Walk the Ocean Floor and Coast Up Magnetic Hill

Driving on the Trans Canada Highway along the edge of the City of Moncton you can’t miss one of the most popular tourist attractions in the province of New Brunswick. A cluster of hotels and other services marks Magnetic Hill. The natural phenomenon of the Magnetic Hill has been a tourist attraction for many years and now boasts a cluster of entertaining activities for the whole family.

First you will want to drive up Magnetic Hill. It is a very convincing and intriguing optical illusion. You drive to the end of the road and place your car in neutral. It will roll backwards apparently going up the hill. That’s all there is to it but it never fails to delight as everyone has a theory on how it works.

At the foot of the hill you might visit Wharf Village to do a bit of souvenir shopping and enjoy some good eats. The village is created to look like a typical Maritime fishing village.

Nearby is Moncton’s Magnetic Hill Zoo. The most visited zoo in Atlantic Canada this well maintained display of exotic and local animals is particularly popular with kids at feeding times.

At Magnetic Hill is Magic Mountain Water Park where you can take your little kids on a tube down Lazy River or let them play in Puddle Jumpers Pond. For strong swimmers the wave pool provides plenty of thrills. The same can be said for the many water slides including the Twist & Shout Slide, Loop de Loop and Pipeline. For the really brave the Kamikaze gives you a ride along a near vertical slide where you reach speeds in excess of 60 km (37 mi.) an hour.

Magnetic Hill is also the site of major summer concerts. In the past the Rolling Stones, Faith Hill, U2 and Arcade Fire have played here before huge audiences.

Hopewell Rocks Provincial Park is 47 km (29 mi.) or 35 minutes from Moncton. It is again one of the most visited sites in New Brunswick. At the head of the Bay of Fundy the tides here are extremely high so that it is possible to walk on the ocean floor at low tide and then return to the same place 6 hours and 13 minutes later and see that the tall flowerpot formations you saw from below are now almost totally submerged. This is a perfect place to get an idea of exactly how enormous the tides of Fundy actually are.

Before you visit Hopewell Rocks you might want to consult the tide tables for the day. If you can, plan to arrive at the park between 3 hours before low tide and 3 hours after low tide. This will allow you to descend a staircase from the lower portion of the park and walk on the seabed. You can walk around tall slender islands that have been etched out of the coastal rock and explore several caves in the cliffs.

After your low tide walk you can have a look through the interpretive centre at the upper level of the park, eat at the High Tide Cafe and check out the Tidal Treasures Gift Shop.

Your ticket to Hopewell Rocks Provincial Park is good for two days so if you want to go off to another site around Moncton and return when it’s high tide you can do so. Otherwise you can put in time by swimming and beachcombing at either of the two beaches in the park.

Now, using the tide tables or more simply just asking one of the staff at the park you will know when to descend to the lower level and see the Bay of Fundy at high tide. What has happened to the place where you walked between the pinnacles of rock will astound you. Things have changed so dramatically that you will hardly recognize it.

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