Cape D’Or – Advocate Harbour, NS

“So are the rocks here filled with gold?”

We’re sitting in a car with two other travel writers. Two are from here, one from away, none know the answer. We’ve been on a week-long joyride through Nova Scotia’s Bay of Fundy Region. Cape D’Or wasn’t on our itinerary, so we all agreed to get up early to see this cape of gold.

The day before we’d kayaked between the nooks and crannies of the nearby cliffs. We passed the three sisters and walked between the narrow passageways of the scenic Fundy shores. It left us wanting more.

Cape D'or Nova Scotia

We arrive at the parking lot to Cape D’Or and see a sign pointing toward a café at the base of a steep hill. I could get used to all the jagged rocks and ocean views that have guided this trip. It feels like we’ve stumbled into another world.

Cape D'Or Advocate Harbour Nova Scotia

All I have wanted since the first stop on our Joy Ride are more Glooscap stories. The interpretive panels at Cape D’Or say that this area was one of Glooscap’s camping grounds. It describes the amethysts that Glooscap scattered all along the Fundy shores, a gesture to please his grandmother, and re-tells the tale of Glooscap and the beaver.

cape dor6

It’s a slightly different tale than the one I heard at Five Islands. That isn’t a surprise, though. The Glooscap legends, like all Mi’kmaq stories, were passed along for thousands of years in the oral tradition. There are bound to be a few variations along the way.

Cape D'Or Advocate Harbour Nova Scotia

On the way out, our question is answered by another interpretive sign:

“In 1607, the gleaming copper of these basalt cliffs prompted the explorer Samuel de Champlain to name this headland Cap d’Or, or Cape of Gold”.

Silly Champlain. That one’s gonna go down in history.

From the village of Advocate Harbour follow the signs and drive 6 km up and over a gravel road.


This trip is part of our #NSJoyRide series. We went on an epic road trip along Nova Scotia’s Bay of Fundy thanks to the fine folks at Nova Scotia Tourism. They covered the costs of our week-long road trip.  We hope you love following our tidal adventures. Check out more in this series here:

Five Islands Provincial Park
BlackRock Bistro
Catch of the Bay (Masstown Market)
Driftwood Park Retreat
Joggins UNESCO World Heritage Site
Irwin Lake Chalets
Cape D’Or
Tidal Bore Rafting
That Dutchman’s Cheese Farm (and nature paradise)

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The Local Traveler

Two travellers' tales of finding adventure on the East Coast. This blog is dedicated to the best parts of travel, and to discovering, celebrating and promoting things to do in our corner of the world, and sometimes beyond. We especially love craft beer, day trips, romantic escapes, local food & hidden gems. Join our community on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and share tips and photos of your favourite East Coast adventures.

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