A trip to Newfoundland

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A trip to Newfoundland

Postby Myosotis » Thu Apr 19, 2007 11:23 pm

I'm interested to visit Newfoundland, this year or next year. I heard that this province is just amazing. But where to begin ? Does anybody have good suggestions to help me planning my trip ? What are the "must see" ?
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Newfoundland

Postby brian » Fri Apr 20, 2007 8:37 pm

Hi, I spent a month in Newfoundland in October/November 2006. I started in St. John's, stayed with friends there as i got my bearings, so to speak. I rented a car from Rent-A-Wreck, in St. John's, on Topsail Rd. It is cheaper at that location than at the airport. St. John's is a wonderful city to walk around in, you are within easy walking distance to all the sites, downtown, Qidi Vidi, Fort Amherst, the Battery, Signal Hill. Great trail leading down from Signal Hill through the Battery and into the city. People everywhere incredibly friendly. Pace of life is like 30 years ago, slower, which really appeals to me. Great music downtown. Bicycled out to Cape Spear, took a few hours, as it is quite hilly - then biked over to Petty Harbour, very pretty. Windy everywhere i went on the Island. Didn't get to Labrador, or to St. Pierre Miquelon. My trip: about a week in and around St. John's. Drove around Irish Loop on Avalon Peninsula (Ferryland, Trepassey), then north on the Peninsula past Flat Rock and Portugal Cove. Around Conception Bay to Brigus (recommended), Heart's Content, Victoria, Salmon Cove (great beach), Heart's Desire, Harbour Grace. Drove to small village of Petley on Random Island. Interesting. Did some oceanographic work with a friend out of there for 4 days. Drove across the Island to Deer Lake, used this as a base to reach Port Au Port Peninsula to the south (french speaking area), then up the northern peninsula past Port Au Chois to L'Anse Aux meadows - incredible interpretive centre there - Viking site. Also went hiking in Gros Morne, up Gros Morne to the top, Western Brook pond, beaches along the peninsula, stayed in Cows Head, also went to Woody Point and Trout River (both very nice and picturesque villages), and to the Tablelands (a must see), and Green Gardens trail to the beach. I also mountain biked along the old railway grade out of Hawley (sp.) near Deer Lake, a good day biking, to the Gaff Topsails. Incredible landscape. Also drove up to Twillingate and over to Fogo Island and to the Irish community of Tilting. Then down through Terra Nova National Park (nice hiking trails), and around the Bonavista Peninsula - Trinity a must see. Stayed in a great B&B in Dunfield, near Trinity. Clarke's Bed and Breakfast. All B&B's ranged in price from $45 to $60 per nice - these were traditional style homes with full breakfasts, as opposed to "continental breakfasts". Great gourmet dinners at Eriksen Premises in Trinity. Try the cod tongue. Also go to see a play at the live theatre there. If you like railways, walk around the Trinity Loop, the only part of the rail line still intact. Also check out the site of the TV drama "Random Passages", which is now a guided tour of what life was like in NFLD in the 1840s. Watch for moose on the highways. If you have any questions, let me know. It was a wonderful holiday - NFLD has incredible scenery, so much contrast in a relatively small area. And the people really made the difference. So friendly and hospitable. Brian Schofield
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Postby Myosotis » Sat Apr 21, 2007 3:19 am

Thank you so much, Brian, for all the details ! I'm pretty sure it will be a wonderful journey for my boyfriend and I. I'll start to find out information based on the details you gave me and if I have questions, I'll let you know.

Merci beaucoup !

Marie-Eve
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Postby LadyBird » Mon Apr 23, 2007 9:55 am

If your going to the rock make sure you visit Gros Morne National Park. That should be a priority.
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Postby Myosotis » Thu May 03, 2007 7:07 pm

And what about St-Pierre-et-Miquelon ? While we are at it, I'd like to visit that place at the same time !!! What should I plan if I want this "once-in-lifetime" visit to the islands to be a blast ?
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Postby LadyBird » Thu May 03, 2007 10:17 pm

Well technically St-Pierre-et-Miquelon are not Newfoundland, but I see your point of being so close to them so why not head over.

If you want a true cultural experience go someplace rural..... Fogo Island would be a blast. You definitely would get some memorable experiences there, and it's a place few tourist get to.

