Exploring Newfoundland and Labrador

peterac50peterac50 Member Posts: 62
We live in Vermont and have traveled the Cabot Trail in Cape Bretton - an amazing journey. We are thinking about taking the ferry at the north end of the Cape and exploring Newfoundland and Labrador. Don't know when this might be possible or advisable under the circumstances, but we would love to hear from fellow tabbers who have made this journey. Is it worth it? Highlights? Things to think about and plan for before making the journey? Etc. Looking forward to hearing about your adventures.
Peter and Nicki; Quechee, Vt
States Visited Map
2019 Tab 400; 2019 TV Honda Ridgeline


  • ScottGScottG Moderator Posts: 3,506
    We drove to Newfoundland in 2013. No [email protected] then--it was early season (late May/early June) and we stayed mostly in cabins that were just opening up. It's a great choice for a relaxed vacation. Keep it mind it's a deceptively large island and you don't get anywhere fast--we were there a week and only covered the road up the western side and back. Highlights for us includes Gros Morne NP and L'Anse aux Meadows NHS in the far north. I'd love to go back with the [email protected] and explore the road to St. Johns and back.
    You might check out this discussion--there are some additional tips near the end.
    @Dereco, you still out there?

  • peterac50peterac50 Member Posts: 62
    edited May 7
    ScottG: Thanks. Wrote down the parks from the thread you recommended so I could check them out online.
    Peter and Nicki; Quechee, Vt
    States Visited Map
    2019 Tab 400; 2019 TV Honda Ridgeline
  • ScottGScottG Moderator Posts: 3,506
    Sounds good--please post any additional info or leads you discover!
  • Sharon_is_SAMSharon_is_SAM Moderator Posts: 5,196
    We visited pre-Tab as well.  Drove to St. John, NB and ferried over from Sydney, NB to NS, then flew to the west end of NF.  Between the west of NF and St. John’s, NF there is a whole lot of nothing with thick pine forests and a lot of camping.  Best to go in July and August.  We traveled in October - lots of rain, waterfalls and closed restaurants!  Concur with Scott - Gros More NP is worthwhile.  A visit to St. John’s is worthwhile and in the spring you can see the seabirds.  Friends rented an RV and were able to camp just by pulling off the road anywhere!  
    Sharon / 2017 [email protected] CSS / 2015 Toyota Sienna Minivan / Westlake, Ohio
  • peterac50peterac50 Member Posts: 62
    Sharon - Thanks

    Peter and Nicki; Quechee, Vt
    States Visited Map
    2019 Tab 400; 2019 TV Honda Ridgeline
  • ChanWChanW Member Posts: 2,622
    edited May 7
    We also (pre-Tab) took a road trip to Newfoundland (remember to say it right "Newfin-LAND" :D ).
    We drove to Bar Harbour ME, and took the high speed ferry to Yarmouth NS. Then we drove to Sydney and took the slow ferry to eastern Newfoundland. As mentioned, it's a long drive though Newfoundland, back to the western side! 
    We took the return ferry out of Channel Port au Basques.

    Can recommend:
    • St John's NL 
    • Trinity - great little historical town  'Oldest settlement in North America' (has/had? a whale research guy there who's known for his work on whale communication - go on a whale watch with him!)
    • Gros Morne NP
    • Amazing Chowder everywhere (otherwise restaurant food seemed pretty blah - lots of deep fried stuff)
    • Very sparse population - I heard from a local that they actually had a 'forced relocation program' in the 80s? to be able to consolidate services
    • People are wonderful up there. Reminded me a lot of Montana with their self reliance.
    Interesting thing, we went up expecting to stay in motels. There were very few, which baffled us, but lots and lots of B&B places. We learned to ask a local.
    Chan  -  Buffalo NY (Beau Fleuve)
    2014 S Maxx - 2011 Tacoma 4cyl
     [email protected]'ll_Do_Ya
  • ThetisTabThetisTab Member Posts: 2
    We enjoyed  a wonderful month in Nfld ( Sept 20 to Oct 20, 2019 ) ...and a side trip to St. Pierre and Miquelon  were a highlight, as well ( a good parking spot for Tow vehicle and 320 in Fortune, Nfld....worthwhile to catch the Saturday ferry as we had 5 hours in Miquelon where I had the best Coquille St. Jacque, ever and a very good tour of the Island!

