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Canada is home to some vibrant cities and some wonderful man-made attractions, but what sets Canada apart from other destinations are its natural wonders.
Anyone that has been on Canada holidays will have had their breath taken away from just looking at the raw beauty the country offers.
From cascading waterfalls to dancing lights in the sky, there are so many natural attractions which you can enjoy in Canada. In this guide, we take a look at the top eight natural wonders of Canada that will stay with you for the rest of your life:
- The Northern Lights
- Niagara Falls
- Great Bear Rainforest
- The fjords of Gros Morne
- Hopewell Rocks
- Dinosaur Provincial Park
- Nahanni National Park
- Moraine Lake
1. The Northern Lights
Provinces: Yukon, Northwest Territories, Manitoba, Alberta, Québec
Source: Robert Berdan
The Northern Lights is one of the best natural wonders that you can enjoy in Canada as the sky explodes into colours of greens, yellows, blues and reds. This natural spectacle occurs when electrically charged particles from the sun collide with gases upon entering our atmosphere and these emit light across the sky.
With Canada located under the auroral oval (a huge ring above the Earth’s Geomagnetic North Pole that displays an aurora), it means the opportunities to view this natural phenomenon are high.
Robert Berdan, who is the blogger behind the Canadian Nature Photographer, tells us why the Northern Lights are his favourite natural wonder in Canada.
“My favourite natural wonder in Canada is the Aurora photographed in Yellowknife, the colours and movement are one of the most awesome sights I have ever seen. I returned to Yellowknife more than ten times to photograph it and witness the different colours.”
2. Niagara Falls
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Visiting the Niagara Falls, which is one of the world’s biggest waterfalls, is something that you will never forget and is something that is on many people’s bucket lists of things they want to see. Unsurprisingly, it is one of the world’s most popular honeymoon destinations and is Ontario’s most popular attraction.
The waterfall is so accessible with it being just 1 hour 45 minutes away from Toronto airport and it spanning both the US and Canadian borders.
Best of all, there are multiple ways you can observe this natural spectacle as you can take a boat tour on the famous Maid of the Mist, trek through tunnels behind the cascades on the Journey Behind the Falls or get a bird’s eye view from the Skylon Tower observation deck.
Kathryn Burrington, the writer behind the Travel With Kat, visited Ontario in spring and she loved her trip to Canada during this time of year as she got to see a frozen Niagara Falls.
“I had a fabulous time discovering a snowy Ontario one April, including seeing the spectacle of a frozen Niagara Falls and a mystical winter-white Lake Superior. Think snowshoes, ice-fishing and wool mittens holding mugs of hot chocolate around a roaring fire.”
READ MORE: Canada travel guide
3. Great Bear Rainforest
Province: British Columbia
Source: Robert Berdan
The Great Bear Rainforest hit the headlines back in 2016 when Prince William and Kate visited it during their Royal Tour, but despite its fame, it still remains one of the best and most pristine wilderness environments anywhere in the world.
It is the world’s largest intact temperate rainforest as it extends 250 miles across the north coast and central areas of British Columbia.
The Great Bear Rainforest is renowned for its fjords, old-growth forest and its array of wildlife. Wildlife in the area ranges from whales to wolves, but the most iconic animal that calls the area home is the cream-coloured Kermode bear as it can only be found in the Great Bear Rainforest.
Robert Berdan told us that there are a couple of rainforests he loves in Canada and that they were the Great Bear Rainforest and The Carmanah Valley, a rainforest on Vancouver Island.
“The second most awesome wonder is the Rainforest on Vancouver Island in the Carmanah Valley. The giant trees make you feel like you are walking back in time. The Great Bear Rainforest along the BC coast also made me feel this way.”
4. The fjords of Gros Morne
Province: Newfoundland & Labrador
If you thought that there aren’t any fjords that could rival the ones in Norway, then think again. Gros Morne National Park was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987 for its incredible beauty that spans more than 1800 square kilometres and one of its most spectacular parts are its deep, glacial fjords.
The fjords are nothing like you would expect to see in Canada and one of the best ones to visit is Western Brook Pond.
The fjords aren’t the only natural wonders in Gros Morne National Park as you step foot on ancient sea beds, enjoy alpine plateaus, photograph dramatic waterfalls and walk over the red rocks of the earth’s mantle, which have been pushed to the surface by collisions from tectonic plates.
READ MORE: Canada’s Greatest National Parks
5. Hopewell Rocks
Province: New Brunswick
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The world’s biggest tides can be found in the Bay of Fundy and as a result of the tides, there have been rocks eroded to form spectacular formations.
One such section is known as Hopewell Rocks, located at Hopewell Cape, and they are certainly worth visiting during a holiday to Canada.
If you are visiting Hopewell Rocks you need to be aware that twice a day, the tides flush into the bay, rising as high as 16m, and therefore flooding the base of the rocks. When it is low tide, you can walk amongst the stunning rock formations.
Sonja Lishchynski from the travel blog Montecristo Travels talks about her experience of Hopewell Rocks: “They stand 40–70 feet tall. So, it’s no small thing to see when the tide is at its lowest and you walk the bed. And yes – as you can see pets are welcome to this Provincial Park. What a treat!
“There are some food options, and trails to hike in the woods as well. You can easily spend a full day and still only just scratch the surface. A MUST see if in NB, Canada.”
6. Dinosaur Provincial Park
Another natural wonder of Canada that should be on your bucket list is the Dinosaur Provincial Park, located in Alberta’s Badlands. The park is home to some of the most important fossil discoveries ever made from the ‘Age of Reptiles’.
The park dates back a staggering 75 million years and is the perfect place to visit if you’re a Jurassic Park fan or a budding palaeontologist as you can still stumble across bones that date back to these periods.
If you are visiting Calgary, then there is no reason not to visit the park as it is just a few hours’ drive from the city. Once you are there you can follow lots of hiking trails to get up-close to the fossils. Along the Centrosaurus Quarry hike, for example, there is a full skeleton embedded in the earth.
READ MORE: Must-visit provincial parks near Calgary
7. Nahanni National Park
Province: Northwest Territories
If exploring over 500 kilometres of breathtaking terrain is up your street, then Nahanni National Park in the province of Northwest Territories is the place for you.
There are dozens of trails that are full of natural wonders such as glaciers lakes, rivers and mountains. If you are a keen photographer you should look to climb up Sunblood Mountain as you will be able to take a panoramic photograph of the park’s layout.
If you enjoy really challenging hikes, the Ram Creek Trail is your best option. It is a 15-kilometre trek but is full of beautiful scenery with every twist and turn.
If you are visiting the Northwest Territories, Robert Berdan told us that he recommends heading to the tundra in near Point Lake.
“Another awesome spot is photographing Caribou on the tundra in autumn near Point Lake in the Northwest Territories from Peterson Point Lake Lodge – few people get to see these magnificent animals in such a beautiful setting.”
8. Moraine Lake
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This list of natural wonders just wouldn’t be complete without including one of Canada’s stunning lakes. One of the most beautiful is Moraine Lake in Banff National Park.
With its blue-green water reflecting the surrounding forest and the snow-capped mountains of the Rockies, it is unsurprising that the lake features on so many postcards.
There are so many activities you can do when you visit Moraine Lake and one of the most popular is to rent a canoe and paddle around the lake. You should also look to hike along one of the trails for some spectacular photo opportunities.
These are just some of the natural wonders we think you should visit on future Canadian holidays, but there are lots of other stunning natural attractions located all over the country.