Where to see Seals in New Brunswick

There are many different places to see seals in New Brunswick, both on the mainland and on some of the islands. All of these locations are within a thirty-minute drive from Moncton, so if you’re ever in our wonderful province and you want to go seal watching, it’s very easy for you to do!

Here is a list of some prime viewing locations:

1) Eatons Creek Nature Park – This nature park has two viewing spots where seals come ashore with regularity. One spot is located at an accessible walking trail while the other is at a viewpoint overlooking a tidal marsh.

2) Okak – If you’ve never been to Okak, it’s a great drive-through stop. You can see a seal resting in the water right by the parking area.

3) St Martins – One of the best places to see seals in New Brunswick is the St. Martins Marina. This private marina is located on the south side of the St. Martins River, and you have access to one of two viewing areas at low tide if you’re lucky enough to arrive early enough (the first hour before low tide). The second viewing area is accessible by walking across a small wooden footbridge right before low tide.

4) Carleton – This town is located on the west side of St. Martins River, and there are usually quite a few seals just off the mouth of the river. You can take a cruise off this area as well if you like!

5) Grand Manan Island – There are a lot of great things to do on Grand Manan Island, but one of our favourites is to go seal watching on one of the many beaches (there are more than you’d think!). We’ve seen seals sunning themselves for hours at a time, and we’ve also watched them hunting at low tide.

6) Hopewell Rocks – This is a famous spot and you will likely see people photographing the seals there. The advantage is that you can get great shots of the seals, but there are also a lot of tourists around, so it’s not very relaxed nor quiet on the beaches here.

7) Cape Jourimain National Wildlife Preserve – Here you can see multiple species of marine mammals up close. Keep in mind though that although this preserve is free to visit, it does take a little bit of time to drive to, and it’s only open in the summer. You’re better off going seal watching in the summer months, as the seals will be more comfortable in the water and hopefully you’ll get to see more seals at a time.

8) Bayfield Beach – This beach is located on the west side of St. Martins River, just across from Carleton. There are a lot of seals here that come close to shore for food, and people often have their equipment set up with them so they can photograph and video the animals as they drift by.

9) Miramichi – There are many different places to view seals here in Miramichi, but we recommend going to one of two areas. One spot is the Miramichi Beach Provincial Park, where you can have a nice picnic and spend a few hours watching the seals come in and out of the water. Another good place to visit is the visitor centre at the Gifford House Museum, located on Bayswater Road (see map below). For one low price you can go into a couple different viewing areas, and even take your photos for free! The Gifford house is a great place to visit as well in general.

10) Miscou Island – There’s a tiny wharf on Miscou Island that is great for viewing seals. In the summer months you can see a lot of seals and there are lots of opportunities to take photos. In the winter months though, it’s a good bit harder as it’s a very cold place, so we recommend going in the summer.

11) Fundy National Park – There are two viewing areas here on the park which are open all year round and free to visit, one is located at Souris and Quaco Lake (see map below), and one is located at Grand Manan Island (see map below).

TIps for watching seals
– Bring binoculars if you have them, they can come in handy.

– Bring a good camera with lots of zoom if you have one, but try to be as close to the animals as possible. Don’t get too close though as they can feel threatened. While taking photos or videos, remember that it’s illegal to feed marine animals, so don’t throw any food at them!

– Check tide charts before heading out, if you arrive too late there’ll be no animals on the beach for you to see.

– You might want a jacket and maybe some boots depending on what time of year you go seal watching.

– If you’re in a group, spread out, there’s no reason to crowd the animals.

– Stay off the nature trails if seals are hauling out on them, as it disrupts them and can scare them off for days. – Wherever you go seal watching, have fun! These special creatures will be around for years to come, so enjoy watching them whenever you get a chance.

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