Picking the best month to visit Newfoundland is a challenge. We try and stay away from the Maritimes in July or August as we have been told that there is no room at the B&B's or motels. That leaves June or September. October to May is not very good as most attractions are closed then
We chose September - the weather was quite good - except for a couple of days of rain (from the tail ends of Florida's hurricanes). Problem with September is that there are no icebergs to see, and it seems like there is less successful whale watching.
After our September trip, we were convinced that June would be the best month (grass is always greener on the other side of the road). Weather is good, lots of icebergs, whaling should be good, attractions are open.
Regarding the length of visit, we struggled with that decision as well. After posting a note in the VT forum, I was convinced that one week was enough to see Newfoundland. For us, this was not the case. We had to cut most of our days short or leave stuff off to get back in time for our flight. For us, driving from St. John's up to L'Anse aux Meadows, spending a couple days in Gros Morne and driving back to St, John's took a week. We should have scheduled two weeks. Then we could have spent a couple of days in St. John's (we spent none), a whole day near L'Anse aux Meadows instead of a few hours and visited a couple of scenic routes off the main highway.
If you are following our Newfoundland holiday, click here to get back to my Newfoundland page.
Favorite thing: This map shows our route from Nova Scotia to Newfoundland, with the ferry docking in Port aux Basques. From there, we drove up the west coast to the Port au Port Peninsula for our first night. After continuing north through Corner Brook and Deer Lake, we turned west into Gros Morne National Park, where we spent two nights as we enjoyed the Tablelands and a boat ride on Western Brook Pond fjord. Continuing north past The Arches caves, we spent our next night in Port au Choix, site of ancient native American relics. On our way to the tip of the Northern Peninsula, we diverted east through dense Moose country before arriving at the site of the Viking landings at the far north. The next day, we took a whale-watching trip in a replica Viking boat before making the long drive south again, the following day, as we headed for home.
Favorite thing: In Newfoundland, the locals are still very much dependent on the sea to make a living by catching fishes and other seafood off the rich waters near Newfoundland. As such, you will be able to see many fishing boats, fishermen and towns located near the sea etc. This is perhaps one of the charms and simplicity of Newfoundland.
Favorite thing: In Newfoundland, petrol stations along the Trans-Canadian Highway plays an important role as a one stop centre for everything. There are convenient stores, restaurants, pubs etc here, but more importantly these petrol stations act as stops for the DRL Coachlines which runs across the island from Port Aux Basque to St John's. One of the most important petrol stations is the Irving Big Stop at Deer Lake because this is the place where you also take buses from Corner Brook via Deer Lake to Gros Morne National Park and other parts of the famous Viking Trail.
Favorite thing: Newfoundland is a relatively flat island which is sparsely populated. There are many lakes on the island, and it is mostly covered by trees. A lot of wild animals such as the brown bear, moose, caribou lives here. Please view the photos in the travelogue section of this VT page to have a better idea of the island.
St.John's, tradition declares that the City earned its name when John Cabot sailed as first European into its harbor, on June 24, 1497 the feast day of John the Baptist
the City is the center of buisness, education and goverment of the province. also site of Memorial University and College of the North Atlantic.
not a big City around 100 000 habitants call it their hometown.
This is just a quick tip but I think a good one.
In the fall in cenral Labrador you get nice temperatures at 10 to 15 degrees celsius.
There are no flies and I love the fall colors.
There is a great picture that I took in October in central Labrador near Happy Valley - Goose Bay, along the Trans Labrador Highway.
I hope you enjoy your own experience along this trek! Happy travels!
A great side excursion if you are in the capital city area of St. John's is over to Bell Island.
There is a lot of history in this area and it makes for a fun half day trip. You have to take a 20 minute ferry ride and over on the island there are lots of places to explore.
One of the main attractions is the underground mine tour that accounts for most of Bell Island's history.
I have a link to my dedicated Bell Island VT page.
Bell Island, Newfoundland
The Capital City of the province of Newfoundland and Labrador is St. John's. Newfoundland and Labrador by the way is the proper order of words for this province. I sometime like to say Labrador and Newfoundland just because in this section I am highlighting the Labrador region as a great place to visit.
St. John's is a much more urban environment than you will find in Labrador but a great atlantic city in its own right. As a result I have dedicated a seperate page to the province's capital. You can click below to access my St. John's page.
St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador
Favorite thing: Native berries in Newfoundland, you will find lots of pots of jam, preserves and desserts in restaurants made from the deep red tart partridge berries, and the orangey yellow sweet bakeapples. Bakeapples are a bit more expensive as they are harder to get but really yummy. Partidge berries are sort of a cross between blueberries and cranberries, lovely on toast or in a pie.
Favorite thing: When climbing Gros Morne, one initially goes through some short, stunted (krummholz) forest. The trees' growth is influenced by the cold temperatures and ocean winds. After awhile, one exits the trees to face the mountain. The next stage is a 'scree' slope of loose rock. After scrambling up the scree slope, one finally arrives at the top.
Favorite thing: The Gros Morne Park Visitor Centre is a useful way to start your visit to Gros Morne Park. They have quite a bit of information about the park and the lands within it. In addition, they post information about the current and predicted weather - always useful if you're planning a hike.
Favorite thing: While in St. John's we also took a bird-watching tour out of Bay Bulls, 45 minutes to the south. It was fascinating to see the thousands of sea birds that nest on the uninhabitated (by humans) islands just off the coast. We didn't land on these islands, just looked at them from the boat. I'm not sure we would have wanted to land - the islands were covered with birds! We also had the chance to do some jigging for cod! (We could have gone looking for whales, but our guide told us they had not been seen recently.) It was great fun and we got fish dinner out of it!
Favorite thing: You shouldn't miss Gros Morne National Park if you're on the West Coast of Newfoundland. The mountains and forests are wonderful. The Tablelands, also part of the park, are ancient seabed that has been lifted up through plate tectonics. The area is full of heavy metals, so little grows there. It is fascinating.
Favorite thing: This whale sculpture was near the Confederation Building in central St. John's. It was also near the campground in the middle of the city. Very convenient when we were there in August 1991. The Confederation Building is the provincial legislature.
The Murray Premises is one place in St. John's I had always wondered about after trying a couple of...more
?? I don't know, my place is only 5 minutes away from here. Early in the 1920's Armstrong-Whitworth...more
112 Trans Canada Hwy, Gander, NF A1V1P8
Satisfaction: Very Good
Good for: Solo
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