Tips for travelling to Newfoundland this year.

Ocean kayaking in Bay Bulls, Newfoundland. Photo by Greg Locke © 2021


ST. JOHN’S, – So, you’ve finally decided that its time to cross the Gulf of St Lawrence and visit Newfoundland after all these years of everyone telling how amazing it is. Well, its true. It is a spectacular place with endless things to do and places to visit. Especially if you like outdoor adventures and exploring remote place.

Well, before you pack up the Winnebago or book a flight, there are a few things you should know.

Book early, book often.

If you need a rental car book NOW! If you need a hotel accommodations …book now! It has gotten very busy during high travel season here and car rental agencies and accommodations providers are at capacity between June and September. In remote place like Labrador and Northern Penninsula there are not many hotels to begin with. Bed & Breakfasts are a great option though. …meet and stay with locals. It will make for a great experience anyway. One piece of timeless wisdom is to never assume anything. We get a lot of people visiting from all over, and they all want to see the sites just as bad as you. This means that renting a car is not always a guarantee. You don’t want to be left thumbing your way from place to place; it’s a terrible way to travel, and not at all recommended. Plus, your thumbs get sore.

The same goes for accommodations. People often flock here for conferences during peak travel times. So, if you want to fulfill that dream you have of standing on the most easterly point of North America — well, you’d better book ahead to avoid disappointment.

St. John’s – that extra ‘s’ is important.

It’s a confusing coincidence, but there are two similar-sounding cities in Atlantic Canada. When you are booking your flights, car rental, and any accommodations, make sure that you are booking for St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador (YYT), and not that other one, Saint John, New Brunswick (YSJ). … it’s happened!

Tammy Webber with Newfoundland ponies at pasture in Cupid’s Newfoundland. Photo by Greg Locke.

This province is so big. How big is it?

It’s big. Really big. People don’t always realize that. And with over 400,000 square kilometres of land, you never know where you might find yourself. To put things in perspective, Newfoundland and Labrador is a little smaller than California, slightly bigger than Japan, and twice the size of the entire United Kingdom. The island of Newfoundland covers 111,390 square kilometres – an area that rivals the size of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island combined. With the addition of the vast territory of Labrador, it goes without saying that there’s plenty of breathing room. 

The drive from Port uax Basques to St John’s is nine hours. St John’s to Gros Morne, 7 hours in good conditions. St John’s to Lanse aux Meadows? 11 hours!! Plan your east coast and west coast travels with this in mind. You are not goubg to see everything in only a week.

There is a story about a conversation in Corner Brook once overheard where somebody said “yes, we plan on driving to St. John’s tomorrow morning, and then stopping by L’Anse aux Meadows in the afternoon.” That’s not going to happen.

Also, be sure to use the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador’s 511 Traveller Information System. NL 511 is your source of up-to-date information on winter driving conditions, construction and major incidents, highway cameras, ferry status, and more. Travellers can access 511 by using the free smartphone app (Apple, Google Play), visiting the website NL511.ca, or dialing 5-1-1 to hear key information over the phone. 

No matter how may times you visit, there is quite a lot to see and do here. Check out the government tourism department Itinerary Planner to arrange the perfect trip and customize your days to focus on the experiences you’re looking for. 

 Hiking in Swift Current, NL. Photo by Greg Locke

The end of the road

You can literally drive to the end of the road here. The bottom line is this, you should plan your trip before you get here. That means taking the time to ensure you have transportation (if you need it) and lodging. The last thing you want is to be stressed out on your vacation. If you follow these simple tips and tricks, you’ll be sure to have a worry-free adventure that you can brag to your friends about when you return home and convince someone else to visit Newfoundland and Labrador.

See you out on the road!

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