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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
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- What is a tidal bore?
- A tidal bore is a crest or wave of water that moves up a river as the result of the incoming tide. Rivers typically flow towards the ocean; however when the powerful Bay of Fundy tide comes rushing in, it temporarily reverses the flow of several rivers emptying into the Minas Basin, resulting in a leading wave called a tidal bore. Tidal bores occur twice a day on these rivers.
- Where is the best place to view the tidal bore?
- There are several rivers around the Bay's Minas Basin where you can view the tidal bore. Some of the better known viewing areas include: The Salmon River, Truro, Shubenacadie River, South Maitland (also where visitors may experience the thrill of tidal bore rafting), Maccan River in Maccan and the River Hebert, in River Hebert. These rivers all have public viewing areas.
- How often do tides come in?
- On the Bay of Fundy the tide goes from high to low in approximately 6hours, therefore there are two high tides and two low tides in the run of a 24-hour period. The tide times advance approximately one hour each day, making the tide times different each day.
- How much do the tides actually change?
- High tide can be anywhere from 12m (39 feet) to 15m (49 feet) above low tide. The world record for the world's highest tides were set in 1869 at Burncoat Head Park with an astounding tidal change of 16.8 meters (55.1 feet)!
- Is the Bay of Fundy a safe destination?
- Although the tides of the Bay of Fundy are extreme, they can be experienced safely by engaging in professionally guided activities or by taking some basic precautions. While walking along the coastline of the Bay it is best to begin your outing on an outgoing tide to give yourself plenty of time to return. An incoming tide can sneak up on you as quickly as one foot per minute.
Nova Scotia also has an extremely low crime rate with exceptional law enforcement, and an excellent medical system to ensure your health, well-being and security throughout your visit.
- What is the weather like?
- There is an old saying in Nova Scotia: "If you don't like the weather, wait ten minutes." Click here to learn more about Nova Scotia weather conditions.
- What should I pack?
- It is always a good idea to pack for all types of weather. Even in the summer time ocean breezes can be quite cool, so be sure to pack a warm sweater.
- When is the best time to go whale watching and birding?
- August is generally the best month to view the whales and sea birds that migrate to the Bay of Fundy, due to the warmth and abundance of food sources.
- Can I swim in the Bay of Fundy?
- Of course! There are many great beaches along the coast for summertime swimming. On some beaches you can walk quite far into the water, only being waist-deep. The water is generally quite cool however it warms up on an incoming tide as it travels over the mudflats.
Swimmers should remain close to shore to avoid any unsuspecting currents and if there is any question of weather the water is safe or not it's best to consult a local visitor information centre.
- Is the Bay freshwater or salt water?
- The Bay of Fundy is Salt water, however there are fresh water rivers along the coast.
- Do I need a passport to enter Canada?
- If you are a permanent resident of the US you do not need a passport or visa to enter Canada, however you will require some form of proof of citizenship (i.e. certificate of birth, certificate of naturalization, certificate of citizenship or state birth certificate).
- A driver's license or social security card alone is not sufficient proof of citizenship.
- You must have photo identification (A drivers license may be combined with any of the above-mentioned "proofs of citizenship" to establish identity).
- NOTE: Visitors returning to the US from Nova Scotia require a passport for re-entry into the US.
- Permanent residents of the U.S. who are not citizens should carry a resident alien card.
- If you are visiting Canada from any other country other than the United States you must have a valid passport.
- Currency, credit cards, and ATM cards?
- US$ is accepted at most hotels, stores, and restaurants though exchange rates may vary. US money can be exchanged for Canadian dollars at financial institutions. Financial institutions use the current daily exchange rate.
VISA and MasterCard are the most commonly accepted credit cards in Canada however many locations may also accept American Express.
Most ATM cards are also accepted as most of the major Canadian banks and trust companies are on the Plus or Cirrus networks, however you are encouraged to check with your bank to determine whether your ATM card has any special conditions.
- Is there tax on items I buy?
- Most goods and services in Nova Scotia are subject to 13% Harmonized Sales Tax (HST).
- What is the legal drinking age in Nova Scotia?
- The legal drinking age to purchase or consume alcohol in Nova Scotia is 19. Purchasing tobacco is also restricted to those 19 years and older.
- Does Nova Scotia and the Bay of Fundy have Internet access?
- Internet access is available throughout the province of Nova Scotia. Even most small rural communities have community access locations available to the public.
- Is there cell phone reception along the Bay of Fundy?
- Rogers, Aliant and Telus have digital and analog coverage along the coast of the Bay of Fundy. Reception quality may vary from place to place.
- Are there any special regulations regarding child car safety?
- As of January 1, 2007, Nova Scotia put into effect the following new laws regarding car travel with young children.
- Infants must be secured in a rear-facing child seat when under 1 year old and under 10kg (22 pounds)
- Children who weigh at least 10 kilograms (22 pounds) and are at least one year old may face forward
- Children who weigh less than 18 kilograms (40 pounds) must be in child seats
- Children who weigh more than 18 kilograms must be in a booster seat if they are younger than nine years of age or less than 145 centimetres (4 feet 9 inches) tall
- Failure to use a car seat, booster seat or seat belt may result in a fine of $157.50, and two demerit points for a first offence.
- Seat Belts and Helmets?
- It is law in Nova Scotia that you where a seat belt while operating or traveling as a passenger in a motor vehicle. Motorcyclist and cyclists are required by law to wear helmets.
- Is my driver's license valid in Nova Scotia?
- American driver's licenses and International driving permits are valid for varying periods of time.
- Am I allowed to smoke in public places in Nova Scotia?
- No. The Smoke-free Places Act requires that all indoor workplaces and public places be smoke-free. The Act also requires that all outdoor licensed areas and patios of all restaurants, lounges, beverage rooms and cabarets be smoke-free as well.