Fun things to do in Province of Newfoundland and Labrador

  • The Narrows as seen from the South Side Hills
    The Narrows as seen from the South Side...
    by crummey
  • Things to Do
    by jamiesno
  • Gannets near Bona Vista
    Gannets near Bona Vista
    by mdrn

Most Viewed Things to Do in Province of Newfoundland and Labrador

  • Bwana_Brown's Profile Photo

    The Vikings have Landed!

    by Bwana_Brown Updated Feb 24, 2007

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Practically within walking distance of our B&B in Saint Anthony is the second of Newfoundland's UNESCO World Heritage Sites. L'Anse aux Meadows was first visited by Europeans when a 30-man Viking ship from Greenland, captained by Leif Eriksson, landed there during a voyage of discovery to the west (1000 AD). They found the area and climate to be so hospitable that they decided to spend the winter there, before sailing back to Greenland in the spring with a load of lumber and wild grapes that they had found growing nearby (hence the name 'Vinland' in the Viking Chronicles). As word got out in Greenland, more ships sailed west and eventually the settlement consisted of 8 wood-framed huts overlaid with sod roof and walls. There are even records of the birth of the first European in the New World taking place at this location (a boy named Snorri). However, this area had also been used by the native population (called 'Skraelings' by the Vikings) since about 6000 BC. The result was eventual conflict and deaths, culminating in a retreat back to Greenland by the heavily out-numbered Vikings. L'Anse aux Meadows would gradually decay for almost 1000 years before it was once again brought back to life. Today, Parks Canada administers the site and puts on wonderful demonstrations of how life took place inside the huts. These huts had long narrow fireplaces in the middle, used for heat, light and cooking (note the roof-vent in the photo). In addition to the buildings, there are other sites that show the original foundations of other buildings. Admission is US$6 for adults, open from June 1 - Oct. 14.

    A replica Viking sod hut A Viking Lady in Sod Hut doorway
    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Archeology
    • Road Trip

    Was this review helpful?

  • Bwana_Brown's Profile Photo

    A Huge Inland Fjord

    by Bwana_Brown Updated Sep 24, 2006

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Long Range Mountains comprising this peninsula of Newfoundland were formed hundreds of millions of years ago during the geological changes associated with the formation of the Earth's continents as they are presently formed. During the Ice Ages, huge glaciers carved 'fjords' with 2300-ft sheer cliffs (700-m) , like these ones, in the resulting mountain ranges. Later, as the climate warmed, the glaciers melted and the surface of the earth gradually rebounded as the great weight was removed. As a result, these fjords were cut off from the ocean itself, forming trapped bodies of water, called 'Ponds' in Newfoundland. After leaving the Tablelands, we arrived at the entrance to Westen Brook Pond and then left the car park to walk a short distance inland to the interpretive centre (3rd photo). From the centre, there is a very interesting 30-40 minute (3 km) trail walk across the now intervening lowlands before you reach the edge of the trapped fjord seen in the distance. The lowlands actually comprises a coastal bog and three small wooded limestone ridges - with various interpretive signs located at strategic intervals. If you are lucky, you may even come across a Moose feeding in the bogs!

    The boat tour cruised up the 16-km (10-mile) lake with a running commentary on the various waterfalls, cliff features and wildlife that is encountered. The second photo shows the view as we leave the far end of the lake, where a hiking trail connects to the 707-metre (2300 foot) Gros Morne Mountain in another section of the park. Herds of caribou still use the uplands of Gros Morne as their breeding ranges. Arrangements can be made to hike into or out of this spot and then use the boat tour as a one-way passage on the lake. The cold 165-m (500 ft) deep waters of the lake are home to Arctic Char, Atlantic Salmon and Brook Trout.

    The view as our tour boat enters the fjord Looking back toward the fjord entrance A half-hour trek to the 'Pond' behind us
    Related to:
    • National/State Park
    • Eco-Tourism
    • Road Trip

    Was this review helpful?

