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Archive 2013 · anyone been to newfoundland?
  
 
dorian
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · anyone been to newfoundland?


hey folks

thinking about taking the gf to newfoundland for ~10 days in july for seabird watching/photographing, hiking, and the like. she is totally into the out-of-doors and so i have no concerns about making this a wildlife/outdoors centric trip. as folks on this board have travelled just about everywhere, i figured i would field some opinions as to the "dos" and "donts" for a trip like this. ideally, we would be able to hit the codroy valley for a 2-3 few days, gros morne for 2-3 days and then have 5 days to kick around whitless bay, st. johns, and cape saint mary's. we both like camping so i imagine we would do that for at least a couple of nights. i know that weather is a bit of a variable so any experience that folks have had on trip to nf in july would be greatly appreciated. any advice on where to see birds and wildlife, where to say or things to do (i.e which boat company to use in whitless bay) would also be very valuable.

i am also a bit concerned that this trip could get expensive fast. flights to st john's form boston are $600 and a rental car for 9 days is about that much as well. i mean we could fly to utah for 1/2 that and rent a car there for 1/3 of that! i just want to get as much info on this as possible before i make any kind of decision. if you have suggestions as to alternative destinations, please share those as well (churchill, hudson bay maybe!)

if you have lots of information that you would like to convey, i would be totally open to a phone conversation if it suited you on your end.

thanks for any and all information anyone can provide! post here or pm's work fine for me.

cheers

dorian



Feb 24, 2013 at 01:03 AM
PaulCal
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · anyone been to newfoundland?


I have been to Nfld several times, always on the west coast. Did make it as far as Gander one time. (I have been going for the fishing) I have also been to Gros Morne and up the northern peninsula several times. The scenery is fantastic. The weather is unpredictable, be prepared. When it rains it rains. And the bugs, well they invented the mosquito and black fly I am sure. It can be perversely hot or cold in mid summer. Last year was the worst drought they have had in years.
Camping is easy lots of provincial parks.
Nfld is a big remote place,you will travel miles without seeing even a gas station.
You were talking about starting in the codroy valley so I assume that means you are taking the Port Aux Basque ferry, driving from home. You can fly into Deer Lake as well, if that works. Any other questions let me know

Here is a couple from there:
Caribou crossing river where I was fishing





The fiords in Sally`s Cove (Western Brook Pond)







Edited on Feb 24, 2013 at 04:19 PM · View previous versions



Feb 24, 2013 at 12:50 PM
KCollett
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · anyone been to newfoundland?


I'd love to see the images you get if you go Dorian. It is a beautiful place. With only 10 days, you would really have to pick your spots. If that includes travel days, then doing both coasts means you'll have to be quite selective. For the west coast, fly into Deer Lake, rent, and drive to your destinations. The whole west coast is darned nice, with Gros Morne being a highlight. You can hike from end of Western Brook Pond (dropped off by boat) to Gros Morne Mtn., but I understand you need a permit and possibly take a test to prove you can take care of yourself. I've heard there are not real trails. Caribou hang out up there on the plateau.

Saving a day of travel by flying from Deer Lake to St. John's would be sensible. Lots to see and do on the Avalon Peninsula. Witless bay was neat, but you'll be shooting from a boat. I found that challenging. Another spot for Puffins is Elliston. Not as many, but they are on land and so are you. Also in the area are Trinity (pretty little town), and the Skerwink Trail, which is a nice day hike. You can hike up the east coast of the Avalon on the East Coast Trail. For Cape St. Mary's, you would like to have a full day. Unless you're heading out that way for other things, the drive is about 2.5 hours each way from St. John's. The Irish Loop is a pretty drive, but not much of a wilderness experience.

If you like to meet locals, check out historic sites, do some hiking, etc, I'd suggest you extend you holiday to do both coasts or pick one side of the island or the other, and do a more in depth visit.

Edited on Feb 24, 2013 at 08:15 PM · View previous versions



Feb 24, 2013 at 03:17 PM
Alan Dean
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · anyone been to newfoundland?


Hi Dorian

We have tried to make it to NFLD a few times but haven't made it yet. As far as I know you won't be disappointed . Just make sure you make your accommodation reservations well in advance , NFDL is a very large place with huge distances in between very small coastal towns so there are not a lot of places to stay . The people are exceptionally friendly no matter what as was the case when 100's of international bound US flights had to land there on 9/11. Make sure you take a landscape lens with you the scenery is special . You might want to look at Gros Morne Park on the west coast as a possible place to visit.
As for cost yes it is expensive but not nearly as much as the polar bears in Churchill. I believe NFLD has many more things to do and varieties of species to photograph.
If you are looking for a place to travel to in Ontario by car take a look at Algonquin Park , which is about 4 hrs North West of Ottawa or 3 hrs north of Toronto. I f you are interested check out Algonquin Park Phototours given by Michael Bertelson , I have been with him a couple times doing Moose and also Loons . Good luck. Alan




Feb 24, 2013 at 05:11 PM
Older Fossil
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · anyone been to newfoundland?


