Planning a trip to Newfoundland this summer? Full of rugged natural beauty and charming rural fishing towns, this is sure to be a trip you never forget. While there are thousands of awesome things you could do in Newfoundland, we’ve narrowed the list down to our favorite 15 so that you can be able to fit all of these into a 1 week trip out East. Here are the best things to do in Newfoundland!
1. Take the Ferry Over
First, let me start by saying that exploring Newfoundland by car on a road trip is by far the best way to do it. While you could fly to the island, and rent a car there, if you are interested in a truly unique experience to add to your trip, I can’t recommend taking the ferry over enough. Whether you’ve taken a ferry before or not, taking the ferry to Newfoundland from Nova Scotia is a special experience that truly gets you excited to explore this rugged maritime island. We’d suggest taking it from North Sydney to Port-aux-Basques on the way there, and then returning from Argentia. Marine Atlantic runs the ferries, and tickets cost $20 for a reclining seat or $120 for a bunk room like the one pictured above.
2. Check out Gros Morne National Park
Gros Morne is arguably one of the most spectacular National Parks in Canada and definitely deserves a spot on your itinerary in Newfoundland! Filled with a series of fjords, the park evokes imagery of Iceland or Norway, and is truly majestic. There is actually an epic hike that actually takes you above the biggest fjord and gives you a fantastic view looking down the valley, however it’s pretty pricey at $250 a person so we opted to skip it.
3. Explore Western Brooke Pond
While you’re in Gros Morne, be sure to head to Western Brooke Pond to see the largest Fjord and take a boat through it! You can book boat tours through the company BonTours and if you want to do the epic hike above the fjords you can book it with them too! We opted to do the Snug Harbor Hike instead and really enjoyed it. Just be prepared for a wild river crossing 😉
4. Hike Lookout Trail
To see some scenic panoramas of Gros Morne National Park, a great hike we’d recommend in a different part of the park is Lookout Trail. Not only does it have a great view of Tablelands, the funky geological formation you can see above, but there’s also tons of wildlife around too. We saw several moose on this trail alone!
5. Visit Twillingate
An adorable fishing town surrounded by rugged cliffs, Twillingate has all the charm and activities you could want. Walking around town, we quickly discovered so many exciting hikes and boating excursions that we realized that Twillingate is one of the MUST-SEE towns in Newfoundland.
6. Go Whale Watching
While you’re in Twillingate, you absolutely have to go whale watching. There are lots of different activities here, which I’ll dive into below, but I think whale watching is definitely the best to prioritize as you’re most likely to have success! We went with Iceberg Tours, but quickly realized that all the tour companies work together. When one boat spots a whale, they share the location with other tours. In addition to the wildlife, you’ll also get a great view of the coastline as you jet about looking for whales, so be sure to bring your camera!
7. Go Iceberg Watching
Now, this is one that you really will have to prioritize the timing of your trip around if you want to see. Iceberg watching is a classic activity to do while visiting Newfoundland, however, there is a small window of time when you can do this. On top of that, every year is different depending on the weather, so there are no guarantees! Typically, you can expect to see the most icebergs between late May to early June.
8. Spot a Puffin
This one is something you can easily do while out on a whale or iceberg tour as puffins can be seen all over the Newfoundland coastlines. They are pretty funny looking guys so be sure to snap some pics!
9. Walk the Shoreline Heritage Trail
This easy 6km, well maintained walking trail takes you along the shoreline in Bay Roberts and seriously feels like you’ve been transported to the Scottish highlands. If you’re looking for an easy hike that doesn’t disappoint in views, be sure to walk the Shoreline Heritage Trail.
10. Visit Quidi Vidi
Another super charming fishing village, Quidi Vidi is filled to the brim with colorful houses precariously perched into the steep rocks of the inlet it sits in. There’s also some very easy hiking right around the perimeter, that will give you a cool view from above the town.
11. Drink a Beer Made from an Iceberg
After wandering around town, be sure to sit down and have a beer made from an Iceberg! Seriously, where else can you do this??
12. Eat Some Cod Tongue
A delicacy in Newfoundland, you absolutely have to try this at least once on your trip! To be honest, I was pretty nervous to try them myself, but they’re always fried pretty deeply and taste very similar to regular fish so there’s nothing to be afraid of.
13. Visit the Easternmost Point in Canada at Cape Spear
With a massive lighthouse, an old lighthouse keepers cabin to explore, and sweeping views of the Atlantic Ocean, Cape Spear is a must-see on your Newfoundland trip. I’d suggest coming in the early morning or late afternoon to avoid crowds as this is a pretty popular attraction and way cooler to have it all to yourself.
14. Explore St. John’s
Certainly a highlight of your trip to Newfoundland, St. John’s is the only real “city” on the island, and calling it a city is almost a stretch. Perched in the hills of the bay it sits in, the town has charm out the wazoo and a wonderful waterfront with lots of fun shops to visit on Water Street.
15. See Thousands of Birds at Cape St. Mary’s
Honestly if you like crazy, unique, outdoor adventures, Cape St. Mary’s just might be your favorite stop on this trip. I know it was mine! It is a bit of a drive to get there from St. John’s, but absolutely worth it. An ecological preserve that attracts hundreds of thousands of migrant birds, the best to see while you’re here is Bird Rock, pictured in the pictures above. It’s a two-mile walk out there along tall rugged cliffs and utterly spectacular in every way possible.
Well there you have it! The top things to do on your trip to Newfoundland. Any that I’ve forgotten and should add in? Let me know in the comments!
Planning your Newfoundland road trip? Click here to read our full one-week itinerary!
Wednesday 2nd of June 2021
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