Nova Scotia: Canada's untamed wild child
Witnessing the 15-metre tides at the Bay of Fundy should be on everyone’s bucket list. Supplied
The question “have you travelled to all of the provinces in Canada before?” is usually something I ask people who I have met along the way, who love to travel.
Most often than not, however, the answer is something along the lines of “oh, I have got the rest of my life to explore Canada, there are so many beautiful places in the world I want to see first.” Being from Australia, I shamefully admit that I have only explored the state I am originally from, so it is a response I can sincerely relate to. Although we do always have the rest of your lives to explore our homelands, exploring and learning about the country you live in, will leaving you sighing with gratitude as you realize “yep, this really is the best country in the world.”
Apart from my land down under that will always have a huge piece in my heart, I have to admit that Canada is my favourite country I have ever been to. Now, I could sit here and write out an extra 300 words on why Canada is the best, but everyone reading this, knows why. From the scenery that extravagantly changes from mammoth mountains, to pristine lakes, to coastal towns, and of course the friendly down-to-earth people that don’t take life too seriously, Canada has welcomed me with open arms, and I have fallen in love. A small portion of why I adore this Country so much is the East Coast.
Nova Scotia is the untamed, natural, wild child of Canada.
With emerald rolling hills that plummet at the edge of jaded sea-cliffs, Nova Scotia is a province with extreme diversity. With no part of Nova Scotia further than 67 kilometres from water, this province is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, whilst being the home for numerous bays and rivers. Apart from the entire province being spectacular, I have outlined the best locations that I would recommend when visiting this ‘home-away-from-home’.
Old Town Lunenburg gives you a small glimpse into the best surviving example of its historic beauty, thanks to the British colonial settlement dating back to the 18th Century. With preserved wooden architecture that still stands in its original colonial form, the narrow streets and colourful facades continue to bring visitors from all over the world. The past and present are united together as modern and unique stores fill the majestic, vintage shop fronts. When visiting the harbour, don’t go past getting an ice cream from ‘Sweet Treasures Confectionery,’ it’ll make your day extra sweet.
It’s too often than not, we travel to reach the next big destination, and we forget about the little treasures we find along the way. Chester is one of those hidden gems that I stumbled across when making my way to Halifax. Not many people talk about Chester, but with postcard-like tangerine sunsets over the water, yachts lining the wharf and quaint BnB’s sporadically positioned throughout the town, this urban huddle is home to only 1,200 people. Only 68 kilometres west of Halifax, stopping at Chester for a picnic on the waterfront will break up your drive and leave you feeling refreshed and relaxed for the rest of your day.
Annapolis Royal Region on the Bay of Fundy Coastline
Being one of the Seven Wonders of North America, seeing the Bay of Fundy has been a little ‘dot-point’ on my Bucket List for some time now. Witnessing the tide increase and decrease by over 15 metres in height across six hours, was a contradicting incredulity between my eyes and brain. Although the Annapolis Royal region is incredibly beautiful, seeing the Bay of Fundy from the Coastline will show you the true magic the Fundy can perform before your eyes. Driving through Victoria Beach, Delaps Cove, Hillsburn, Parker’s Cove, Young’s Cove, Hampton and Porte Lorne are the perfect little seaside wharfs that will give you the best view of the Bay.
Now, as I stated earlier, Canada may have the spot in my heart as my favourite country, but I am about to reveal a little place that holds first prize for the best seafood I have ever had. Anyone who visits Nova Scotia and doesn’t plan on visiting the Bay of Fundy Coastline, please do yourself a favour and work this little seafood shack into your schedule. Parker’s Cove Lobster Inc. in Parker’s Cove sells the best seafood chowder and lobster rolls I have ever had. From the outside you may think it is a delivery station for boats and functions purely as an industrial workshop, but inside you’ll be greeted with friendly fishermen who encourage you to try as much as you can. With grandma style homemade buns and lobster pieces that are spilling over the top of the bun, this tiny little shack will have you dreaming about their food years after consumption (trust me).
Just outside of Halifax, Cole Harbour is a little oasis amid a suburban area. Driving through the area, you’ll find untamed wildflowers growing uninterrupted in native areas amalgamating into the shoreline of the harbour. Of course, when visiting Cole Harbour, there are loads of museums, natural artifacts, shopping and restaurants to dabble in, but as always, I prefer to take the road less travelled and experience something many may avoid.
Rainbow Haven Beach is a stunning beach strip that stretches across miles of sand. Approximately 650 metres north from Rainbow Haven Beach, you’ll come to a dead end road. Follow the road until you cannot drive any further. Along this bay, the water stretches out for meters and when it is low tide, an abundance of clams appear along the shoreline. An afternoon spent digging up clams, steaming them on a camping stove top and enjoying them in a clam and veggie stir-fry is exactly what the doctor ordered. A quick word of advice though; the clams must measure less than an inch in length. Anything over, you’ll get fined $300 and then $1 for every over-sized clam you take. Take it from me; just dig up the small ones.
Although Halifax provides visitors with loads of things to do and sites to see, catching a glimpse of the ‘roads less travelled’ is certainly a relaxing way to travel. Regardless of where you are in Nova Scotia, the wealth of untouched beauty overflows from every nook and cranny you unearth.