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itinerary feedback?

Stratford, Canada
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itinerary feedback?

We are planning a 3 week trip in July and this is our current itinerary:

St. Johns: 5 days (East coast trail hiking, whales?, the rooms, ferryland, bell island?)

Placentia: 2 days (Cape of St. Mary's eco reserve)

Trinity area: 4 days (maybe drive up to Bonavista? hiking? history)

Fogo Island: 2 days

Woody Point: 3 days (hiking!)

Rocky Harbour: 3 days (more hiking!)

St. Anthony: 2 days (history, boat tour?)

Fly out of Deer Lake.

We are in our 50's, enjoy the outdoors, wildlife, history and want to enjoy the local people and Newfoundland culture.

We like to hike but are not superfit.

We'd like to try easy kayaking somewhere.

We'd like to see whales but don't know where the best place is for that in July? boat tour for this?

too long in Trinity?

too long in Gros Morne?

not sure where to access the best hikes of the East Coast trail?

Would really appreciate any and all feedback! Thank you :)

Stratford, Canada
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1. Re: itinerary feedback?

anyone? would love some ideas.

Gros Morne National...
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2. Re: itinerary feedback?

You are on the right track.

Yes, you can easily do 5 days or more in the metro area when you include the southern shore and the areas north of the city such as Bell Island.

I would chop out two days in Placentia, the area is quite dull. You can fit Cape St. Mary's in on your way to Trinity.

You will like Fogo Island.

It looks like you have six days booked in for GMNP, that may be a little excessive. What about budget two days in the south end and two days in the north end?

It would be a shame to come to NL for three weeks and not get to Labrador. You could easily budget some days to get to Labrador.

Flying into St. John's and out of DL will give you more days without back tracking.

We like to hike but are not superfit.

That's why I would say trim down GMNP to 4 days at the most. There isn't much else to do there.

We'd like to try easy kayaking somewhere.

There are a lot of areas around the island to do this. What area did you want to fit it in?

We'd like to see whales but don't know where the best place is for that in July? boat tour for this?

Usually Witless Bay just south of St. John's.

too long in Trinity? Yes.

too long in Gros Morne? Yes.

not sure where to access the best hikes of the East Coast trail? If you aren't an avid hiker I would avoid the ECT there is lots of walking to do without doing the ECT.

Vancouver, Canada
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3. Re: itinerary feedback?

No Newfoundlanders have posted today at all on the few recent threads on this forum. It's Friday, people go to work. Give it until tonight at least.

I personally would say that 3 weeks is a good amount of time to travel in NL.

Trinity area: the Elliston root cellars are fun to visit as well as the puffins out on the cliff head nearby. They just don't move out of the way! Port Union has a very interesting historical representation of some Premises, where the lives of the fishermen changed for the better because of William Coaker who changed their wage payment system from company credit to cash. Trinity is also home to Rising Tide Theater which runs an outdoor pageant in the summer. The town and area create the theater sets and the audience walks from one "set" to the next for the duration of the play. Great fun.

If you can get to L'Anse aux Meadows up near St. Anthony, try to allow yourselves over an hour, maybe two hours to visit that settlement. There are human interpreters who demonstrate the way the Vikings must have carried out their daily lives which I found most interesting. There is also another human made Viking settlement nearby that is more touristy but does give you some idea of how the Vikings lived on that tip of the peninsula in those days.

Your focus is hiking/walking which is great, but you might like to know about these other attractions for your consideration.

*

Doggles posted while I was typing. :-)

Edited: 22 June 2012, 21:42
Stratford, Canada
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4. Re: itinerary feedback?

thank you!

Sorry for being impatient, we are anxiously booking some places last minute, so I'm in a hurry...lol.

I love the idea of getting to Labrador. Any other gaps?

We will cut back both Gros Morne and Trinity as suggested, so we have time to explore other areas.

Very helpful tip about Placentia.

L'Anse aux Meadows in definitely our our list.

Should we include Twillingate?

What the some authentic Newfoundland experiences?

Vancouver, Canada
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5. Re: itinerary feedback?

Trust me, ALL your experiences in Newfoundland will be authentic. You won't want to leave.

I love Twillingate. We went out in July and saw one (last?) iceberg of the season. Again, my interests are not hiking but authentic (as you say) stories of how people lived and made their way, now and then, in Newfoundland.

Dave's Prime Berth stage at Twillingate was a place I found very interesting. Explained a lot about the fishery. It's where I learned that "fish" means cod and everything else is called by their actual names.

http://www.primeberth.com/history.php

One spooky experience we had was at Bonavista lighthouse. We went inside in the sun, spent a fair bit of time, and came out to find we couldn't find our way to the car. The fog had completely slipped in. There seemed to be a constant bank of fog out to sea.

Anyway, hike away, tramp the hills. When you find you need to take a break, my suggestions may come in handy. As needed! :-)

Montreal
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6. Re: itinerary feedback?

St. Johns: 5 days (East coast trail hiking, whales?, the rooms, Ferryland, bell island?)

-You can find a boat tour out of St. John's harbour or from Bay Bulls, which is a town outside of St. John's. In Bay Bulls, there is a sanctuary where you will see puffins as well as whales.

-Signal Hill is a must, and there are a number of trails emanating from this site, some more challenging than others, check with the interpreter. For photos, best to go when it is sunny and not too windy - too much wind, some of the access many be closed.

