The Best Rafting Adventure And You Have Probably Never Heard Of It.

The Best Rafting Adventure And You Have Probably Never Heard Of It.

Shubenacadie River - Tidal bore rafting

Tidal bore rafting is AMAZING! I warned you, you’ve probably never heard of it and you most likely have no idea what a tidal bore is!


The Bay of Fundy, on the east coast of Canada, is home to the world’s highest tides. At the highest point (in the Minas Basin), tides can reach up to 16 meters (53ft). To put that into perspective, the average tidal range around the world is 1 meter (3ft). Water that raises 16 meters in 3.5 hours is impressive! The Bay of Fundy is one of the worlds natural wonders and twice everyday the bay fills and empties a billion tonnes of water during each tide cycle—that’s more than the flow of all the world’s freshwater rivers combined! (More info)

Maitland is a very special town in Nova Scotia, Canada. It’s located at the mouth of the Shubenacadie river. Here the tide enters the river at its widest point and as the water piles up and flows over the outgoing river water it creates a wave. This wave is known as a tidal bore and continues into and up the Shubenacadie River. As the tide quickly rises over the sand bars in the river, rapids form. Where there are rapids, there is rafting!

Tidal Bore Rafting - Shubenacadie River

On our way to the sand bar to await the rising tide

I took my nephew out rafting with Shubenacadie River Runners and we had an amazing time. I’ve been white water rafting twice in western Canada, but the amount of fun I had doing that doesn’t even come close to the amount of fun I had tidal bore rafting. The guides were friendly, fun and knowledgeable. Check them out if you’re ever in the area. Definitely worth the visit.


Handstand on the sand bar waiting for the tide to come in.


There are a few key differences between regular white water and tidal bore water that you might be interested in knowing:

  • The water is warmer than what you’ll see in western glacier fed white water rafting. That in itself makes me a happy girl since I’m usually always cold.
  • You don’t have to paddle! Another plus in my books, I hate accidentally getting hit in the face with a strangers paddle when they flail it around erratically.
  • The raft is a zodiac style boat…with a motor! Which means not only can the guide pick the best (wettest) route, but once you finish one set of rapids, you turn around and do them again before moving further up the river!
  • The water looks like chocolate milk! Think of it like a salt water mud scrub, great for a facial, but stains everything brown!

What amazing rafting adventures have you done?



Jill Patterson
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1 Comment

  1. Ryan Biddulph 9 years ago

    Hi Jill,

    That looks awesome. I recall reading about the Bay of Fundy in the Guinness Book of World Records as a kid. I remember the tidal surge was impressive but it’s really ridiculous, when you think about it. We stayed in a house on stilts in Koh Lanta, Thailand, on the bay, and even a 12 to 14 foot tidal change was impressive.

    One minute we were dried out, below, a few hours later the waves lapped at the bottom of the house, some 15 feet above the bay ground. Nature is awesome, and 53 feet is just mind boggling.

    Awesome experience I imagine. I know rafting is pretty big here in spots on Fiji, so I’ll have to do some research.

    Thanks so much for sharing guys. I didn’t hear of this, and will be happy to tweet it through Triberr, to spread the word.

    Signing off from Savusavu, Fiji.

    Have a great weekend.


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