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Need your expert advice!

Toronto
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Need your expert advice!

Hi everyone!

We're planning to visit St John's and Gros Morne National Park and we have 7 days in total.

Is this feasible if we fly into St John's (from Toronto) and rent a car there, drive to GM Park and then fly out of Deer Lake Airport (back to Toronto) and drop off the car at the airport?

The car rental part is taken care of and I know is possible for a $200 drop-off fee. But is 7 days enough time to see a little bit of both?

I thank each and everyone for their helpful comments and insights in advance.

Toronto
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11. Re: Need your expert advice!

Thank you again for all your useful comments!

Can someone please, if you have time and feel like it, quickly review this itinerary and comment towards feasibility and possibly provide alternatives or suggestions?

Thank you very much again. All the info has been extremely useful!

Monday Aug 22nd: Arrive at St John’s – discover St John’s

Tuesday Aug 23rd: Witless Bay, for whale watching

Tuesday Aug 23rd: Leave late afternoon for Bonavista

Wednesday Aug 24th: Bonavista/Elliston whole day (lighthouse, whipping post, puffings)

Thursday Aug 25th: Leave early morning for Skerwink Trail then head to Twillingate (iceberg tour 7pm)

Friday Aug 26th: Leave early in the morning for Rattling Brook (waterfall, stay at windamerecabins.com)

Saturday Aug 27th: Leave early morning for Gros Morne National Park

Sunday Aug 28th: Gros Morne

Monday Aug 29th: Gors Morne

Tuesday Aug 30th: Fly back

Gros Morne National...
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for Newfoundland and Labrador
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12. Re: Need your expert advice!

I would suggest trimming up your trip a little since you have under two weeks. Keep it simple and keep to the highlights. There are some great side trips in Newfoundland that you will find in tourism information but most are pretty dull.

22: Arrival, St. John's

23: St. John's, Do a whale/puffin tour as a day trip from the city

24: St. John's, (3 hrs driving time from St.J to Trinity)

25: Trinity

26: Bonavista, (1 hr driving from Trinity to bonavista)

27: Gros Morne, (7.5 hrs driving from Bonavista to Gros Morne)

28: Gros Morne

29: Gros Morne

30: Departure, Deer Lake (1 hr driving from Gros Morne to Deer Lake)

Ottawa, Canada
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13. Re: Need your expert advice!

Obviously I'm not sure of your flight time and carrier out of Deer Lake but just a warning that if you are on the early morning AIr Canada direct flight to Toronto (5:55 am) or the early morning AC connecting flights through Halifax (6:25 am) the line up for check in and security can be very long at that time of day. West Jet also leaves at 6:30 a.m. adding to the line up at security. My advise would be to arrive early to get through the lines. The lines don't seem to be as long for the afternoon flights.

Also, if you are on one of the early morning flights I would highly recommend staying in Deer Lake the night before. You don't want to be driving down from Gros Morne in the morning, before full daylight, with all the moose roaming around.

When driving in Newfoundland, especially at night but really at all times, be on the constant lookout for moose. You never really know where they will appear and you don't want to encounter one on the highway. I can tell you from experience that even one "close call" is enough to rattle your nerves.

St. John's, Canada
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14. Re: Need your expert advice!

Doogles is right on what he said. There are a few things mentioned in your itinerary that you can cut out, such as the trek at Skerwink. Mind you, there are a few good photographic opportunities, however, most of is not all that it is hyped up to be.

You also mentioned the iceberg tour in twillingate. I am sure that he has a good tour, but just to let you know, you will not see icebergs in August. That, you can be pretty sure, of. I think his tour is called Iceberg quest.

Since you only have over a week, I would just hit the highlights to make sure that you see the best of Newfoundland. As doogles mentioned drop a few of the smaller detours and concentrate on the major things.

Scunthorpe, United...
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15. Re: Need your expert advice!

I would also give Twillingate a miss. It is a long drive there and back, especially as there won't be any icebergs. Possibly build in an extra night for Bonavista Peninsula instead..

