My wife and I , with another couple, traveled to Newfoundland in mid-July 2011. After finding information about the Quirpon Lighthouse Inn on-line, we were really looking forward to spending time on Quirpon Island. In making resevations we did have trouble catching someone by phone and we had some unreturned phone calls but we were able to eventually finalize our plans.
We were met at the mainland dock by a local operator of a small fishing boat and a couple of helpers. Our gear was quickly loaded into the small craft and we climbed down an eight foot ladder and into the boat. For passengers there was one small bench (room for 3) and one additional small seating area. Then, zoom we were off, full throttle, bucking the waves and throwing a cold spray. This was a rough, great and wild ride! As we pounded the waves we saw some distant whales and cruised right by massive icebergs arriving at the cove where the dock for the Inn is located. We scaled up thier eight foot ladder and in just 20-25 minutes we had arrived.
A 600+/- yard long dirt road leads up from the shore up to the Inn. Our helpers transported our gear for us. We met the caretaker and found our rooms and couldn't wait to start looking around before dinner.
Meals were average to spartan. The first night's serving of "Jiggs Dinner" was not something I would care to have ever again, but after that, meals were basic and of the normal everyday type adequate fare. Do not expect gourmet delights, however, the fresh cookies set out in the kitchen were very good.
The bedrooms were comfortable. Our room had a window with a screen that could be opened for cooling fresh air. Some of the other rooms had windows that could not open due to storm windows which were believed to be too difficult to put up each Fall and to take down each Spring, so those rooms did get quite warm.
This is a magnificent location! Steep cliffs to the sea below the Inn and treeless rolling hills above the Inn. Surf. Whales. Icebergs. Warm Sun. Chilly breezes. Interesting views in all directions, endless hiking options and history all around.
Great oportunities for photography of all subjects. I especially enjoyed photographing a family of foxes that lived nearby and were accustomed to seeing people in there home area.
We choose not to try the kayaking but I'm sure for those who have the time, bravery and stamina to paddle amoung breaching whales near icebergs this would be an amazing experience.
The caretakers readilly answered questions and offered advice when asked but pretty much left us on our own to explore and we liked that.
We stayed two nights and that seemed like the minimum time to get a real sense of the area. It is expensive, but to stay just one night would just not provide enough time.
Having been to Quirpon and having read some past reviews I've come to believe that contingencies and conditions are often not fully understood by potential guests.
1. That high winds, rough seas, foul weather, fog and rain may allow just a brief boat ride across the channel and that the guests will need to hike-in to the Inn. We did not need to hike but for those ill equiped physically or emontionally for a tough perhaps hour long slog in bad nasty weather carrying their own luggage over rugged terrain with a trail that can be difficult to follow could doom any possible enjoyment. Only take what you can carry in one backpack but don't leave your camera gear behind!
2. In July 2011 the Inn did not operate thier own boat. My guess is that the boat ride probably varies a great deal based on which local fisherman is available to make the run up from the dock on the mainland. We enjoyed a great ride but do not expect a tour boat or plush ferry.
3. In foul weather the Inn may suggest to hikers that they will transport luggage up or down the island by ATV or that they may give a ride to a non-hiker via the ATV. It seems that the ATV trail on the island is frequently impassible and that the ATV is often broken down, so this offer can not always be honored.
4. 2011 was an extraordinary year for icebergs. We saw, very close-up, so many bergs in so many shapes, hues and sizes. In future years the ice conditions could be very different.
I would be eager to return to Quirpon Island but I do have some leg problems which would make a hike-in difficult. If I get the opportunity to go back I would plan my time on the mainland to be flexible and call the Inn daily to see if they have a vacancy and to learn if conditions will allow the boat to run from the mainland to the Inn to avoid having to make the hike and make the trip when conditions are perfect, as they were for us this past summer.
Go for the unique location, you will not be disappointed. Plan to go else where for great food, plush accomodations and low prices.
- Also Known As:
- Quirpon Lighthouse Hotel Quirpon Island
- Quirpon Lighthouse Inn Quirpon Island, Newfoundland