Oh, Canada! 10 must-visit Canadian natural wonders

by Julie Bruns

Our home and native land is full of gorgeous natural wonders, and because of Canada’s massive size and varied geography, they are incredibly diverse. From towering trees to tidal rock formations and majestic mountains, here’s a shortlist of the top 10 you really just can’t miss. [Image credit: iStock.com/sjo]

Oh, Canada! 10 must-visit Canadian natural wonders

1. Niagara Falls, Ontario

Ok, so we started with an easy one. Can’t have this list without Niagara Falls! More than 168,000 cubic metres tumble over the crest of of the falls every minute. This, needless to say is an incredible natural spectacle. You can view it from above, or hop on a boat with a tour company like Niagara Falls Tours or Niagara Sightseeing Tours Canada and get close enough to be doused in the mist.

2. Iceberg Alley, Newfoundland & Labrador

Giant chunks of ice floating along in the currents of the North Atlantic? Welcome to Iceberg Alley – it’s something you have to see to believe. Get up close and personal with an iceberg in a boat or kayak along Newfoundland and Labrador’s east coast. Each spring, massive icebergs migrate down the coastline, creating a majestic view as they float by.

3. Rocky Mountains, Alberta and British Columbia

The majestic peaks of the Rockies inspire awe in visitors, and the wild creatures wandering about Jasper and Banff National Parks leave an impression that sticks with you for life. Never seen a wild bighorn sheep or elk? Chances are, you will in the Rockies! Take your time to be a tourist, and stay a few nights in a rustic hotel like The Alpine Village Cabin Resort in Jasper or the Hidden Ridge Resort in Banff.

4. The Northern Lights, Northern Canada

There’s something ethereal about the silently slinking shades of the Northern Lights against a velvety dark northern sky. If you have yet to see this light show put on by nature, it’s a perfect excuse to plan a trip to Northern Canada. Tours such as Aurora Borealis Yukon or Northern Tales can help put together a relaxing vacation package. After all, why not take in the Lights in style?

5. Cathedral Grove on Vancouver Island, British Columbia

The West Coast’s temperate rainforests are a truly special place, and no location is more impressive than Cathedral Grove. Located within MacMillan Provincial Park on Vancouver Island, the grove is home towering Douglas firs and Western red cedars – some more than 800 years old. Several of these giants are more than 75 metres tall and 9 metres in diameter at their base. This is a place to contemplate the beauty and strength of nature.

6. Singing Sands at Basin Head, Prince Edward Island

Something special happens when you set foot on the beaches of Basin Head in Prince Edward Island. Softly squeaking sounds emanate from the moving sand, making the beach seem to sing around you. The dreamy sea-side setting makes it a perfect place to escape to for some peaceful time with nature. Book a few nights at the quaint Singing Sands Inn and enjoy a break from the world.

7. Hopewell Rocks at the Bay of Fundy, Nova Scotia

Sticking out of the Bay of Fundy are the striking formations known as the Hopewell Rocks. During the extreme low tide, these strange, tall rocks, fondly referred to as “flowerpot rocks” after their narrow bases and the trees growing out of the top of them, are left completely exposed, and you can wander around them and admire how the sea has carved their faces over the centuries.

8. Whale pods off the coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia

Families of orcas, grey whales and humpbacks live along and travel the coastline of British Columbia, and if you are lucky enough to spot them as they play, it can be one of the most exciting and heart-warming experiences you can have. Tours from the likes of Prince of Whales Whale Watching  are available out of Victoria, Tofino and even Vancouver, and occasionally you may even glimpse these impressive beasts right from a ferry in Howe Sound.

9. Gros Morne National Park, Newfoundland

We mentioned Newfoundland’s east coast earlier in this list. Now we turn to the west coast of the province, where the amazing topography and waterways of Gros Morne National Park – its fjords and “ponds” – have been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Spot moose and caribou, arctic hares and ptarmigan in this awe-inspiring landscape.

10. Dinosaur Valley, Drumheller, Alberta

You’ll be forgiven if you think you’ve suddenly be transported to the Grand Canyon in the U.S.  when you first lay eyes on Dinosaur Valley in the Badlands of Alberta. The striking landscape includes unique rock formations called hoodoos and just happens to be home to one of the richest troves of dinosaur fossils in North America. Discover millions of years of natural history with a guided tour of the valley or a visit to the Royal Tyrell Museum of Palaeontology.

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