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Machias Seal Island

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Machias Seal Island is in the Bay of Fundy region of New Brunswick, Canada.


The southernmost point in New Brunswick, the rocky 6-ha (15-acre) Machias Seal Island is home to the last of the manned lighthouses in Canada. Two lighthouse keepers are deployed by helicopter for a four-week tour of duty, before being relieved by a new pair.

The island is otherwise a Canadian Wildlife Service sanctuary and nesting ground for thousands of pairs of Atlantic puffins, a thousand pair of razorbill auk, and hundreds of common murres, as well as a few common and Arctic terns. There are very limited facilities to bring passengers ashore from boats; typically a tour operator will transfer at most fifteen passengers at a time onto small craft for landing.

There are a few blinds from which to view the birds unobtrusively, but the amount of time a voyager may spend ashore at the bird sanctuary is strictly limited to a few hours per trip.


Flora and fauna[edit]


Get in[edit]

Access is very much at the mercy of the weather; tours run in high season only and are limited to fifteen passengers each, scheduled so that one group leaves before the next arrives.

Fees and permits[edit]

Get around[edit]

It is possible to tour on foot, but stick to the marked paths so as not to disturb the nesting birds.


Puffins on Machias Seal Island
  • Birds. Lots of birds.
  • There's also a historically-listed lighthouse, still manned as it was in 1832, which shines as a beacon of Canadian sovereignty.


  • Watch the birds. It may be possible to get a photo by hiding behind the blinds to remain unobtrusive.

Eat & drink[edit]


There are two houses, next to the lighthouse. One houses the lighthouse keepers, the other houses the wildlife service team. Short of becoming a Canadian lighthouse keeper, there are basically no opportunities to sleep within the protected wildlife refuge. Best to go back out the way you came in.

Stay safe[edit]

Go next[edit]

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