Think about the Skerwink Trail. This is on nearly everyone's must do list although like Sparkle we did wonder if it was over hyped. I had expected great things of this trail but was disappointed. A lot of it was through dense forest with glimpses of the coastline seen through the trees - there would be a short track off the main trail which gave you a restricted view of the coastline, which I have to admit is stunning, The end bit of the trail round the headland is in the open with good views, but it is then back into the trees...

My suggestions for the extra day would include:

Random Passage Film set at New Bonaventure. This is an accurate representation of a 1800s fishing village. Guided tours are run by the locals who are enthusiastic and knowledgeable.

http://www.randompassagesite.com/

Our pictures are here:

…mac.com/wasleys/…index.html

I wrote a detailed report here:

tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowTopic-g154962-i754-k40…

You can also do a boat tour from New Bonaventure, which takes you along the coast passed the deserted settlements of Kerley's Harbour and Ireland's Eye:

http://www.ruggedbeautyboattours.net/

We didn't have chance to do this, but talking to people who did feedback was very positive. (It would also make up for missing the boat trip in Twillingate).

Trinity is also worth spending time in. It is a delightful place with a lot of heritage houses. You can buy $10 joint ticket which gives entry to 5 of the historic sites including Hiscock House (fascinating), Lester Garland House, Green Family Forge...

There is also the Rising Tide Theatre:

http://www.risingtidetheatre.com/

I'd keep the Rattling Brook stop as it isn't far off your route. Do go and see Dulcie in her shop. This has been in the family for years. She no longer stocks milk or perishables but you will find just about everything else there from Christmas cards to dress material. The Falls walk is well worthwhile, particularly if there has been rain. Some of the side roads would also repay exploring. This is off the usual tourist itinerary and ignored by the guide books.

Otherwise stick to your itinerary.

Edited: 20 May 2011, 22:13
Gros Morne National...
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16. Re: Need your expert advice!

Hi, You may want to save yourself the $200 and a lost day of driving and focus on either the west coast or the east coast. On the east coast, St. John's, the Irish Loop, and Bonavista Pennisula will really fill up the week. You will get a good mix of culture and nature. On the West Coast, you can cover Gros Morne & either drive up to L'ance Aux Meadows - or - take the ferry over to Labrador Straits. You won't get much culture, but you'd have a great time. One of the greatest treasures of Newfoundland is its people - so you want to allow yourself the time to chat, hear stories, & get advice.

St John's, Antigua
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17. Re: Need your expert advice!

Car hire in NS vs NL, and driving in between.

I am planning a trip from Halifax to St John's (NL) from mid-July, for ~18 days. I am thinking of hiring a car in Halifax, driving to Sydney and taking the car on the ferry to Argentia, spending a day or two in and around St John's and then driving back to NS via the Port aux Basques ferry, and thence to Halifax.

It seems to me that the two ferry fares (myself and car) is similar (~$350) to the drop-off fee (I have read a figure of ~$300) of the one-way trip St John's to a western airport (can't lay my hands on the exact place just now).

This gives me the chance of seeing something of NL without having to double back (P-a-B to St J's and back to P-a-B), and also, it seems that he difference in car hire prices between NS and NL would go towards the ferry fare too.

I would appreciate any comments on this proposed itinerary (in case I am missing something basic?), thanks.

Gros Morne National...
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for Newfoundland and Labrador
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18. Re: Need your expert advice!

No you haven't missed anything, by doing the Argentia ferry you can do a loop and save yourself about 12 hrs driving back across the island.

People often do the PAB ferry both ways because its cheaper and some people argue that spending twelve of your vacation hours driving across the island is better than spending them on a ferry boat.

I tend to disagree, the TCH which crosses the island is a pretty dull drive and you won't be missing much. But those are the two reasons most people do PAB both ways from NS.

St John's, Antigua
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19. Re: Need your expert advice!

Thanks for that Doggles (all ten of you!). I tend to go along with your reasoning, especially as it is not a short drive, and I imagine the price of fuel is not cheap in that part of the world. Thanks again.

Toronto
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20. Re: Need your expert advice!

wow! Thank you everyone for your useful comments.

I was away for a conference and didn't get a chance to go through all the comments and adjust the itinerary. I will come back with a finalized plan!

But seriously I want to thank everyone for spending the time and being so helpful... much appreciated!