Newfoundland, affectionately known by locals as 'The Rock,' is perched right on the edge of North America. This unique geographical position makes it one of the most extraordinary places on the planet to immerse yourself in the grandeur of nature. It's a land where towering mountains reach for the sky; ancient rock formations whisper tales of time, and breathtaking coastlines stretch as far as the eye can see. Here, you can even get up close and personal with icebergs that are a staggering 10,000 years old! With a plethora of national parks and ecological reserves, Newfoundland is a veritable treasure trove for nature enthusiasts. It's a place where the wild and the beautiful coexist, where every view is a postcard, and where adventure awaits around every corner. So, pack your bags and head to this province to unlock the explorer within you. Get ready to create memories that will last a lifetime, to be awed by the raw beauty of nature, and to fall in love with a place that's like no other. Welcome to Newfoundland, the edge of the world where the adventure of a lifetime awaits.
When you visit Gros Morne, you're not just visiting a park; you're stepping into a world of stunning fjords, rugged coastlines, and towering mountains that seem to touch the sky. This park is more than just a beautiful landscape; it's a geological wonder that offers a unique way to experience the history of the Earth itself. Imagine walking on land that was shaped by crashing glaciers and colliding continents millions of years ago. Now, it's a UNESCO World Heritage Site, a testament to its global significance. Whether you're strolling through lush forests and bogs or hiking to the top of Gros Morne Mountain, every step you take is a step through time.
Signal Hill isn't just a hill; it's a steep climb that offers an unparalleled view of St John's Harbour, the bustling downtown, and the narrow straits. This hill has been a crucial site for defense and communications, with a history that reaches back to the 17th Century. Fast forward a couple of centuries, and in 1901, Guglielmo Marconi received the first transatlantic wireless transmission from the highest point of Signal Hill. This achievement marked a significant milestone in global communications history. Today, Signal Hill is a fantastic place to explore hiking trails, watch the sunset, and reflect on the past.
The Rooms is more than just Newfoundland and Labrador's largest public cultural space. It's a place where history, heritage, and art come together in a beautiful symphony. The architecture of The Rooms is a tribute to the history of Newfoundland and the fishing rooms where the community gathered to process their catch. It also offers stunning views over St. John. But the real magic happens inside. With an extensive collection of artifacts, including dioramas of the animal and plant life of the tundra and bog, and regular exhibits of both local and international artists, The Rooms is a cultural feast for the senses.
Cape Spear Lighthouse is more than just Canada's most easterly point. It's a window into the lives of 19th-century lighthouse keepers and their families. As you explore the restored lighthouse and the lightkeeper's home, you'll learn about the families who worked tirelessly to keep the light shining brightly over the years. This beacon was particularly important during World War II, serving as a vital signal of safe passage. Perched high on a rugged cliff, with the vast Atlantic Ocean before it and all of North America behind, this lighthouse is a symbol of Newfoundland and Labrador's rich marine history.
The Johnson Geo Centre is more than just a museum; it's a unique geological journey built into the side of Signal Hill. Most of Memorial University's Johnson Geo Centre is below the hill's surface, offering a unique opportunity to go deep underground and explore the history of the Earth. Here, you can learn about earthquakes, volcanoes, and the varied species of coral that live off Newfoundland. Or, you can look to the skies and explore the future of space exploration. It's a journey through time and space, all under one roof.
Terra Nova National Park is a place where the magic of Canada's most easterly national park comes alive. It's a place where land and sea compete for your attention, with a vast boreal forest that seems to stretch on forever. But the real star of the show is the night sky. As a designated Dark Sky Preserve, Terra Nova National Park offers an unmatched opportunity to experience the night sky with no light pollution. It's a chance to see the stars as Indigenous peoples and early settlers did, a celestial spectacle that will leave you in awe.
Quidi Vidi, often pronounced "Kiddy Vidi," is a historical fishing neighborhood in St John. It's built around Quidi Vidi Lake and a harbor charmingly named 'The Gut' by locals. From the 1600s, fishermen from Southwest England arrived at Quidi Vidi in spring and stayed until fall, establishing fishing rooms. Over time, some decided to build their lives there, and the village grew around them. Today, you can visit historical sites like Mallard Cottage and Christ Church. But Quidi Vidi isn't just about the past. With the Quidi Vidi Brewing Company and Quidi Vidi Village Artisan Studios, it's a place where history and modernity coexist.
When you visit the Bell Island Community Museum, you're not just visiting a museum; you're embarking on a journey through time. The No. 2 Mine tour takes visitors through underground tunnels bathed in a golden light, where guides share stories of days gone by. It's like stepping into a time machine. From deep in the mine, you can hear the sound of the sea around you, a surreal experience that will stay with you long after your visit.
The East Coast Trail is more than just a trail; it's a 336 km (208 miles) journey through some of the most beautiful landscapes in the world. As you trek along the trail, you'll pass by deep fjords, ecological reserves, lighthouses, abandoned historic settlements, a natural geyser, and even icebergs. If you're lucky, you might even spot a whale or two. Starting from Topsail Beach and heading north to Cape St Francis before turning back south towards Cappahayden, every step you take is a step into the wild.
L'Anse Aux Meadows is more than just a historical site; it's one of the best authenticated Norse settlements in the world. Dating back around 1,000 years, this site offers a unique glimpse into the lives of the Vikings. In addition to the archaeological site, several sod huts have been reconstructed, offering a taste of Viking life. The guided tours by staff in period dress come highly recommended, offering a unique opportunity to step back in time. As the sun sets, you can sit around the campfire listening to tales of the past, a truly unforgettable experience.
Iceberg Alley is more than just a place; it's one of the best spots in the world to view icebergs. Every year, from late April to early June, colossal chunks of ice arrive from the Arctic. On clear, sunny days, these behemoths come in all shapes and sizes, with colors ranging from the snowiest white to deep aquamarine. It's a spectacle that's as beautiful as it is awe-inspiring.
Trinity Loop is more than just a derelict amusement park; it's a place where history and nature collide. Once a railway designed to work with the area's rugged terrain, it later became a beloved amusement park with a Ferris wheel, overnight accommodation, and a museum. Today, it's an interesting place to explore, snap pictures, and get a little spooked. It's a ride down memory lane that's as fascinating as it is eerie.
Dildo is more than just a town with a funny name. Located a short drive from the capital of St John's, it's a charming little fishing town with a lot to offer. The well-known 'Welcome to Dildo' sign and town mascot 'Captain Dildo' are great photo ops, but there's more to Dildo than just its name. With a great craft beer brewery and the opportunity to row a traditional fishing boat or dory, it's a place where history and modernity come together in a unique way.
The Tablelands is more than just a hiking trail; it's a 4km (2.5-mile) journey through a landscape like no other. Made up of the Earth's mantle, which was thrust into the open during geological events millions of years ago, it's a place where you can drink in panoramic views, check out unusual rock formations, and maybe even spot the odd bear. It's a place where the beauty of nature is on full display.
The Museum of Whales and Things in Port au Choix is more than just a museum; it's an art project that's constantly evolving. While it does contain a fully preserved skeleton of a Sperm Whale, among other natural objects from the area, it's the collection of oddities that makes it truly unique. From bones and skulls to nets, old newspapers, sand dollars, lobster traps, and strings of Christmas lights, it's a place where the ordinary becomes extraordinary.