like to read about my journey across Nova Scotia, the second part of this road trip, you can read about it over on my Nova Scotia blog.
Thank you for reading about my road trip across New Brunswick, Atlantic Canada
Thank you for reading about my road trip across New Brunswick, Atlantic Canada
I hope you found all the above information useful towards your trip planning.
Be sure to also read my connecting guide about Nova Scotia as the route can easily be done in a loop.
Have an amazing time exploring Atlantic Canada and its many provinces!