  • Bwana_Brown's Profile Photo

    Ancient Paleo Eskimo Settlement

    by Bwana_Brown Updated May 10, 2006

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Our first night north of Gros Morne was spent at the fishing town of Port aux Choix, about halfway up the Northern Peninsula. The earliest European presence here dates to the 1500's when the town received its name, Portuchoa, meaning "little port" from Basque fishermen who operated in the area. Although the weather deteriorated into showers and sometimes outright rain here, we were able to squeeze in a couple of activities.

    Our first visit was to the recently opened museum displaying the rich archeological finds discovered here regarding the earliest inhabitants of the region, thanks to the prehistoric coastline having risen above sea level when the glaciers melted. As their literature describes it: "This site commemorates the Maritime Archaic Indians who lived from the forest and marine resources of the Atlantic coast from Labrador to Maine between 7000 and 3000 years ago. Later, about 2500 years ago, the Groswater Paleo Eskimo, known as expert seal hunters, also inhabited the area. More recently, by A.D. 500, a Canadian Arctic people known as the Dorset Paleo Eskimo had arrived as far south as Newfoundland, of which they were the principal inhabitants for over 700 years. The Dorset occupation of Newfoundland marked the most southerly expansion of Paleo Eskimo peoples and the large habitation site discovered at nearby Phillips Garden provides detailed evidence of how they lived."

    The weather let up for a bit, so we struck out on the 4-km Phillips Garden trail for ourselves to have a look. The terrain along the trail is flat as it follows the coastline to the light tower at Point Riche. It is a fairly easy hike except for a couple of areas where you have to walk over limestone rocks. By exploring the low limestone cliffs, one can discover relics of the ancient past. Fossils are abundant throughout this limestone and the area's low vegetation with its unique array of wildflowers is in part due to the calcium-rich soil.

    Eroded limestone along Phillips Garden Trail
    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Road Trip
    • Archeology

    Was this review helpful?

  • Bwana_Brown's Profile Photo

    The Moose are Loose

    by Bwana_Brown Updated May 10, 2006

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Continuing our drive north from Port au Choix, we decided to veer right just short of St. Barbe, as we headed for the eastern side of the Northern Peninsula for the first time. Our route took us through the small village of Roddickton before we reached the coastal fishing village of Englee. This whole northern tip of the peninsula is marshy ground with thick stands of Black Spruce trees, a paradise for Moose from what we observed as we drove through this part of the island!

    Moose are not native to Newfoundland, but four animals were brought over from New Brunswick and released in 1904 in an attempt to increase the local food supply in this harsh climate. The result is amazing, with Newfoundland now full of these huge animals - 127,000 of them at last count. You will see the occasional one along the highway through the daytime but they are out in force at night - on the highways too. At night, they are dark (hard to see), their eyes do not reflect headlights back at you and they are heavy (typical males weigh about 1200-lb or 550-kg) when they fall onto your windshield and crush it. Gros Morne National Park has a sign with the latest statistics for the year (13 moose and 7 caribou accidents so far that year in the park). We saw 6 Moose during our day trips - keep off the roads at night for the same reason (PS - I hit one in Maine on Interstate-95 so I know what they can do)!

    Bull Moose in Spruce Forest Typical Highway Moose warning sign
    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • Eco-Tourism
    • National/State Park

    Was this review helpful?

  • Bwana_Brown's Profile Photo

    A Chunk of the Earth's Crust!

    by Bwana_Brown Updated Sep 24, 2006

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    A half-hour or so after leaving Deer Lake, you will enter Gros Morne National Park, one of Canada's best. Inside the southern edge of the park is an amazing geological wonder called the Tablelands. This, in fact, was the main reason why the park was made a UNESCO World Heritage site. The Tablelands is a 260-million year old chunk of lava from the earth's crust that broke off and was thrust to the surface during collisions between the constanting moving tectonic plates in this part of the world. There are a few other places in the world that also boast similar formations, in Oman, Cyprus, Tibet and southern Chile. The rocks are composed of peridotite but, when thrust to the surface, they change to the mineral serpentine. Due to weathering effects, serpentine turns to a tan colour, giving this huge formation its distinctive look. The chemical composition of the rocks is also not very condusive to plant life, consequently it appears to be a barren moon-like surface in comparison to the surrounding spruce forests. Here, I am sitting on the back of our car at a rest-site in the Park, but we really enjoyed our drive up onto and around this amazing chunk of rock! The other photo shows how the Tablelands sticks out from the crowd when viewed from the other side of Bonne Bay.

