Grand Manan Island, N.B., Canada Lost in Translation

Canada eh Travel & Adventure on northern tip of Grand Manan Island, New Brunswick, Canada

This week we packed up the video and camera gear, sleeping bags and tent and headed to Grand Manan Island in New Brunswick, Canada.

New Brunswick is a province with lots to offer travelers and explorers but with little money to market itself globally. This does not mean it does not have much to offer. It just means it does not have the funding to tell you about it effectively.

Because of the lack of tourism funding, misguided management and poor marketing techniques New Brunswick is a province which gets lost in the shadows of the tourism power provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, Newfoundland and Nova Scotia.

Canada tourism is funded, largely, on a provincial and territorial format. Resource rich provinces tend to contribute more to tourism marketing than the have-not provinces and territories. And Because of the large discrepancy in tourism funding many adventure destinations do not get a fair shake in marketing therefore receive less media, and favorable press. Is this right? Is this fair to the traveler? No, not at all? Is this reality in the world of monopolized tourism? Yes.

Recently we were reading up on some reviews of people who booked travels to Canada through non Canadian websites like and Big buck marketing operations with very little personal interaction with Canada. We are not big fans of either.

Viewing Platform at the Long Eddy Lighthouse on Grand Manan Island

Yes, the process of booking with them may be quick but the results we found reported online through Twitter and on Facebook are poor. Many travelers complained about miss-information, increased expenses on arrival, misplaced bookings and extra hidden costs.

How does this help grow tourism and travel in Canada in anyway. But hey… the booking was quick and easy right!

A prudent traveler will fight through the propaganda and make educated travel plans. This process of disseminating information takes allot of work and time which most travelers do not have. And because of the lack geographical knowledge of Canada the process is that much harder for many.

We believe in order to get good accurate information travelers need to eliminate the middle-man type of travel websites and deal directly with tourism business owners and managers. Who else knows more about their business and the community than the businesses themselves.

That is why we at take so much pride in being a hands-on travel website. We are a website which visits the destinations, researches the adventures and puts our travelers in direct contact with the owners and managers of accommodations, tours, guides and others. Why… because we want people who travel to Canada to enjoy a worry free experience with no unexpected expenses… hmmm…  unfortunately we cannot do much about the fluctuating gas prices.

Hence our trip this weekend to Grand Manan Island in the province of New Brunswick, Canada!

Views of Cliffs at Southern Head Lighthouse on Grand Manan Island

New Brunswick’s landscape is forest rich, beautiful and dissected by backcountry gravel roads leading travelers deep into the wilderness connecting with remote lakes, rushing rivers and flowering meadows.

The coastline is home to the Bay of Fundy lined with islands, tea pot rock formations, shipwrecks and sandy beaches.

Grand Manan Island is just one of the many hidden treasures of New Brunswick. The island would make many TOP 10 List if it had the funds to market itself effectively and the people to market it properly.

To reach Grand Manan Island we boarded a 1 1/2 hour ferry to the island. We spent the entire voyage on the outer decks passing by islands with lighthouses and beacons. Alongside the ferry we watched as schools of porpoises bopped up and down out of the water and smiled as we watched whales breaching in the distance.

Cliffs & Low Tides at Red Point on Grand Manan Island

On the island we visited three lighthouses, hiked trails alongside rocky cliffs, walked beaches of wet sand, visited a farmers market and artisan studios.

In the coves and private bays we cheered as groups launched their kayaks from docks and watched as sailboats rode the winds of time and cheered as people pulled in lobster traps from the depths of the ocean.

We visited destinations with names like Seal Cove, Swallowtail, Hole-in-the-Wall, Long Eddy Point, Dark Harbour, Castalia Marsh, Grand Harbour, Red Point, Deep Cove, Southern Head Beach and Indian Beach.

During our trip we observed people sightseeing the island by car, bike and on foot. Many, like us, vowed to return to continue our discovery of the island which seems to have been lost in translation.

Grand Manan Island is just one of the many destinations in the province which, if educated, travelers would be flooding the island with praise and sharing their stories of adventures.

21 replies
  1. Gug
    Gug says:

    We could not agree with you more. Love to hear more down the road about your eco home on your 3 acre lot. Jealous big time. Share photos too anytime on FB, Twitter or Google +. We are excited about expanding Canada eh Travel to New Brunswick and Grand Manan Island.

  2. Joshua
    Joshua says:

    I have been to GMI many times – in fact, I own a 3 acre waterfront lot down sou’west head — I hope, someday, to put a nifty, modern, eco prefab house there –GMI is an AMAZINGLY beautiful place – – the people are a more varied lot 😛 — but for sheer beauty and a climate that really agrees with me year round – GMI is in a class by itself in my book.

  3. Marylin Lockie
    Marylin Lockie says:

    Our museum is AWESOME !!! The only problem I had with it was that I only spent an hour or so there, and I feel like I only saw the tip of the iceberg !!! LOL… Will take more than one trip to fully appreciate it !!

  4. Joanne Hodgson
    Joanne Hodgson says:

    I am from Grand Manan but have lived "away" for 22 years. I still miss the water desperately. We bought a house there 6 years ago and love going back to visit family and friends..

  5. Gug
    Gug says:

    Grand Manan is truly a wonderful island retreat. Glad you had time to visit Wood Island. Next on your list is Deer Island? Like you, we have nothing but good things to say about the island. Cannot wait to hear about your next trip and maybe spoil us with photos. Thank you for your comments and insight to Grand Manan!

  6. Teri Lynn Bainbridge
    Teri Lynn Bainbridge says:

    Hey, you didn't mention visiting the museum…. that is one of the many places on the island that people for get to mention… but we have lots of responds on how lovely and wonderful it is… It is a must see… there is a little fee to come in, but it is well worth it… Lots of everything to see, and we even have evening programs every Tuesday and Thursday nights which run through July and August… which are worth going to… but it just seems that the Grand Manan Museum isn't mentioned very much, when things like this is mentioned… It is so sad.

  7. Eileen Speirs
    Eileen Speirs says:

    Loved the article on Grand Manan. I discovered this island gem on a teacher exchange in 1996 when posted to the school there. I have made great friends and keep returning. This year was my tenth visit I think. I discovered two beaches I had never seen and visited Wood Island off the bottom of the island for a wedding. Grand Manan was listed as no 3 in the readers digest for best small islands in the world. I am from Scotland and consider myself at home from home every time I go back!

  8. Eileen Speirs
    Eileen Speirs says:

    Being from Scotland I consider Grand Manan my home from home. It really is one of the most friendly and picturesque places I have ever been and each time I go I discover something new

  9. Greg McHone
    Greg McHone says:

    New Brunswick won't even put a sign about Grand Manan on the highway near the exit to the ferry, nor highlight it in tourism brochures. We've asked for both.

  10. Latika Agarwal
    Latika Agarwal says:

    I was not fully aware of the information but I have a friend out there who was telling me something of this sort. Very informative post.

    Latika Aggarwal

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