New River Beach

Carrying Cove at New River Beach on the Fundy Shore is a popular check-out dive site due to its lack of currents and gentle tides. This is a good novice diving site as there is plenty of life to be seen in the no more than ~30 fsw.



From Saint John drive West on Highway 1 towards St. Stephens. Follow signs for New River Beach, take exit 86 for NB-790 towards Point Lepreau.  Turn left on NB-175, and turn right on towards Lepreau Village (signage will be there for new River Beach).  After 7.5km, turn left onto Haggertys Cove Road (there is a sign there saying New River Beach). Continue on Haggertys Cove Road across the New River Beach Road and then turn right onto Carrying Cove Road. At the end of the road is a parking lot; turn left and head to the end where the boat launch is... you have arrived. There are a couple of picnic tables in the area that can be used during gearing up.


At high tide the water access is fairly close to the parking area, however on low tide it can be quite a walk to the water's edge.  Incoming tide will be easier to swim back in to shore. The bottom is rocky/sandy and changes to a silty/muddy bottom if you swim straight out. Head to the left into the rocks to see most of the life here.  The Artificial Reef Society of NB have started a reef block site (Reid's Reef) near the rocky corner, look for markers.


Access the water across the beach at the end of the boat launch (depending on if the tide is in or out will determine how far you have to walk to reach the water). The rocky bottom is gently sloped with the occasional larger rock, making it very easy to walk into the water to start the dive. Once in the water swim straight out until you locate the line where the sand and the mud meet. Follow this line to the left until you reach the rocks at the edge of the cove. Follow the rocks out around to the left and you will see plenty of life. The direction of the dive will be West/Southwest.


As this site is relatively shallow (no more than 9.1m (30 ft)) the visibility is fairly tide dependent. For both incoming and outgoing tides where the water is less than ten feet deep the visibility is often limited to under 4 m (13 ft). As you get out deeper on an incoming tide the visibility improves to be in the 5 m to 7 m (16 ft to 23 ft range), whereas on an outgoing tide the visibility will not improve as much.


Approximately 4 ºC (39 ºF) to 10 ºC (50 ºF)


No major hazards at this site. The tide is not very strong, although it will still require effort during an outgoing tide dive. The surge can be felt when the surface is wavy but does not present a hazard. Poor visibility can occur at this site due to exposure and fresh water run-off. Watch out for boat traffic in this area and use a SMB if at the surface. The entry site has a westerly exposure, so rough conditions can be expected from a wind out of the west (also north/south west).


The bottom of this dive site consists of rocks, sand, and mud. Depending on how close you dive to the sides of the cove will determine how large the rocks you see are, and if you see much seaweed.


In the sandy/muddy area you may see flounder and sand dollars. In the rocks you will find nudibranchs. whelks, the occasional lump fish, sea cucumber and anemones.


In 2014 the Artificial Reef Society of NB installed the first blocks for the artificial reef site at Carrying Cove.  A draft site map provides bearings and layout:


New Brunswick Tourism - New River Beach