    The Tan-coloured Tablelands Tablelands as seen from Norris Point
    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • Eco-Tourism
    • National/State Park

    Was this review helpful?

  • Bwana_Brown's Profile Photo

    Corner Brook Panorama

    by Bwana_Brown Updated May 11, 2006

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    On our second day in Newfoundland, we drove northwest on the TransCanada Highway for another hour before reaching Corner Brook, the major hub in this part of Newfoundland. Although the city is based on the economics of a large pulp & paper mill that has been running since the 1920s, Corner Brook is situated in a beautiful valley where the wide Humber River estuary meets the Long Range Mountains.

    We found the city to be quite modern with well laid out streets and highways, plus a couple of large shopping mall areas where we could stock up on supplies and get some films developed. While waiting, we did a little driving tour of the city, eventually reaching the pinnacle of Crow Hill Park on the western outskirts of the city. The view from here was really spectacular as we looked out over both the city and the Humber River but, with the wind really blowing, one had to be very careful on this rocky outcrop with a steep dropoff of what looked like several hundred feet!

    A very interesting Memorial to Capt. James Cook of the Royal Navy is located in this park. As it turns out, Capt. Cook found Corner Brook to be an excellent base when he charted this part of the coast in 1767. Cook was marine surveyor of Newfoundland from 1763 to 1767. His detailed charts made life safer for mariners, and his work was so good that many of his charts can still be used today. Of course, Cook went on to claim Australia for England, sailed up the west coast of North America to Alaska and explored all over the Pacific Ocean among his many feats.

    We soon continued onward toward the town of Deer Lake, where we finally branched off the TransCanada Highway and headed toward the coast for our real target - the mountainous Northern Peninsula with its two UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

    Humber River view from Crow Hill Park
    Related to:
    • Road Trip

    Was this review helpful?

  • Bwana_Brown's Profile Photo

    A Tough Life for Local Vegetation

    by Bwana_Brown Updated May 10, 2006

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    As we continued northward on the coastal highway running on the narrow strip of flat land between the Gulf of St. Lawrence and the Long Range Mountains, we came across what seemed to be a pretty scene with a rugged backdrop. However, these colourful plants are actually the Purple Loosestrife weed that has spread across North America, taking over wetlands and squeezing out the local plants. This, in turn, has affected the breeding grounds and sustainability of specialized types of water birds, such as Virginia rail, sora, least bittern, American bittern and black terns. The invasion has reached 47 States and 9 Provinces in North America.

    The second photo shows, just over my shoulder, a long-time hazard to Newfoundland coastal vegetation, one so old that the locals even have a name for it - 'tuckamore'. Native black spruce trees that happen to take root too close to the harsh winds and salt spray coming off the water are stunted and have gnarled shapes, as they have been peramanently bent by the ferocious winds of Newfoundland.

    Purple Loosestrife has Invaded Wind knarled 'Tuckamore'
    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • Eco-Tourism

    Was this review helpful?

  • Bwana_Brown's Profile Photo

    Whale Watching

    by Bwana_Brown Updated May 9, 2006

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    To celebrate the 1000th anniversary of the Viking landing in Newfoundland, a replica of a Norse 'knarr' cargo ship was built and sailed to Newfoundland for the festivities in 2000. After the ripples had died down, this ship is now used for whale-watching voyages out of St. Lunaire, very close to Saint Anthony. The Vikings had different types of ships depending on what their main use was. Shorter and wider (54 feet x 15 feet) than a raiding longboat, the Knarr was used as an ocean-going freighter. Because its deck was higher than a longboat, rowing was usually done standing up when entering or leaving harbour. There were small sheltered areas at both the bow and stern were some of the crew could take shelter from the elements. However, with no pumps, bailing was a constant requirement - usually the job of children when aboard. We had a great whale-watching ride on this craft with Viking Boat Tours!

