Northern Newfoundland 2019
Newfoundland is not only scenically stunning, but it's also a place full of natural wonders. Such as, icebergs drifting along coastlines, groups of whales frolicking, and migratory seabirds nesting on cliffs. As the oldest region to be settled, it is full of the legends, lore and history of the early adventurers who first laid claim to the New World. It is no wonder many people base their entire trip around this extraordinary region.
Date: July 1-7
Instructor: Chris Pepper
Included: Accommodation, transportation, whale watching excursion(s), park entrance fee(s), zodiac transportation to Quirpon Island, meals at Quirpon Island Inn, guiding services, UNESCO passes, all breakfasts, all dinners, snacks and water during the day.
Not Included: International airfare, PAL flight from St. Anthony to St.John's or other destination, daily lunches if you wish to eat, items of personal nature, gratuities, laundry, anything not listed as included.
***Activity Level: Moderate/Strenuous - travelers should be physically fit and prepared for multiple hours of activity (e.g. hiking on uneven terrain) each day. Certain days may have more challenging physical activity, such as ascents/descents on steep mountainous terrain.***
Day One Events: You will fly into Deer Lake Regional Airport (YDF) on an afternoon flight. It serves Western Newfoundland with regularly scheduled passenger service. By flying into Deer Lake, you will be arriving in the heart of the best adventure tourism opportunities in the world. This will be our last stop in a city centre, so if any personal items were forgotten this is the time to pick up replacements.
We will begin our hour drive to Gros Morne National Park. It took Mother Nature 485,000,000 years to mold Gros Morne National Park into the geological and visual wonder we know today. The second largest National Park in eastern Canada, Gros Morne National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site stretching across 1,805 square kilometres of western Newfoundland as part of the towering Long Range Mountains.
We will arrive at our cabins in Glenburnie, which is in the heart of Gros Morne. Lace up your hiking boots and get your camera's ready because we are heading out. First we will stop at the Discovery Centre to learn a bit about the area, then we are head to the Tablelands. The trail is an easy four kilometres, which is approximately one hour long. The main trail follows an old roadbed as it skirts the base of the mountain. Geology here marks a time when the continents of Africa and North America collided, pushing these rocks, originally beneath the ocean, to their present position on land.
After our hike, we will head to Woody Point, a beautiful little historic town. For some dinner, so that we will be ready to photograph the Woody Point Lighthouse at sunset.
We will head back to our accommodations for the remainder of the evening.
Day Two Events:
Day Three Events: Toady we are heading to Western Brook Ponds. We will stop along the way on the lookout for wildlife and scenic photographic opportunities. Such places may include, Lobster Cove Head Lighthouse, Norris Point Look-off, the Ethie shipwreck and Rocky Harbour.
Western Brook Pond fjord in Gros Morne National Park provides a dramatic setting for a two hour boat tour. A moderate 3 km trail (approx. 45 min walk) leads from the parking lot to the dock. The two boats have canopied decks and on-board washrooms.
There is no better way to explore this scenic delight than by taking the Western Brook Pond Boat Tour. On board, behold the spectacular glacier-carved land-locked fjord, waterfalls cascading from 2000 feet that often turn to mist before reaching the pond, billion year-old cliffs, and frequent wildlife sightings.
After the Western Brook Pond boat tour we will head to Port au Choix to where our accommodation for the evening will be. We will end our day at Port aux Choix lighthouse. A lighthouse that sits on top of a rocky shoreline with reflection ponds all around this lighthouse on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean. Stopping along the way for any scenic opportunities or wildlife spottings.
Day Four Events: After breakfast we will be heading out for our longest drive yet. Our destination L'Anse aux Meadows and Norstead. At the end of the Viking Trail there is a settlement from the first settlers in North America, it is a UNESCO heritage site where the Vikings first landed. Together we will wander through, L'Anse aux Meadows, the original settlement and take photos of the preserved buildings and seascapes.
Only two kilometres away is Norstead, a replicated Viking port of trade as it may have looked during the Viking era (790-1066 AD). The four-hectare site has a boat shed with its very own Viking ships, including the 54 foot replica Viking Knarr which sailed from Greenland to L’Anse aux Meadows in 1998 with a crew of only nine men. There is also a chieftain's hall, church, and a workshop, with costumed interpreters who bring the site to life. All buildings, which consist of wood paneled walls and earthen floors, have been created to convey the look and feel of the Viking Era.
After leaving the Viking past behind us, we are headed to Quirpon (pronounced kar-poon). This island offers us an unique experience at a 1922 light-keeper’s home on the shores of ‘Iceberg Alley’. Fully restored by Linkum Tours, Quirpon Lighthouse Inn features ten beautiful rooms at the base of a still-operating lighthouse and is a Registered Heritage Building. We will be staying here for the next few nights.
Located off the northernmost tip of Newfoundland, Quirpon is the province’s best location for viewing icebergs as the Labrador Current carries them south. Quirpon Island boasts the longest iceberg-viewing season in Newfoundland, with the last melting in the fall during a good year. Whales are constant companions off the shores of Quirpon, often coming close enough to the rocks to be touched. Whale experts ascribe this phenomenon to the underwater topography and ample food supply.
Day Five & Six Events: After a early morning breakfast we will be heading out to explore what Quirpon Island has to offer us. It is a private island and we have full access to the entire property at any time of day and we have our own lighthouse to photograph. Here we will be photographing some incredible seascapes, flying and diving Gannets, Humpbacks Whales and Icebergs. And there could be possible viewings of Minke Whales, Seals, and Dolphins. Each day we will take you out on a private zodiac boat tour, to track down Whales and Icebergs as they drift around the island.
Day Seven Events: We will be departing Quirpon Island this morning and heading to St. Anthony. So, that you can catch your PAL flights out of the St. Anthony Airport (YAY) to St. Johns or another destination.