The island of Newfoundland is Canada’s most easterly point, whereas much of Labrador is inaccessible. The ice ages molded Newfoundland and Labrador’s diversified geography, producing a jagged coastline with deep fjords and steep coastal cliffs that plummet into the sea. Inland, there are miles and miles of moorland and forest, dotted with lakes and home to moose and caribou herds. Here are the top highlights and attractions in Newfoundland and Labrador to demonstrate why it is Canada’s best province.
Gros Morne National Park in Newfoundland and Labrador
Gros Morne National Park, a spectacular landscape of fjords and mountains partly covered in lush forest, is without a doubt one of the most impressive natural features in eastern Canada. Unique fauna and plant life have adapted to the chilly circumstances, which are rarely found thus far south.
Hiking trails and tourist boat excursions in the stunning landlocked fjord at Western Brook Pond make this one of Newfoundland’s most popular attractions. Rock climbing, boating, swimming, camping, and fishing are among popular activities here.
The Long Range Mountains within the national park are among the oldest mountains on the planet, sculpted by advancing ice and the forces of erosion. Gros Morne National Park was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in recognition of its unique geological features.
St. John’s newest museum, The Rooms, dominates the hilltop in stark contrast to the adjoining 19th-century Romanesque Revival-style Catholic Basilica. It has numerous different collections organized by subject. Wildlife and natural history, aboriginal artifacts, modern art, and historical and cultural exhibitions provide a comprehensive picture of both Newfoundland and Labrador. The museum boasts a popular restaurant and some of the best city and Signal Hill views.
Cape Spear Lighthouse National Historic Site
Cape Spear Lighthouse National Historic Site, located 11 kilometers south of St. John’s, is North America’s most easterly point and home to Newfoundland’s oldest lighthouse. It’s a popular, if frigid, site for watching the sunrise and spotting whales, seabirds, and icebergs.
The light station, which was built in 1835 and operated until 1955, is now a museum. There are also large half-ruined Second World War gun emplacements, including the barrels of two 30 ton guns with a range of 13 kilometers apiece.
Torngat Mountains National Park in Newfoundland and Labrador
Torngat Mountains National Park is located on Newfoundland and Labrador’s northernmost tip, facing east toward Greenland. A trip to this secluded area is not for the faint of heart, but it is extremely rewarding for those who are ready to genuinely venture off the main road. This national park has no roads or signage and may only be entered securely with permission from park officials at the Torgnat Mountains Basecamp and Research Station.
The scenery is the first thing that most tourists notice, with its enormous scale and expanse. The shoreline is rocky, with fjords filled with clear blue water, while the mountains inland are among the tallest in Canada. Iceberg gazing is a popular activity along “iceberg alley,” where large chunks of glacial ice may be seen from both land and water. Although icebergs can be seen as far south as the island of Newfoundland, the season for observing them in the far north is much longer.
Puffin and Whale Cruises in Witless Bay
Puffins are the province’s official bird, and during the late spring and summer, tour boats provide a close-up view of these fascinating birds and their nesting places.
Boat tours to the islands where puffins breed and whales frequent the Witless Bay Ecological Reserve depart from Bay Bulls, south of St. John’s. Whales follow the icebergs in the bay, and it is not uncommon to witness icebergs, whales, puffins, and other marine birds on a single tour.
Twillingate and Fogo Island in Newfoundland and Labrador
Twillingate, a typical Newfoundland fishing village, is located on the northern shore, known as the Kittiwake coast, and is a fantastic site to come if you want to experience native village life. Twillingate was originally called as Toulinguet when it was founded in 1738. Long Point Lighthouse, in Twillingate, was built in 1889. It has a range of 40 kilometers and is a good spot for whale and iceberg watching.
Tourists will enjoy the community’s small museums and seafood eateries; don’t miss the Twillingate Museum & Crafts Shop for a collection of local art and handwork. This is also a popular point of departure for iceberg cruises.
Castle Hill National Historic Site
Castle Hill National Historic Site is located between Highway 100 and Placentia, which serves as the starting and ending point for one of two ferry routes to Nova Scotia. It houses old English and French fortifications as well as an interpretive center. The French established the settlement of “Plaisance” in 1662 and constructed Fort Royal in 1693. They turned over the crucial hilltop to the British, who renamed it Castle Hill, only 20 years later. There is a breathtaking view of Placentia Bay.