    The Viking Boat Tour was the best whale watching experience of the three voyages that we have had (compared to Grand Manan, New Brunswick and Tofino, British Columbia). The ship itself is very comfortable and quite roomy - there was a considerable crowd onboard but there was lots of room to move around. They supply wet-weather gear as part of the package (and we needed it briefly as we passed through a shower at one stage). The scenery looking back toward shore was spectacular and the trip got even better as we soon came upon a pod of Humpback whales. We were able to slowly come up behind them and it was amazing to see their vague dark outlines under the water just before they surfaced. Several times, we just sat bobbing on the waves with the engine off listening to the sounds of the ocean and the whales blowing as they surfaced! Other sighting possibilities in this area are the smaller Minke whales as well as some Fin, Sei and Killer Whales. We paid US$21 each for our great experience!

    Replica of a 'Knarr' Humpback Blowing! A Fluke signals a deep dive!
    Related to:
    • Beaches
    • Road Trip
    • Whale Watching

    Was this review helpful?

  • Bwana_Brown's Profile Photo

    A French Enclave Holds On

    by Bwana_Brown Updated Jun 1, 2006

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Jutting out into the Gulf of St. Lawrence from the town of Stephenville, is the Port au Port Peninsula, a geological feature that provides one of the few safe anchorages along this rugged western coast of Newfoundland. This area has a long and interesting history, starting with the arrival of Basque and French fishermen in the 1500-1600s (fishing the Grand Banks). Over the next hundred years, the initial rough fishing camps became permanent settlements with so much activity that this coast of Newfoundland remained the "French Shore" by the 1763 Treaty of Paris, even though France had lost the war with Britain.

    Mixed in with the French and Basque settlers were the Acadian French from New Brunswick and Nova Scotia who had been expelled from their settlements by the victorious British (and some Acadians went to Lousiana where they became 'Cajuns). The result is that Port au Port is today an interesting melting pot of various cultures, including strong English influences due to the area's isolation from other French speaking people, as well as the establishment of a large American airbase in Stephenville during and after World War II. From these bygone days in history, the small islands of St. Pierre and Miquelon, off the coast about 200 miles away to the southeast, are still the sovereign territory of France.

    As for us, we enjoyed a short drive around the peninsula taking in the sights before retiring to our first Newfoundland accommodations for the evening, the fancy Spruce Pine Acres Country Inn. It has all the amenities of deluxe beds, mini-refrigerator, plush bathroom, etc. but at US$120 per night was a bit steep for our tastes. From that point on, we stayed in 'normal' B&Bs for less than half the cost. Here, I am sitting on their extensive lawns overlooking St. George's Bay while I sip a bit of wine.

    Relaxing at Spruce Pine Acres Inn
    Related to:
    • Beaches
    • Road Trip

    Was this review helpful?

  • jamiesno's Profile Photo

    North America's Second Tallest Lighthouse

    by jamiesno Updated Feb 24, 2010

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    At 109 feet from the ground to the light itself, Point Amour lighthouse is the tallest in Atlantic Canada.

    Today it is designated a Provincial Historic Site. The residential part of the lighthouse, now renovated and partially restored to the 1850s period, houses an extensive series of exhibits portraying the maritime history of the Labrador Straits.

    The Point Amour station has figured prominently in the lives of southern Labradorians for well over a century. Today, it stands as a symbol of our maritime heritage and diverse history - a history which has always been intimately linked with the sea.

    My parents actually own and operate a small craft shop at this historic site and I have spent a lot of time here. So I can also attest to the great walking trails in the area and the spectacular close up views of whales and ice bergs that are in the area all spring, summer and fall.

    Point Amour Lighthouse
    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Road Trip
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • jamiesno's Profile Photo

    Ice Bergs!

    by jamiesno Updated Feb 24, 2010

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Icebergs are very common in Labrador during late spring and early summer. Originating in the high Arctic and Greenland, these mountains of floating ice are spectacular as they drift south on the cold Labrador Current to melt in the warmer waters of the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

    Icebergs are often of enormous size and may reach a height of 90 to 150 m (about 300 to 500 ft) above the surface of the sea. Yet about 90 percent of the mass of an iceberg is beneath the surface, which presents potential problems for navigators.

