Why Nature-lovers Should Bookmark Newfoundland

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Dec 07, 2017

by KARLA COURTNEY, Writer and Family Travel Specialist

Newfoundland offers nature-lovers a whale of a time in summer, as well as 
a range of seriously cool places to stay. 

Stay

St John’s is a good place to base yourself as it’s the largest city and the location of the main airport. Book a Deluxe Harbour View Guest Room at Sheraton Hotel Newfoundland for panoramic views of the harbour and 
the Narrows. For a modern, boutique vibe, try Blue on Water or The Luxus – both on Water Street with a harbour outlook.

For a luxurious getaway, stay 
at Fogo Island Inn. This tiny island off Newfoundland’s north-east coast, while not as convenient as St John’s, is a destination in itself. The inn offers luxurious suites, fine dining and peaceful ways to enjoy Fogo’s natural history and landscapes.

Iceberg tours

The entire east coast of Newfoundland and Labrador is known as Iceberg Alley. Expect a parade of icebergs from spring (April) to early summer (June, sometimes into July). The easiest way to view them is to do a tour from St John’s . There are also tours from Fogo and Change islands.

Whale watching

One population of humpback whales comes here between May and September, joined 
by up to 21 other species of whales and dolphins. There’s 
a range of tours departing from St John’s and many other towns. You might also see whales while walking along Cape Spear.

Fishing

The prime time to fish for most species is typically summer, from June to September. If fishing is the focus of your holiday, there are many providers offering packages to suit different levels of experience and 
types of catches.

Puffin spotting

These adorable small seabirds, known for their brightly coloured beaks, are plentiful in Newfoundland. The best time to see them 
is during the breeding and fledging season from May 
to September. O’Briens 
runs one of the most popular puffin-watching tours out 
of Bay Bulls, a 30-minute 
drive south of St John’s.

Hiking

The most scenic hiking is in Gros Morne National Park 
on Newfoundland’s west coast. There are more than 100 kilometres of marked trails and 20 routes graded by their elevation. The best time to hike is late spring to late summer (May to September). In winter (December to March), go skiing or snowshoeing.

Capelin spawning

Millions of capelin spawn at beaches in late spring to early summer (May to June) each year, attracting many locals who come to scoop up the fish. The activity is hard to predict and is usually monitored by regulars, who go to historical hotspots to keep a lookout. 
If you want to catch this phenomenon, speak to locals and get ready to hop in the car.

Getting around

The island of Newfoundland is 108,860 square kilometres and 
has almost 10,000 kilometres of coastline. As there’s very little public transport, you’ll need a car 
to get around. There are many rental options at St John’s and Gander international airports. There’s one major highway, the Trans-Canada, which crosses 
the island from Port aux Basques on the west coast to St John’s 
in the east. One bus service 
crosses the island daily, with the westbound bus leaving St John’s and the eastbound bus leaving 
Port aux Basques, both in the morning.

SEE ALSO: Where to See the Most Incredible Wildlife in Australia