We were there as part of a major motor home trip in 2008. But we were only there about a total of 2 weeks and only explored the west side. I would definitely recommend spending a few days around Gros Morne National Park. Because my ancestry is scandinavian, visiting L'Anse aux Meadows up on the northern tip was special. We had a wonderful whale watching experience out of Saint Anthony. If driving near dawn or dusk, be very wary of moose! If we make it back up there, we'd like to spend at least a month and visit the eastern parts of the island. If by any chance you get that far, the Basque Whaling Museum in Red Bay, Labrador was very fascinating.

Art



Feb 24, 2013 at 05:40 PM
Charlie Shugart
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · anyone been to newfoundland?


Dorian-
I spent a delightful two weeks on "The Rock," driving everywhere.
Why not make a ferry reservation from Nova Scotia to Newfoundland, and just drive there with your own car? The sightseeing is incredible all the way to the ferry terminal, and the time on the ship is a great opportunity to visit with the Newfies- who are about the friendliest people on earth.
Charlie



Feb 24, 2013 at 07:47 PM
PaulCal
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · anyone been to newfoundland?


Charlie Shugart wrote:
Dorian-
I spent a delightful two weeks on "The Rock," driving everywhere.
Why not make a ferry reservation from Nova Scotia to Newfoundland, and just drive there with your own car? The sightseeing is incredible all the way to the ferry terminal, and the time on the ship is a great opportunity to visit with the Newfies- who are about the friendliest people on earth.
Charlie


And as a bonus you get to see Nova Scotia



Feb 24, 2013 at 08:01 PM
 

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kmunroe
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · anyone been to newfoundland?


have fun with the NFLD accent


Feb 25, 2013 at 12:28 AM
dorian
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · anyone been to newfoundland?


thanks for all of the ideas. looking into the finances and logistics of things, driving would be quite a bit cheaper ($400 each for my gf and i!) than flying, but it would mean we would get effectively 2 full days less on NF and have to do A LOT of driving (close to 2800 miles). however, we would get to see some of nova scotia (notably cape breton). hmmmm......both options have attractive points and drawbacks. i guess it kinda like debating 500mm vs. 600mm. in the end you can't really wrong with either!


Feb 25, 2013 at 01:07 AM
Charlie Shugart
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · anyone been to newfoundland?


kmunroe wrote:
have fun with the NFLD accent


I agree with Ken.
Among the many fun things that happened to me in Newfoundland:
1. I told a friendly Newfoundlander that I had trouble understanding him. Smiling, he admitted: "We talk pretty fast; you'll just have to listen faster."
2. Then I asked him to tell me a "Newfie" joke. He didn't know any, and asked me to tell HIM a Newfie joke. I did, and he laughed his ass off.
They are fun people.
PS calling them Newfies is not an insult. I asked about it, and was told "Why would we be offended; we ARE Newfies."

Dorian- However you go, you'll have a wonderful trip. The province is ruggedly magnificent, the little towns so cute you think of words like "cute" and "quaint." And some regions have excellent bird watching.
Charlie
Below are two pics I took that I like. I only spent a few hours at the gannet colony (I'm more of a traveler than a wildlife photog). And I saw dozens of tiny village/ports similar to this one.




Charlie Shugart 2013





Charlie Shugart 2013




Feb 25, 2013 at 02:03 AM
dorian
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · anyone been to newfoundland?


hey charlie, thanks for the advice (and the humor)! that gannet colony is EXACTLY why i want to go!




Feb 25, 2013 at 02:22 AM
scalawag
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · anyone been to newfoundland?


Here is my little snippet on your foray to NL, take your own car as per previous
statement, then you can take that item you would have had to left if you flew,
also you wouldn't be left sitting in Logan because St.john's was socked in.
Get a ferry reservation from N.Sydny to Argentia, then when you get there your
only 40 mles or so from Cape St. Mary's. I've been to Newfoundland several times
but only in the fall. Have fun... Scalawag



Feb 26, 2013 at 10:04 PM
pliukait
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · anyone been to newfoundland?


The ferry ride from Sydney to Argentia is 520km (320miles) and is scheduled to take 14hrs, longer if the seas are rough. The ferry from from Sydney to Port aux Basques is around 6hrs. Don't forget to take that into consideration as well.

The drive from Port aux Basques to St John's is around 8hrs.

The west end of the island has Gros Morne National Park, spectacular! The drive to St Anthony's is amazing, too.

The east end of the island, the Avalon Peninsula; has Cape Spears, St John's, Ferryland, and as previously mentioned Cape St Mary's as mentioned above.

If you do make it to St John's, go to any bar on Water Street and tell them you are 'from away'.

You are going to thoroughly enjoy the trip!

Regards.....Pete



Feb 27, 2013 at 09:50 PM
stanparker
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · anyone been to newfoundland?


Spent a month there in our motor home, which is a good way to go if you have the time (and the RV). Taking the ferry with 65 feet of combined vehicles is also expensive, but well worth it. We loved both east and west coasts, and several places in between. It was a special trip and likely our only visit there. It is somewhat costly to get there, not so bad staying there if you are camping.


Feb 28, 2013 at 03:02 AM





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