    Two points in Labrador that come to mind for great iceberg views are the lookout in St. Lewis, Labrador and at the Point Amour Lighthouse. That being said you are most likely going to see a number of these throughout coastal Labrador during the spring and early summer.

    Iceberg in the Labrador Straits
    Related to:
    • Whale Watching
    • Road Trip
    • Eco-Tourism

    Was this review helpful?

  • Bwana_Brown's Profile Photo

    A Beautiful Provincial Park!

    by Bwana_Brown Updated May 9, 2006

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    After a long voyage across the Cabot Strait to reach the island of Newfoundland, there is no better way to relax on a sunny day than to visit the J.T. Cheeseman Provincial Park, located only 15 km (9-miles) from the ferry terminus in Port aux Basques. Opened in 1960 and named after a local politician from the early 1900s, this popular park has a good range of tree types and bird species to be found on its natural features, which range from bogs to a beautiful sandy shoreline.

    It was the shoreline that attracted us, as we sat there enjoying the warmth of the afternoon sun and the wind coming in off the water. As with any place in Newfoundland, the capes and sandy beaches here can also be pounded with huge waves, so you never know what you may find washed up from the Gulf of St. Lawence.

    A wide range of amenities are available for visitors, ranging from its 101 campsites (with private picnic tables and fireplaces as well as nearby laundry and shower facilities) to a nearby separate day-use picnic area. To make use of the expansive beachfront area, change houses are available too, but caution is required if you venture too far into these unsupervised waters! One of the nearby capes is known as 'Smokey Point' for the cloud of spray that hangs nearby from the crashing waves!

    We finished up with a picnic meal here and then continued onward past the Long Range Mountains on an excellent highway, as we headed northwest toward the town of Stephenville, 87 miles away (145-km).

    Fine beach at J.T. Cheeseman Provincial Park
    Related to:
    • Beaches
    • Road Trip

    Was this review helpful?

  • Bwana_Brown's Profile Photo

    Take a Cruise as part of your Vacation!

    by Bwana_Brown Updated May 9, 2006

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Even starting from Fredericton, New Brunswick, it is a long drive just to get to the northern tip of Nova Scotia at North Sydney. We stayed there at a B&B before catching the Marine Atlantic ferry "Caribou" across the Cabot Strait to Port aux Basques, Newfoundland in the morning. This is a 6-hour voyage, costing about US$140 (car and 2 people) each way, including taxes, at 2006 rates. The Motor Vessel "Caribou" is a powerful ferry of the highest commercial ice class, able to break through the winter ice in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. The vessel entered service in 1986 as Canada's largest ferry, and comes with all the required amenities of sleeper cabins, restaurants, lounges, theatre, shops and children's area.

    If you are going to Newfoundland, you are going to need a car when you get there, so you may as well take your own to save on airfare/rental costs and enjoy a little cruise while you are at it! We had a great time alternating between sunny topside seating, where we saw a distant whale spouting, and comfortable lounging chairs below decks. It is not a bad way to spend a few hours, when the weather is cooperating! Once ashore, we found the Newfoundland highways to be in excellent shape.

    The
    Related to:
    • Whale Watching
    • Road Trip
    • Cruise

    Was this review helpful?

  • Bwana_Brown's Profile Photo

    Near the Northern Tip

    by Bwana_Brown Updated May 10, 2006

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    We finally made it to the northern tip of the Peninsula, where we checked into a very nice B&B in the village of St. Anthony. The evening before we went on our whale-watching excursion, my wife and I parked our car just off the main road and took a walking trail up a hill with a great view out over the water at St. Lunaire. After we had been at the scenic lookout area for a short while, we were approached by a local man, with his young niece and her friend from Toronto. We struck up a conversation, and it turned out that he is the owner of the Viking Boat Tour that we had already booked for the next day! He said that he had noticed that we locked our car as we left on the walk so he knew that we must be from "away" as there is no need of that here! We had a great old chat and, as we stood there, we could actually look down on whales close in-shore as they surfaced. It was so quiet that, even that high up, we could hear them blow a few seconds after we first saw the spurt from the water! It was a very enjoyable time in the early evening as Paul filled us in on all the details regarding whales in the area. We even managed a glimpse of a distant iceberg far out on the horizon - the only one we saw that late in the summer (early August). This whole experience was one of our fondest memories of the whole trip!

