Rose Blanche Lighthouse Scenic Drive

Rose Blanche Lighthouse Scenic Drive, Port aux Basques: Hours, Address, Rose Blanche Lighthouse Scenic Drive Reviews: 4.5/5

Rose Blanche Lighthouse Scenic Drive

Rose Blanche Lighthouse Scenic Drive
4.5
8:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Monday
8:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Tuesday
8:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Wednesday
8:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Thursday
8:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Friday
8:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Saturday
8:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Sunday
8:00 AM - 8:00 PM
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Suggested duration
1-2 hours
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maritimeexplorer
Nova Scotia, Canada3,607 contributions
Aug 2021
This is one of the nicest short scenic drives on the island of Newfoundland.

Leaving Port aux Basques we headed due south on Route 470 which dead ends at the town of Rose Blanche although you can keep going by passenger ferry to the tiny outport of La Poile if you are adventurous. Our first stop was the village of Margaree which is a name I always associated with Cape Breton. However, I did learn during this trip that a lot of Cape Bretoners migrated to Newfoundland in the 1800's, particularly to the southwest coast and the Port au Port peninsula which we will visit later on this trip. The drive along the Lighthouse Route to Rose Blanche passes many scenic coves like the one in the photo I've added from where you can look back and see the Channel Head lighthouse and Port aux Basques.

Continuing on the Lighthouse Route we reached the intriguingly named Isle aux Morts which got its portentous name from the many shipwrecks in the area that took so many lives that the place was literally an Island of the Dead. Almost paradoxically, it gained a reputation for saving lives through the exploits of the Harvey family and their Newfoundland dog Hairyman, who on two occasions rescued almost 200 ship wrecked people from almost certain death. Thus was born the legend of the Newfoundland dog.  Today you can walk the Harvey Trail close to where these rescues took place and visit the Harvey grave site on the way. For us, this will have to wait for our next visit.

The Lighthouse Route from Isle aux Morts to Rose Blanche is narrow, twisty and oh so beautiful. This was our first chance to appreciate the stark beauty of almost all of coastal Newfoundland. The highlight is almost certainly Barachois Falls which you can reach in an easy 20 minute walk along a wide path that is mostly on wooden steps or boardwalk.

Not far past Barachois Falls on the Lighthouse Route you come to the bumpy, but short road to the La Poile passenger ferry which services the tiny outport with less than 90 permanent residents. While we won't be taking that on this trip we did spend some time exploring the old cemetery nearby. Just as the outports are slowly dying, so too is this cemetery, which was becoming overgrown and eventually will all but disappear. Like the waterfalls, this was only the first of many abandoned cemeteries we would come across in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Contrary what one would think, Rose Blanche is not a French version of white rose, but rather a corruption of the term Roche Blanche or white rock. That becomes evident at Diamond Cove where you can see quartz veins wide enough to be seen from miles around and well out to sea. The town of Rose Blanche is a tale of boom and bust. Settled in the early 1800's it was a beneficiary of the outport resettlement programs that offered incentives for outport dwellers to leave their under served communities and move to larger ones. Once Rose Blanche got a road to it and electricity in 1961 it was a preferred spot for resettlement in southwest Newfoundland. It also got a large fish processing plant that provided employment for these resettlers. But, when the cod fishery collapsed so did Rose Blanche. There are fewer people here now than in 1869. But it does have one great thing going for it, the Rose Blanche Lighthouse which is unique in Newfoundland and most of North America for that matter.

The lighthouse was built in 1871, but it's no ordinary lighthouse. While the building itself was designed by the local lighthouse inspector, the lighting apparatus was designed by the legendary Stevenson family of Scotland of whom the writer Robert Louis Stevenson was also a member and an occasional lighthouse builder's apprentice. I've visited many Stevenson lighthouses in Scotland including one at Turnberry, built on the site of a ruined castle where Robert the Bruce was born. They are considered to be the apex of lighthouse design and lighthouse aficionados come from around the world just to see and photograph them.

I've included several photos of the exterior and interior of the lighthouse. Standing on the highest point of land there is a fantastic view in all directions.

The Rose Blanche trail is also a great place to get a primer on Newfoundland wild flowers and berries. There are at least two dozen different plant species identified. There is also an unusual rock formation, Praying Hands Rock.

