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Help needed to plan our trip to Newfoundland and Labrador

Sudbury, Canada
4 posts
Help needed to plan our trip to Newfoundland and Labrador

Hello TripAdvisor community,

We are planning a trip to this lovely part of our country next summer. We love history, culture, food, and scenery. Our time is flexible but the budget would limit us to 2-3 weeks. Doing some easy to medium hikes in Gros Morne NP is #1 on our list. One of our friends also mentioned about Rising Tide theatre show. We are driving from Ontario. Can we get some advice on where we should start on the island? Where are the good bases along our way? We look forward to your advice.

Gros Morne National...
Level Contributor
716 posts
74 reviews
1. Re: Help needed to plan our trip to Newfoundland and Labrador

This is under St. John's, but you mention Gros Morne NP which is approx. an 8 hour drive away. I can answer to Gros Morne. With 2 to 3 weeks, your first decision is whether you want to drive across the island to the east coast and whether you want to drive up the Northern Penninsula, to L'ance aux Meadow. This will help you know if you are doing quick overnight stops at places or spending some time (days) in the places that interest you. As for Gros Morne NP - it is about a four to five hour drive, depending on where in the park you go, from the ferry landing in Port aux Basque. The park is divided by Bonne Bay. The north side of the park has three towns which seem to attract tourists - starting at the north Cowhead which is the home of Theater Newfoundland-Labrador. They have multiple plays running simultaneously throughout the summer. There is a beach there, too. It is maybe 15 minutes or so drive from the fjord at Western Brook Pond. There is a motel and a few b&bs there. Rocky Harbour is the commercial hub of the park. It is about 40 minutes south of Cowhead. It contains many souvenir shops, some craft shops, restaurants, and motels, cottages, & b&bs. Norris Point is about a 10 minute drive from RH. It has a few restaurants, some motels, some b&bs and cottages. There is a historic house as you go into town and I can think of "two" craft/souvenir shops, but there may be more. They have a nice walking trail in town. RH and NP are a short drive (15-20 minutes) to most of the hiking trails in the park on that side of the bay. The south side of the Bay is not as busy as the north side - there is a string of small towns along the bay - Woody Point (small town of about 250 residences) is at the end of that road and has an upscale motel, some efficiencies, two b&bs, and cottages and houses for rent. It is not as busy as across the bay and is a provincial heritage town. It is a very walkable town. There are five places to get a bite to eat and does have waterfront dining available. It has developed into the cultural/music/art hub of the park. It is the home of Gros Morne Summer Music, has a historic pageant a few times a week, as well as an annual Writers Festival and Regatta. There is quite a bit of music to be heard at other venues in town, plus there are several art studios and "real" craft shops and one souvenir shop. It is minutes from the Tablelands and the Discovery Center and approx. a 15-20 minute drive to Trout River which is outside the park but a great fishing/agriculture town with a beach, boardwalk, and pond.. There are many hiking trails some minutes from town (also one that starts right in town) others up to a half hour away. This summer it took approx 1.5 hours to get from RH/NP.to WP. I would suggest that you consider spending a few nights at each side of the park, rather than spending 3 hours of a day driving back and forth. When I first came here as a tourist I split up the park - I stayed on the north side on my way up the northern peninsula and stayed in Woody Point on my way back to the ferry. By the way Rising Tide Theater company is excellent. It is based in a town called Trinity which is approx. 2 hours north of St. John's.

Gros Morne National...
Destination Expert
for Gros Morne National Park
Level Contributor
779 posts
466 reviews
2. Re: Help needed to plan our trip to Newfoundland and Labrador

I would agree do two nights in woody point/trout river then two nights cow head and if you are going up to st Anthony hit Rocky harbour on your way south. This gives all the major towns of the park and what they offer.If you like live theater do not miss Theater Newfoundland Labrador in Cow Head do also western brook pond. Numerous trails in all areas.Book early at least 6 months or more in advance and deal directly with the property's and not on a booking engine.Use TA reviews to book places and B&B are the most economical way to go.

Gander NL
Level Contributor
1,125 posts
201 reviews
3. Re: Help needed to plan our trip to Newfoundland and Labrador

I've only seen Theatre NL productions (Cow Head/Gros Morne) when they are touring the province but highly recommend them.

Trinity and the Bonavista peninsula is at least a couple of days or three to do trails and touring. Port Union (history and culture)is my new favorite area in this neck of the woods. Rising Tide plays out of Trinity and is excellent too. Elliston and the Home from the Sea museum are a must see too.

I'd suggest starting West and working towards St. John's if you want to go that far but had company this summer that only did from Bonne Bay area to Bonavista and had a ball.

I have a Fogo bias and also love the Loop from Gander to Gambo via coast. Barbour Living Heritage Villiage is great and has a lovely b and B on the property now.

If you are driving off Port Aux Basque way, I'd do a night central on the way east, maybe Kings Point and then a night or two on the way west, perhaps Lark Harbour near Corner Brook? So much to see.

Depending on the time of year check for festivals and icebergs.

Brampton, Canada
Level Contributor
170 posts
1,172 reviews
4. Re: Help needed to plan our trip to Newfoundland and Labrador


Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for Vancouver
Level Contributor
68,633 posts
66 reviews
5. Re: Help needed to plan our trip to Newfoundland and Labrador

Betty, your blog is interesting and your photos are very nice. But I am shocked to read this in your blog: <<there was really a dearth of information coming from regular tourists or people who travelled to this city so we basically played it by ear.>>

I notice you did not come here to the Newfoundland forums to ask a single question. In fact you haven't posted for 7 months. The Newfoundlanders who take care of questions on this forum are superb and extremely helpful. Instead you have posted your blog 12 times in one day in the NL forums.

If you had looked in the Top Questions of the Newfound and Labrador forum, you would have found Trip Reports back to 2010. If you had asked some questions for your trip or read other questions to see what answers were being given, you would have had excellent help. So I happen to think that it is a bit unfair to say that there is a dearth of information. There's lots on this well cared for forum, but it seems you just didn't happen to see it.

What I would suggest you do, is start a new thread with a link to your blog. Write a little introduction about your trip to go with it. Include your travel dates. Then one of the regular NL members can link it to the Trip Reports in the Top Questions. You would then not need to post your blog everywhere and your blog will be available to all.

Edited: 05 May 2016, 07:08
6. Re: Help needed to plan our trip to Newfoundland and Labrador

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