Be prepared for the accent. It seems confusing at first, but really it's just regular English spoken really fast.
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spa in Newfoundland

Postby jodyjoval@hotmail.com » Tue May 15, 2007 5:24 pm

went to the Rock last year and after hiking the east coast trail and in the need of some pampering i found a great spa, in St Johns. It is called the Spa at the Monestary, reasonable and very wonderful, can be found online
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Postby Myosotis » Fri May 18, 2007 6:22 pm

Sounds really fantastic !!! :D
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Postby java » Sat May 26, 2007 12:11 pm

I live in St. John's, NL.

You get to St. Pierre and Miquelon from Fortune on the Burin Peninusula - bring your passport as it is part of France. I have been told is it a wonderful trip. Great French pasteries, wine, etc. The Spa at the Monestary is fabulous...Incredible really. All the suggestions are wonderful.

Definitely hike the Signal hill trail. It is a popular spot even for locals. But do not go on rainy days or after dark. There is a portion of the trail where you have to hold in to a chain that has been spiked into the rock and walk on a narrow trail/ledge to continue - it's fun. In St. John's Ches' Fish and Chips is a chain of fish and chip shops popular with locals. You should check them out. Toutons (fried bread traditionally served with molasses), salt fish(cod), moose, cod, rum etc. are also popular foods and beverages. Depending on when your coming blueberries and partridgeberries may be plentiful. It late august early september you see people selling blueberries along the side of the road - very cheep - like $10-15 for a salt beef bucket (couple of gallons). I can also point you to popular local and affordable restuarants in St. John's and some surrounding areas. Oh...and don't forget George Street in St. John's for drinks and live music.

Gros Morne is a a must see (though have yet to see it myself). Also the Colony of Avalon in Ferryland is the site of a huge archeological dig that has tours - it is great! At the national parks - gros morne and terra nova - you can sign up for sea kayaking and activities. Gros Morne has a theatre festival in the park; Trinity has a well known one that is very good. The tiny outports are definitely pretty and something to behold. Some are almost abandonned due to the collapse of the fishery.

I am sure I can come up with other suggestions or maybe even act as tour guide in St. John's region. I have seen your postings for Costa Rica - a place I am considering visiting in the Fall. Enjoy your trip
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Postby retireme » Mon Jun 11, 2007 12:52 pm

java,
some great points you have made. gros morne looks stunning, but i am also interested in whale watching, possibly by kayak. is this possible during july/august or only during spring or fall? if no whales are around, icebergs would be great!
do you have any suggestions for visiting labrador?
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Postby Maggie » Thu Jun 14, 2007 11:21 pm

I have been to NFLD 3 times and LOVE it! The suggestions made so far are great. Late June to early July is a good time as you might catch a late iceberg and also see whales. Here are some of my favourites that haven't been mentioned:

Gatherall's runs an excellent whale and bird watching tour out of Bay Bulls, south of St. John's. Their guides are knowledgable and their catamaran is very stable (a bonus if you get sea-sick like I do!)

The kayak tours run by Stan Cook out of Cape Broyle, near Ferryland are also well-done.

A few years back, we took a boat trip in Terra Nova National Park with a group of aquatic researchers. Don't know if it still runs, but it was very interesting and we helped with the research.

The Ryan premises and the reproduction of the Matthew (Cabot's ship) in Bonavista.

My favorite beach is Windmill Bight near Lumsden. Also near the Barbour Living Heritage Villiage in Newtown, part of New-Wes-Valley.

As has already been said, if the Newfoundlanders didn't invent hospitality, they certainly perfected it! Expect invitations from complete strangers and expect to eat like never before. Enjoy your trip!
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Postby Kenyabound » Fri Jun 15, 2007 8:28 am

I would definitely visit Fogo Island. Not only is the Irish community of Tilting a UNESCO World Heritage site but the town of Fogo has Brimestone Head, noted by the Flat Earth Society as one of the four corners of the earth.
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Postby deany » Wed Oct 10, 2007 5:10 pm

We visited NFLD for 10 days in Sept 2005. It was not enough time! Most of the highlights have already been mentioned but I just wanted to say how much we enjoyed Gros Morne and Terra Nova National Parks. Both very different but enjoyed them very much. We also rented a car from Rent-a-Wreck. Very nice car, reasonable rates and they gave us free extra miles!! We rented from the same location as the previous message. They will come and pick you up and then drop you off also. Enjoy!
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Postby jimshu » Thu Jan 24, 2008 5:19 pm

A quick question--which side of the road do you drive on in Canada?
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Postby sinecure » Thu Jan 24, 2008 5:33 pm

The right side... ;)
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