Newfoundland and Labrador: How to Travel Through Newfoundland
When it comes to Newfoundland, Atlantic Province Maps commonly misrepresent the island. Traditionally, Newfoundland is published next to Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island as a smaller inset on the map. The size of the inset map is misleading because it causes you to believe that Newfoundland is a much smaller province than its fellow islands. Contrary to popular belief, Newfoundland is actually rather large and takes significant time to plan travels through and around.
Additionally, Newfoundland is not a flat island which adds time to your travels as you will have to maneuver through mountainous regions and over extended bays. For example: If you plan on riding the ferry from Nova Scotia to Newfoundland Port Aux Basques, understand that it will take you eight to nine hours to drive from the port to St.Anthony's tip because the peninsula extends northward for many miles.
Thus, you must plan your trip of this distance far in advance to efficiently decide which route to embark. The key is to plan accordingly. It is nearly impossible to travel the entire Newfoundland province in a week or honestly even a month. Needless to say, it is paramount that one focuses on creating a travel plan that directly reflects the main attractions of the province that you can not live without seeing.
If you have a week or less to travel Newfoundland and are planning to arrive by ferry, you may want to focus your trip around the glorious Gros Morne National Park. Use the Port Aux Basques for your arrival and departure and you will be able to view the entire National Park during your short visit. This is the perfect plan for the outdoorsy type of traveler. However, if you have two weeks or more to travel Newfoundland, then it is best to utilize different ports for arrival and departure to efficiently divide your time.
The Marine Atlantic Company owns and operates the only two ferries that travel back and forth from Newfoundland to Sydney, Nova Scotia and the Nova Scotia Province. You can reach the Marine Atlantic Company by telephone at 1(800)341-7981 or online through website marine-atlantic.ca. The ferry that travels from Nova Scotia to Newfoundland runs year round into the Port Aux Basques. This ferry conducts around four departures daily, each way during peak season. The rides duration is about five hours and will cost adults $29, children from 5 to 12 years old $14.50, and automobiles $82.
The ferry that travels from Sydney, Nova Scotia to Newfoundland is seasonal, only running from the middle of June throughout later in September. This ferry runs three times a week and will drop you off in Argentia, which is located on the tip of the Avalon Peninsula not far from St.John's. Note that ferry takes around fourteen to fifteen hours to reach Newfoundland.
Both ferries require advance reservations. It is best to reserve your seats weeks or even months prior to your travel date (especially during peak season). Each ferry is also equipped with fully stocked snack bars, restrooms, showers, and state of the art lounge facilities. Plus, both ferries offer free admission to children riders under the age of five years old.
Arriving by air is the best way to experience St.John's Avalon Peninsula. Not to mention, the highly interesting Bonavista Peninsula is only a short distance drive away from this region. Although, if you are dead set on traveling to see St.John's Peninsula as well as the Gros Morne National Park you will need to set aside several days for driving time. You will spend around seven to eight hours merely driving down from St.John's to the national park alone. Your best bet is to create a travel plan that includes flying into St.John's Peninsula and departing by the route of Deer Lake. This route will provide scenic travels and ample driving time.
There are several airlines to choose from when flying into Newfoundland, however none are cheap. St.John's international airport is the most popular to utilize when traveling to Newfoundland but there are many other options to choose from. If you are traveling from Canada - Air Canada flies daily to Newfoundland from Montreal, Halifax, and Toronto. WestJet also flies in from Toronto, Halifax, Edmonton, Calgary, and Ottawa to St.John's. A new additional airline which connects from Toronto, Halifax, and Ottawa to Newfoundland is Porter Airlines. While Provincial Airlines with connect from eastern Canada to St.Johns, St.Anthony, Goose Bay, Stephenville, Wabush, and Deer Lake. Lastly, Continental will fly you into St.John's from Newark.
Not only does a trip to Newfoundland require immense travel time planning and preparation, it also requires in depth packing preparation. Newfoundland's weather fluctuates on a very wide spectrum. One day of your vacation may be seventy degrees and sunny, while a day later has the potential to dip down below forty degrees and freeze you to your core. Plus, when it rains in Newfoundland, it pours. In short, you will need to fully equip yourself with rain gear, umbrellas, coats, shorts, and tank tops.
Mid May through late June is known as Newfoundland's peak season as it is the best time to view their beautiful icebergs. Keep in mind when you come to visit Newfoundland that the island has its very own time zone. The Newfoundland time zone clocks in an hour and a half ahead of the Eastern Standard time zone. Thus, when it is 9am in New York City, it will be 10:30am in Newfoundland.
When you arrive in Newfoundland make sure to stock up on informational maps as you exit the ferry or depart from your plane because that is all the information you will be offered. Newfoundland does not offer shiny brochures and has very few tourist information centers. Their main information centers are open during the middle of May throughout the beginning of October. However, Newfoundland offers amazing internet acessess which will come in handy when exploring the rural areas of the island.
In order to get around the island you will need to rent a car as bus services are far and few in between. Hertz, Rent-A-Wreck, Avis, Dollar, Thrifty, Budget and National are all major rental car companies that are offered in St.John's alone. To make your travel plans easier to conquer check out the stjohnsairport website first. All you need to do once on the website is click the line that states ‘what an airport can do for you' and then on the following page click the link ‘parking, rent a car, and taxis'. This link will pull up a complete list of the presently available airport rent a car locations and their contact numbers. Several of these retailers are chains but you will find a few independently owned businesses as well.
If you are flying into a smaller location you will need to check out the visitor's guide for renting a car from smaller communities such as Deer Lake, Goose Bay, Corner Brook, and Port Aux Basques. You can also inquire about these smaller rental retailers by checking out their direct websites online, which will fully cover their specific rental agreements. It is also imperative that you remember to bring an ample supply of money to efficiently fuel your rental car with with enough gasoline to last throughout your planned travels. Newfoundland fuel prices are one of the highest found amongst the Atlantic Provinces.
We hope this guide is found to be of good use to you as you plan your trip throughout Newfoundland. It is a once in a lifetime province to visit. If you have any further questions or concerns visit Newfoundland's website online.