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St John's query from Australia

Canberra
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St John's query from Australia

My wife and I will be arriving in St John’s by Porter Airlines and plan to spend 3 nights in St John’s and hiring a vehicle. We will then take the DRL bus across the island to the ferry – this will give us an opportunity to see the island – even though it is very brief.

Several queries are: can we hire a vehicle so that we can collect it on our first morning in St John’s and return it the evening prior to our departure on the bus? We notice that the DRL bus starts at the University. Are there any reasonable hotels or B&B's nearby that we could spend our 3 nights at so that it would be more convenient the morning of our departure?

Lastly, what/where would you recommend us to go in those two days? Perhaps we should only rent the car for 1 day and to either walk or take a tour in St John’s.

Any thoughts or suggestions would be very much appreciated.

Fredericton, Canada
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for Fredericton, St. John's
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1. Re: St John's query from Australia

Check out a few of the previous posts for ideas on what to do (there are sooo many.

As for a place to stay neat the University:

http://www.guvnor-inn.com/

Not even a 5 minute drive (not even 3 mins really).

Car rental agencies are at the airport (there is a thread on them here as well)

tripadvisor.ca/ShowTopic-g154964-i755-k33875…

Here is a starter list of ideas for you guys!:

Cape Spear (most easterly point in North America)

Murray Premises

Geo Science Center

Signal Hill

Fort Amherst

Petty Harbour

George Street

Downtown shopping

You may also want to check out The Rooms:

http://www.therooms.ca/

Fredericton, Canada
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2. Re: St John's query from Australia

The Holiday Inn may be another hotel option for you. Located on Prtugal Cove Road (again no more than 5-ish minutes to the University.

Owen Sound, Canada
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3. Re: St John's query from Australia

When are you going and what are your interests?

Halifax, Nova Scotia
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4. Re: St John's query from Australia

I would recommend staying in downtown St. John's. You'd have more to do since you'd be in walking distance of most attractions. Try the rooms (http://www.therooms.ca/), the local art gallery/museum. Lots to see and do there. Also, stop by the waterfront for boat tours.

Fredericton, Canada
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for Fredericton, St. John's
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5. Re: St John's query from Australia

I too would recomend a downtown hotel. It would make it way easier to get around and check out the sites.

I only suggest the Guv'nor for it's handyness to MUN. A cabe ride from the downtown would only be about 5-10mins depending on traffic.

Vancouver, Canada
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6. Re: St John's query from Australia

I did trip reports after we returned from Newfoundland last June (because I knew that I would forget details over time). Here is the one on St. John's in case it is of any help to you. Do read the responses as well as I had forgotten all about Cape Spear until after the report was posted.

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g154962-i754-k2904…

Here are a couple of websites that I found helpful in preparing for the trip -

http://www.newfoundlandlabrador.com/

http://www.stjohns.ca/index.jsp

Newfoundland
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7. Re: St John's query from Australia

If I'm not mistaken, you'll be able to pick up/drop off a car on Water St. in downtown St. Johns with Avis, as well as at the airport. I've passed it many a time!

A cab to/from downtown will run you about 20 dollars (flat rate)

more info; www.stjohnsairport.com/index/index.cfm?id=74

Depending on the time of year you are traveling, you may be able to get a rate in the student residence at the university. www.mun.ca/hfcs/conference/accommodations/

If you're looking for things to do in St. John's, one of the most popular tours is the haunted hike- seasonal, but will go no matter the weather! www.hauntedhike.com

Dale Jarvis is the organizer, and he has several books and is well regarded in the community! I have done both of his walking tours; neither are overly strenuous but there are many hills, as downtown is literally downtown!

There are many shops in downtown St. Johns, and the whole area is very compact, easy for walking.

There are boat tours outside of St. John's operating from Bay Bulls- Gatheralls and O'Briens. The latter will pick you up and drop you off. Bay Bulls is about a half hour out of downtown St. John's.

Cape Spear, The Rooms, Quidi Vidi Village, Murray Premises, Newman Vaults are all located towards downtown as well.

Newfoundland
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8. Re: St John's query from Australia

I noticed you were from Canberra, St. John's proper is only about half the size of Canberra and isn't distributed as evenly. About 90% of what you will be looking to do from eating out to destinations will be in the south end of the city (ie. 1km from the harbour). Pick a hotel or B&B in that area, (look for hotels that say downtown, "a short walk to downtown" or "few minutes drive from downtown" encompases most of the city). The University is in the North end of the city and while it has a few points of interest it's a little out of the way. A cab ride from downtown to the Universtiy is about $13 with tip. Did you know the dorms of the University are rented out to travellers during the summer break?

Canberra
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9. Re: St John's query from Australia

Thank-you so much for all your replies - they have been very helpful and we have now some ideas of what we would like to do and where we would like to visit.

We are very keen on culture and although we will only be in Newfoundland for several days would like to meet the local people as much as possible.

We will be arriving on Porter Airlines on Wednesday, May 5th and expect to take the cross island bus on Saturday morning. That only gives us two full days. Do we need to book the bus in advance?

We are thinking of spending one day walking about St John's and seeing some of the city sites and possibly the second day hiring a vehicle for the day and going out of town, particularly to Cape Spear and sites along the coast.

Do they have 'Homestays' in Newfoundland - similar to a B&B where you can stay a day or two with a family and get to see how people actually live? If so, how can one contact such a family or be recommended?

Our next query could sound silly but are there tame or domestic Moose? We have seen many pictures of them but it would be nice to see one close-up. Being from Australia, visitors often ask to see Kangaroo's which are numerous if you know where to look.

Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Newfoundland
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10. Re: St John's query from Australia

On the first question there are no "home stay programs" you will find B&B's in rural areas very similar to home stays.

On the second second question, think of moose like bambi with rabies. They look pretty mellow but contact with them is usually fatal especially during the fall season. There are two centres that keep captive moose, one on the west end of the island, its listed in the little square tourism guide you can order for free. The other centre is the Salmonier Nature Park which raises orphaned moose for other zoos. You can get pretty close without getting stomped to death :).

Forgot to add, there are home swap programs which gives you the house but minus the family, most won't do less then a week.