Newfoundland is located in the Gulf of St. Lawrence and is a really big island with a third of the area of Germany. However, only half a million people live here – 180,000 of them in the region around the capital St. John’s. Corner Brook, with 20,000 inhabitants, is the largest city in the west of the island, and Gander, known for its international airport, has a population of 10,000.
Newfoundland is not for sightseeing, and certainly not a destination for partygoers. The main reason to come to this island is its unique character, shaped by the sea. Huge forests and countless bays invite visitors to discover the solitude of the island again and again. Newfoundland’s coastline comprises almost 10,000 kilometers; the small villages have been influenced by fishing for centuries. If you’re lucky, you might see caribou or puffins, and in summer visitors wait for the giants of the north – icebergs and whales. Another figure: the population of moose is estimated at over 120,000, the largest population in North America.
Newfoundland can be reached either by car ferry (from Sydney in Nova Scotia to Port aux Basques or to Argentia) or by plane. We decided to enter Newfoundland by plane; our journey begins at the international airport of St. John’s, which can be reached from Europe in less than six hours. You can’t get lost on the island – there is only one main road, and that is the Trans-Canada Highway (TCH).
It’s about 800 kilometers to our first highlight, the Gros Morne National Park on the west coast, and we want to cover that distance with only one overnight stay. So Arnold’s Cove, Gambo, Lewisporte and Bishop’s Falls are small towns only useful for short breaks. In Springdale, slightly off the highway, there is at least a Tim Hortons, in Canada the national coffee house chain.
The last town before we reach the coast is Deer Lake – ideal for refuelling and refilling food. Our accommodation in the northern part of the national park is in Rocky Harbour; in the southern part some days later, we will have a cottage in Trout River.
On our way back we take some detours to the coast. First destination, again via Deer Lake and Springdale, is King’s Point. Here we enjoy the award-winning Alexander Murray Hiking Trail, an absolute hiking highlight. More than 2,200 steps must be climbed on this trail which takes about four hours. After the next loop on the TCH we reach Grand Falls-Windsor, the biggest inland city. Soon afterwards we turn north; our destinations are the two islands of Twillingate and Fogo Island. Especially the Art Studios located on the cliffs of Fogo Island and Todd Saunders’ Fogo Island Inn are top attractions on this trip.
On our way back we stop at Gander, known for its international airport. after an eventful history and a very special role during the events around 9/11 in 2001, today there are no more than 20 flights per day. Via Terra Nova National Park, we continue to Clarenville, starting point for a trip around the historic Bonavista Peninsula. Skerwink Trail, a premium hiking trail, runs for about 5 kilometers high above the sea and offers magnificent views.
The last part of our journey takes us around the Avalon Peninsula. Via Trepassey in the very south we pass the Colony of Avalon in Ferryland and La Manche Provincial Park with an incredible suspension bridge. Back in St. John’s, we explore a very interesting and colorful city. Finally, don’t miss the lighthouse of Cape Spear which marks the most eastern point of the North American continent.
|01||St. John's Airport (YYT)||St. John's||020 km|
|02||St. John's||Lewisporte||420 km|
|03||Lewisporte||Rocky Harbour||360 km|
|04||Rocky Harbour||050 km|
|05||Rocky Harbour||050 km|
|06||Rocky Harbour||Trout River||100 km|
|07||Trout River||050 km|
|08||Trout River||King's Point||240 km|
|09||King's Point||Grand Falls-Windsor||110 km|
|10||Grand Falls-Windsor||Twillingate||160 km|
|12||Twillingate||Fogo Island||110 km|
|13||Fogo Island||Gander||130 km|
|18||Trepassey||St. John's||150 km|
|19||St. John's||020 km|
|20||St. John's||050 km|
|21||St. John's||St. John's Airport (YYT)||020 km|