Niagara Falls is a monumental part of Canadian culture. This massive waterfall attracts thousands of tourists every day because there is absolutely nothing else like this natural wonder. While not the tallest waterfall in the world, it definitely takes the cake for the volume of water that surges over the falls, considering over 3160 tons of water flows over Niagara Falls every second. In fact, there is so much gushing water, that the falls is capable of producing over four million kilowatts of electricity. If there is anything to see while you are visiting Canada, this is it, and Cover-More has the complete guide to the ins and outs of Niagara Falls.
How to see it
Journey Behind the Falls
Journey Behind the Falls is way to visit the Falls that will truly immerse you into this immense natural landmark. With the sound of thunder in your ears from the massive amounts of water plummeting over the falls, take a journey deep below and behind the heart of Niagara. You will be able to stand in the midst and experience the awesome spectacle of the water tumbling down from 13 storeys above.
Price: Admission cost for Journey Behind the Falls is A$18 for adults and A$12 for children.
White Water Walk
The White Water Walk is unlike any other hiking experience you will encounter. Visitors trek along a boardwalk at the very edge of the Great Gorge Rapids, where trillions of gallons of water are dumped into this waterway from Niagara Falls. This is a great way to view the falls from a more natural as you are in the midst of luscious forestry and can view the 410-million-year-old rock layers of the Niagara Gorge. The rushing water and vivid landscapes are truly unforgettable.
Price: It costs A$13 for adults and A$9 for children to enter the White Water walk.
Whirlpool Aero Car
Hopping into a Whirlpool Aero Car is another remarkable way to view the falls and the Great Gorge Rapids. You will be transported through the air in an antique cable car, while far below you the water from the falls races through the Great Gorge and abruptly changes directions; as a result, you are soaring above one of the world's most fascinating natural wonders—the Niagara Whirlpool. The aero car safely travels about one km between two different points of the Canadian shore of the Niagara River.
Price: A ride in the Whirlpool Aero Car costs adults A$15 and children A$10.
Grand Helicopter tour
Very little can compare to the sight of the falls visitors have when riding over it in a helicopter. Take an exciting 20 minute Grand Helicopter tour for a birds-eye view of Niagara Falls and enjoy unrivaled panoramic views of the falls and the surrounding landmarks. This tour continues over Canada's gorgeous wine country, but nothing tops admiring the majestic falls from the air as you fly right above them. These unbelievable aerial views are definitely a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, so don't forget your camera.
Price: A grand helicopter tour starts at A$126.
Maid of the Mist boat ride
The Maid of the Mist boat ride is world-renowned experience and will complete your Niagara Falls visit. Offered in both the morning and the afternoon, tour the base of the magnificent Horseshoe Falls from inside the famous Maid of the Mist boat. While journeying into the heart of one of North America's most powerful waterfalls, you will hear the crashing waves, see the breathtaking views, and—of course- be covered in mist directly from the falls.
Price: A ride on the famous Maid of the Mist boat will cost adults A$24 and children $14.
Open Jet boat tour
Looking for something even more thrilling? Check out an Open Jet boat tour for a journey down the Niagara River on what else but an open-air jet boat. This experience will stick with you for years to come as you enjoy the beautiful scenery, amazing white water, and get soaked in the rapid waves from the Niagara River. This wet and wild trip will take you right past the Niagara Whirlpool and offer magnificent views of the falls themselves.
Price: A very wet Open Jet boat tour can start at A$80.
When to go
Niagara Falls is an exquisite sight year-round. In the warmer months, the mist from the falls and breeze off the river can be very cooling and enjoyable. From June through August, often visitors are greeted with the sight of a rainbow arching over the falls and the sight is incomparable. Unfortunately, during the summertime is when you will have to face larger crowds.
However, the fall and winter months are just as special, despite the colder weather. During this time of the year, the winter brings an added dimension of beauty to the falls. The mist and the spray in combination with the colder air and winds spray nearby structures like trees, lamp posts and buildings creating incredible ice sculptures. On bright, clear days in the winter when the snow and ice glisten in the sunlight, Niagara Falls looks like an arctic masterpiece.
What to pack
Packing for Niagara Falls definitely depends on how you plan to see the falls because some visits can be more wet than others, however your safest bet is to bring an extra change of clothes. You may not head on an Open Jet boat tour, but even the White Water Walk can result in a soaking.
If you are visiting in the winter, most definitely dress warm. Wear as many layers as possible and try to bring a winter coat that is waterproof. Even though the falls slow doing during the winter because of all the ice, there is a very good chance you will still get doused. During the spring and summer, temperatures can rise over 26° C, but they can also be unseasonably colder and stick around 18° C so be prepared by keeping an eye on the weather before you depart for Canada.
Most importantly, bring your camera. No matter what time of year you plan to visit Niagara Falls, the views are absolutely stunning and you will want to capture as much of it as possible. If you plan to use your smartphone for taking photos during the trip, look into purchasing a waterproof case beforehand in order to protect your phone. Many travel insurance plans do not cover water damage to your electronics.
However, just because your valuables are not protected in case of water damage, do not pass up on purchasing travel insurance. Like many major tourist attractions, theft is always a possibility so be proactive and protect your devices with travel insurance.
Image courtesy of Flickr user Robert Meeks; cropped from original