Back at the parking area it is definitely worth visiting the gift shop which has locally made crafts at ridiculously low prices. My wife bought a hand knit puffin doll for our granddaughter and a crocheted baby's blanket for a new born niece for less than $40.00.

So don't rush to Gros Morne once you land in Newfoundland, but consider driving the Rose Blanche Lighthouse Route.
Written 21 August 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

HeatherSB
Portugal Cove, Canada24 contributions
Jul 2021 • Family
We had a lovely visit to the Rose Blanche lighthouse. The trail system leading to the lighthouse is well maintained and immaculate! The tour guide inside the lighthouse was informative. The views were spectacular and who knew Rose Blanche actually originated because of the Roches Blanches of the Cape surrounding the town!
Written 21 July 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Tanya K
St. John's, Canada44 contributions
Aug 2020 • Couples
We visited the lighthouse and were very impressed with the history of the structure and the beautiful views. Only a short hike from the parking area. Unfortunately the lighthouse was not open to tour due to COVID-19 but still worth the visit.
Written 7 August 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

JenniferandAlan
Easton, PA541 contributions
Jul 2019
The admission allows you to visit the museum, see a film on the restoration of the lighthouse as well as enter the lighthouse. There is a trail to the lighthouse with markers to point out the native plants and flowers. Take your time on the walk to drink in the scenery and the beauty of the rugged coastline.Then you reach the lighthouse and can go inside which is a step back in time. The views are awesome.Don't forget to visit the well stocked gift shop. There is also a clean restroom for your use.
Written 21 November 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

scottjnpg
Aurora, MO163 contributions
Jul 2019
The lighthouse was a step back in history. The climb to the top offered beautiful views. This lighthouse is made out of granite from local quarries. The drive to the lighthouse was even more impressing to us. The dramatic changes in the terrain and landscape. You should make the effort to visit. Watch the movie
Written 7 September 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Balsam F
13 contributions
Aug 2019
The lighthouse is a reconstruction/restoration of one that was there into the forties, and like much of Newfoundland the place is beautiful and has charm. There is a really good fish and chips shop on site that also serves excellent chicken. We enjoyed the video, and the information stands, and the newfoundland music by the picnic tables. Worth the trip.
Written 19 August 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Jim M
Halifax Regional Municipality, Canada40 contributions
Jun 2019 • Solo
In the spaghetti junction of roads and ramps at the ferry in Port aux Basques, I did what I have been meaning to do for some time now. I took the road to Rose Blanche. I had a few hours to kill so I decided to check out the lighthouse at Rose Blanche.

You have to do this. It is worth the drive without a doubt. The lighthouse complex (?) is really well done and the people working there are great. They have chronicled the history of the site and the lighthouse keepers over the years and made me contemplate how hard life was, and how easy we have it now
in many respects.

If you’re heading (back?) to the mainland, try to plan to arrive at the ferry a bit early so you’ll have time to make this extra trip. You won’t be disappointed.
Written 28 June 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

OntarioTraveler9
Burlington, Canada345 contributions
Jun 2019 • Couples
The drive on Highway 470 was amazing. We saw a waterfall along the way and stopped to investigate. It was the Barachois Falls with a beautiful trail/boardwalk leading almost to the bottom of the waterfalls. The walk was 3,000 feet one way, so don't miss this falls.

There was admission to go see the lighthouse. Only $6 per person, and it was worth it. The short trail leading to the lighthouse was very scenic, and the lighthouse was historical.

There was also a gift/souvenir shop that sells many local crafts.
Written 10 June 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Sharon F
Sainte-Marie-de-Kent, Canada40 contributions
Jul 2018 • Family
Friends saw this site 35 years ago before the restoration, and advised us, it was something to visit before our ferry trip back for home. It was worth the venture, over twisted roads, and mounds of stone. Awesome views, and the students at the light house were a delight to be with and learn more of their special place. The gift shop carried the novel "outhouse tales" written by a former resident of our community "Grandpa Pike", pleased to see his book on hand.
Written 16 May 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Ryan Mazure
Perth, Australia506 contributions
Sep 2018 • Couples
Rose Blanche lighthouse has undergone some renovations over the years but still remains largely as it was when it was first built. I cant describe the vibe here but it is very funny. It feels haunted in a way but you will have to visit here to see for yourself
Written 4 April 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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