- Restaurants: 'Get Stuffed' on Duckworth Street, so good I go back every visit. And it will put you near the action of the harbour, the little stores, a walk to George Street for a drink if you desire, a stroll along the waterfront.

- The Room is lovely. Must see. Fantastic view.

Rocky Harbour: 3 days (more hiking!)

The boat tour in the Gorge of Gros Morne is spectacular. There is lots of hiking to be done in Gros Morne. A nice option is to take a cabin for accommodations. I have never tried it myself, but I think there is lovely kayaking to be done in this area.

St. Anthony: 2 days (history, boat tour?)

This year is 'Come Home Year' in St. Anthony, so it will probably be busier than normal, hence perhaps harder to get accommodations. However, there will be lots more entertainment and opportunity to meet people. St Anthony is your opportunity to cross over and see Labrador if you wish. Be warned about the drive up the Northern Peninsula from Rocky Harbour - particularly at twilight and evening/night, moose are a hazard, so drive safely (and passenger keep that camera handy!) Also know that when calculating drive times you will be passing through communities with lower speed limits. Give yourself time and enjoy the ride.

We'd like to see whales but don't know where the best place

The places I have been to watch whales are Trinity and Bay Bulls (in Bay Bulls you will also see the bird islands with puffins). Best way to find out about success rates of actually seeing whales is to talk to fellow tourists. You don't see them every time and there are good years and not-so-good years. Same for icebergs, has to do with being in the right place at the right time. My friend from Vancouver visited for the first time last year, went up around Twillingate area - she saw enough to fill her photo album for a long time!

A suggestion: About 90 minutes from St. John's is Woody Island Resort, which is an excursion that includes boat trip leaving from Garden Cove to an island where you stay in a bed and breakfast, eat Newfoundland 'home cooking', explore the island through hiking and hay rides, option of kayaking, and a good old Newfoundland traditional dance with live music (they get people on the floor by teaching the Virginia Reel and other dances). When I visited I was given the 'Martha Stewart' room - she visited a number of years ago and filmed part of her show there. We had a lovely time here, I would highly recommend it. You can check it out through their website, just google the name.

Hope you have a great trip!

Scunthorpe, United...
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7. Re: itinerary feedback?

We spent a month in Newfoundland in 2010 and would agree with Doggles comments.

Cut Placentia to 1 night or skip. Castle Hill isn't the most interesting of sites. Do Cape St Mary on the way to Trinity from St Johns.

This immediately frees up a couple of nights. Cut out 2 days from GMNP and that gives you plenty of time to build in Labrador. This really was the highlight of our trip. Check on conditions of car hire as we found we weren't insured to drive beyond Red Bay as the road beyond is gravel.

Build in an overnight at St Barbe and catch the early ferry . Coming back catch the last ferry. Depending on what time it docks you may need another overnight around St Barbe before heading north to St Anthony.

There are some brilliant short walks on Labrador - Jersey Rooms, walk up the hill from West St Modeste, Tracy Hill Trail at Red Bay and Mont Pareil Trail just outside Blanc Sablon all spring to mind. All have great views as there are no trees to block them. I wrote reviews of these here:

http://www.silvertraveladvisor.com/Reviews/index.cfm?v=City/Town/Region/Island_Walking_Trails_in_Labrador_Canada~p3797r655pt7pst0&fuseaction=pubReviews.dspProductReview

There's also good walking at St Anthony around Fishing Point. Do the short drive to Goose Cove where there is the short Pulmy Cove Trail which again has some superb views.

Don't miss L'Anse aux Meadows - another highlight of the trip. Do allow time to talk to the costumed interpreters who are excellent and know their stuff. The guided tour of the site is also worthwhile.There is a 3km walk from the site along the cliffs which takes you back to the car park past the Skin Pond where seal skins were soaked to remove hairs before curing.

If you are interested in plants you may enjoy the guided tour to Burnt Cape Ecological Reserve (book at Pistolet Provincial Park). This takes a couple of hours. As well as the plants you learn about the geology and history of the area.

Twillingate is a short drive from the ferry to Fogo. Interesting for an overnight. This could be achieved by taking a night out of Trinity.

While in Trinity don't miss Random Passage Film Set. Take a guided tour as the guides are locals and know the area and history well. Even if you haven't seen the series (we hadn't) this is a fascinating glimpse into 18thC life.

I wrote a detailed report of our trip which you may find interesting as we visited many of the places on your list:

www.slowtrav.com/tr/tripreport.asp…

Our pictures are here:

wasleys.org.uk/Canada/canada_10_mw/index.html

Placentia, Canada
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8. Re: itinerary feedback?

In regards to Cape St.marys,leaving directly from st.johns its a solid 2 hr drive to the turnoff then 15-20 min from there.To truly enjoy it spend a couple of hrs just relaxing and follow about the area,have a look at the light house and also the where the supplies were hoisted up the cliffside(my granfather built the hoist).

You could then follow back and dodge in through the remainder of the cape shore ....must see point lance beach beach,gooseberry cove beach,ship cove beach,big barachois beach and point verde beach.Take a night in placentia and then continue on.

best aluck

Scunthorpe, United...
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9. Re: itinerary feedback?

Yes, TAT2011's suggestion makes sense. It is then a mornings drive to Trinity. You could probably take a night out of this now.

Stratford, Canada
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10. Re: itinerary feedback?

Thanks so much for all your help everyone!

Will let you know how it goes when we're back :)