Newfoundland and Labrador (one province)
Newfoundland island is a beautifully rugged coastal and mountain environment (a mini-Rockies), great for the usual hiking, biking, and kayaking as well as salmon fishing and bird watching, and not particularly cold – temperatures don’t go much below freezing in winter on the island, though icebergs often drift by the north coast.
Signal Hill overlooking the entrance to St John’s harbour is an historic landmark but also offers a wonderful Newfoundland panorama, while the city’s North Head Trail is a remarkably attractive walk.
Three Sisters Beach on Bay Roberts, the Avalon Peninsula in Newfoundland.
The Avalon Peninsula where St John’s sits hosts varied wildlife attractions; in one day tourists can see herds of caribou and massive colonies of both puffins and gannets, while the adjacent Bonavista Peninsula – slightly further away – is the place to see icebergs, whales and puffins.
A sensational drive is Newfoundland’s Viking Trail, heading up to the north tip of the province’s peninsula for empty roads and full views of strange rock formations, dramatically blasted coastlines and ending up in L’Anse aux Meadows, a UNESCO World Heritage Site of probably the only pre-Columbian Viking colony.
The first weekend of August, Friday-Sunday sees a highly recommended, very good value Folk Festival in Bannerman Park, St John’s, Newfoundland.
The province’s mainland section, Labrador, is much colder and very difficult to get around.
Newfoundland and Labrador activities
Hiking: The new East Coast Trail, with camping en route, is famously spectacular.
Cape Spear National Park, North America’s most eastern point, has excellent walks and whale viewing spots but is windy. It’s closed Oct-May.
Gros Morne National Park is hard work but famously monumental, with glorious peaks and fjords. Hike, bike, ride, canoe and ski the 16, 000 km Trans Canada Trail
Ski at Marble Mountain and snowmobile just about anywhere.
Walking in Torngat Mountains National Park, by Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism.
Newfoundland’s west coast hosts large numbers of black bear, moose and caribou in the Long Range Mountains and Lewis Hills.
Bird Island, accessible by land in spite of its name, has immense colonies of easily visible birds – July’s nesting season is the best time to visit.
Whale watching tours operate from many locations.
Iceberg tours run from Twillingate, north of Gander.
In winter the main activity is snowmobiling, by Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism.
The far north USA state of Alaska is also wild, unspoilt and speaks English!