Aussies first trip to NS, PEI & NB


Oct 9th, 2015, 04:33 AM
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Aussies first trip to NS, PEI & NB

Hi All

We are a couple of middle-aged Aussies who love to travel independently. Scenery, nature, lighthouses, medium hikes are all on our list of interests.

We are in the very early stages of planning a 6 week trip in July/August 2016. Our plan is to catch the overnight ferry from Portland, ME to Yarmouth, NS then hire a car and we will have about 20 days to get from there to Quebec.

Thinking of driving to just west of Halifax and staying for 3 nights and exploring Halifax and surrounds. Then possibly 4 nights on Cape Breton - any suggestions on where best to stay. We definitely want to drive the Cabot Trail (weather permitting). Hopewell Cape/Bay of Fundy are also on our list as is PEI (I am an Anne of Green Gables fan). Wondering about accommodation on PEI - better to stay in Charlottetown or somewhere out on the east coast? Is 4 nights on PEI reasonable?

Apart from Alma and the Bay of Fundy, I have no particular ideas for New Brunswick. Is Fredericton worth a night or 2? I there anything of particular note north of Fredericton? Can we reasonably drive from Fredericton to Quebec city in a day?

I look forward to hearing ideas and suggestions from locals and other travellers.
muddyfairy is offline  
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Oct 12th, 2015, 06:12 AM
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I'm from Ottawa, and here are my thoughts:

Regarding Cape Breton, if you can stomach the price, the Keltic Lodge is very nice ( Keep in mind that this is a relatively old structure and the rooms aren't what a modern resort would offer. If you golf, the Highlands is a stunning course. In general, Cape Breton is very scenic, and very authentic.

If you camp, Meat Cove at the north end of north end of Cape Breton is very popular.

You can drive from Friedricton to Quebec City in just 5-7 hours, which includes a ferry crossing of the St.Lawrence. I'd recommend crossing ar Riviere-du-Loup and doing a side trip to the Saguenay region if you can - it's s stunning fjord with whale watching at Tadoussac. In the Charlevoix region, the Chateay Richelieu ( is pricey and worth it. Quebec city is wonderful - stay in the old city in a boutique hotel. Same goes for Old Montreal.

Of course, Ottawa is a wonderful place too!
CDNRider is offline  
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Oct 12th, 2015, 12:37 PM
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Thanks for your reply. I will definitely look at the options you mentioned.
muddyfairy is offline  
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Oct 12th, 2015, 03:11 PM
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1. I would research car rental carefully before confirming your plans. Drop charges can be steep when doing a 1-way rental across provincial borders. I suspect you won't have a lot of rental choices in Yarmouth, it's a small place.

2. Sample itinerary:
Halifax - 3 nights, 2 days. The city is pleasant but not large. Consider a day trip to Peggy's cove/Lunenburg
Baddeck in CBreton - 3 or 4 nights. Consider doing a detour to do a day in Louisbourg.

Charlottetown - 3 (yes, you can base from Charlottetown, Cavendish/Anne is only 30 - 40 minutes away. )

Alma - 1
Fredericton, arriving late so as to get most of the day in Alma - 2. There's a fabulous art museum - not large, but very good (the Beaverbrook) in Fredericton. And it's a pleasant small city.

That's 13 nights. You can add here and there to slow down and relax, add other interests, etc. Be prepared; the weather is quixotic. It could be blissfully warm and sunny, or be overcast and drizzle, no way of knowing.
Sue_xx_yy is offline  
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Oct 13th, 2015, 07:00 PM
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just throw out a few thoughts for you to consider.
check out "canadian affair". they rent cars without a one way drop off fee between some cities. i know it's good for uk residents and pretty sure aussie's can get it too. probably not from yarmouth but maybe halifax - quebect city as that's a popular route.
i'd recommend a night in lunenburg on your way to halifax. then you can see peggy's cove the next day. 3 nights in halifax.
cape breton - i'd spend 2 nights in baddeck and then 1 night in pleasant bay, 1 night at mcleod's inn by inverness. there is not much around but a beautiful location.
then, take a stop in the pretty town of pictou and then take the ferry over to pei. you can stay in charlottetown if you prefer cities or i liked north rustico. smaller place, close to nice beaches, great atmosphere and you could do a day trip to charlottetown. if you like easy walks, i recommend going to greenwich national park. nice walk from the parking lot (bring lots of water as there is no shade) and ends at some beautiful sand dunes and a gorgious beach. 4 nights on pei would be good.
when staying in alma - i recommend going to hopewell rocks at high tide for an hour to have a look and then return later, or the next day for low tide so you can appreciate the difference. at low tide, you'll want a couple of hours to explore.
i also recommend kouchibouguac national park and fundy national park.
have fun planning. nova scotia is fabulous and you could easily spend 3 weeks there alone.
ltt is offline  
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Oct 14th, 2015, 02:23 PM
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Some great ideas to consider. Thank you.
muddyfairy is offline  
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Nov 15th, 2015, 01:16 PM
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Sorry to inform you that the contract for the Nova Star ferry from Portand to NS was not renewed for 2016. I've not heard if another company will be operating a ferry but I know there were a number of past years with no ferry service. Good luck with your plans.
sandragoodlife is offline  
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Nov 25th, 2015, 08:35 PM
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Hello, I would say you have gotten a lot of good advice so far. You are giving yourself lots of time which is great. I can't comment on the rest of itinerary but I am from PEI. Charlottetown is a beautiful town to visit and walk around but you can see it in a day and you definitely don't want to stay there. Do yourself a favour and stay on the water somewhere. Being from PEI I actually have had more than enough of Anne of Green Gables but you can stay in Hunter River, North Rustico, Brackley Beach or Dalvay. You will be a quick drive to Cavendish for the pilgrimage and easy drive to Charlottetown.

I would double up on ltt recommendation of Grenwich. This is the beach I always take visitors to. Awesome hike through a salt water marsh on board walk and miles of out standing dunes and white beaches.

Also a day drive up to east point to the light house is very scenic. You can stop on the way at Basin Head. A great beach where you can jump off the bridge into shifting tidal bore and get carried out to the ocean. Great Fun.
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