     We took the ferry from North Sidney to Argentia ( near St.John) turned right and traveled around the Avalon Peninsula. Wonderful scenery and wonderful people....as the campsites were mostly closed we "tied up" at federal government docks and we were welcomed every time!   We drove across Nfld and departed from Port Au Basque. We went to the north coast to L'anse Meadows  and contemplated a trip over to Labrador, but the weather did not allow so proceeded  south to Bourgeois ( stayed at the Government dock) 
    Only regret... we did not go on the way to L'anse Meadow and it was closed for the season on our way south to Cornerbrook.
     The weather was sunny and warm the whole time....exception was St. Johns at Priddy campsite ....rainy, oh well.
    Thetis Tab 320 .....now back home on Thetis
    My Visited North America Map
  • TabRookieTabRookie Member Posts: 10
    I was born and raised in Newfoundland.  My opinion may be biased, but you will have a hard time finding a better part of Canada to explore.  I have lived in Ontario for the last 20 years but I have made the drive back home every summer for the last 15 years.  

    It is a very large island with the drive taking about 9 hours from the Marine Atlantic ferry port of Port Aux Basque on the south west corner to St. John's on the east coast.  Take your time and there are many small communities along the way with much to see.  And the people are friendlier than you can imagine.

    1. Gros Morne National Park - a UNESCO world heritage site full of natural beauty.
    2. The Tablelands - just on the edge of Gros Morne, it looks like a barren landscape but is actually a 500 million year old sea bed that once stretched from Newfoundland to Florida.  It is also where the theory of plate tectonics was proven.
    3. L'anse Aux Meadows - dating back 1000 years, it is the only confirmed Viking settlement in or near North America outside the settlements in Greenland.  
    4. Twillingate - Icebergs, whale watching, small town charm, and much more.
    5. Bonavista - the site where John Cabot landed in 1497
    6. Salvage - a small fishing community first settled by Europeans in 1675.  
    7. Terra Nova National Park
    8. Trinity - First settled (I believe) in 1500
    9. St. John's - one of the oldest cities in North America
    10. Cape Spear - the most easterly point in North America
    A previous comment mentioned forced resettlement.  This happened mostly in the 1960's and, while not forced, I'm sure many resettled residents probably felt like it was.  The island's coastline was dotted with hundreds of small communities and many were accessible only by boat.  For many years coastal supply boats would make regular stops to deliver food, mail, medical help, etc.  It became too much for the government of the day to handle.  Residents of towns identified for resettlement had to vote 90% in favor in order to qualify.  If that threshold was met then everyone had to leave and each household was paid a set amount - much less than what was needed to buy or build a new home so, many people simply floated their homes across the bay to the new community.  
  • rfuss928rfuss928 Member Posts: 564
    edited May 24
    We were wandering north along the northern Atlantic Coast in 2017 and had settled in at a CG on Cape Breton NS.  We were considering Newfoundland.  Two campground neighbors, one from Newfoundland and the other from NS, quickly convinced us we needed at least a month to to cover the distances and spend time at least some of the many areas of interest. The trip we were on did not allow for that then.
    The couple from NS described the same dilemma previously and they had chosen to tour the Gaspe' peninsula instead.  We talked for a while with map in hand and a few days later that was where we headed for the next couple weeks.  We came in from the south and followed the coast to the Saint Lawrence River and then to the Eisenhower Locks near Lake Ontario.  Wonder variety from deep wilderness, desolate coastlines unique culture, and big cities.
    If time is limited, this is a wonderful alternative tour of Atlantic Canada.
    Newfoundland is still on our "to do" list.
    Have fun!

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