    High above St. Lunaire
    Related to:
    • National/State Park
    • Whale Watching
    • Road Trip

    Was this review helpful?

  • jamiesno's Profile Photo

    Innu Culture

    by jamiesno Updated Feb 24, 2010

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Labrador has two Innu Communities, Sheshatshiu & Natuashish. There are often negative things reported about these communities but the people are nice and if you like meeting and learing about aboriginal culture Labrador is a great place to do it!

    Natuashish is a new community which was developed in 2002, prior to this, the second community was located in Davis Inlet.

    Naskapi and Montagnais were names given to the Innu people by Europeans. The Montagnais live mainly in Sheshatshiu and the Naskapi live mainly in Natuashish.

    Both of these groups of Innu stem from one culture, caribou hunters. The Innu were referred to as Indians by Europeans, but rarely referred to themselves as Indians. Recent reserve creation classifies the Innu under the Indian Act. However, Innu is preferred and commonly used name, which means “human being.”

    Innu Language - Innu-aimun
    Innu in both communities speak Innu-aimun, but have slightly different dialects. Despite these dialect differences, the two groups can communicate fluently.

    The Importance of the Innu Way of Life
    The Innu were traditionally nomadic, traveling the interior of Labrador and Quebec in the winter to hunt mostly for caribou, and migrating to the coast in the summer to fish. There is archeological evidence that Innu have been traveling the interior for thousands of years.

    A permanent settlement was built at Sheshatshiu in the 1950’s. Davis Inlet was built in the 1960’s but the Innu from this community have recently chosen and relocated to Natuashish, on the mainland of Labrador.

    The strength of the Innu culture has proven to be remarkable. In spite of the tremendous pressure to assimilate, they have maintained a strong cultural orientation toward traditional homelands, their nomadic roots and way of life.

    The Innu are great story tellers. Many of the stories have been passed on for years and include narratives on how the world began, how the sun was born, and other worldly beliefs.

    Innu Children in Natuashish, Labrador
    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Eco-Tourism

    Was this review helpful?

Province of Newfoundland and Labrador Hotels

  • Murray Premises Hotel

    The Murray Premises is one place in St. John's I had always wondered about after trying a couple of...

    more
  • Glynmill Inn

    ?? I don't know, my place is only 5 minutes away from here. Early in the 1920's Armstrong-Whitworth...

    more
  • Comfort Inn Gander

    112 Trans Canada Hwy, Gander, NF A1V1P8

    Satisfaction: Very Good

    Good for: Business

Top Province of Newfoundland and Labrador Hotels

St. John's Hotels
335 Reviews - 811 Photos
Torbay Hotels
1 Review - 28 Photos
Random Island Hotels
See nearby hotels
Corner Brook Hotels
12 Reviews - 18 Photos
Wabush Hotels
38 Reviews - 81 Photos
Twillingate Hotels
3 Reviews - 19 Photos
Stephenville Hotels
1 Review - 1 Photo
Spaniards Bay Hotels
1 Review - 13 Photos
Pouch Cove Hotels
1 Review - 8 Photos
Placentia Hotels
2 Reviews - 29 Photos
Petty Harbour Hotels
See nearby hotels
North Twillingate Island Hotels
1 Hotel
Nain Hotels
41 Reviews - 152 Photos
Mount Pearl Park Hotels
See nearby hotels
Marystown Hotels
1 Hotel

Instant Answers: Province of Newfoundland and Labrador

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

105 travelers online now

Comments

Province of Newfoundland and Labrador Things to Do

Reviews and photos of Province of Newfoundland and Labrador things to do posted by real travelers and locals. The best tips for Province of Newfoundland and Labrador sightseeing.
Map of Province of Newfoundland and Labrador