"Newfoundland - Amazing and Unforgettable!" Top 5 Page for this destination Province of Newfoundland and Labrador by Bwana_Brown

In the summer of 2001, my wife and I decided that it was high time we made a trip to Newfoundland to see what all the fuss was about. After all, the celebrations commemorating the 1000th anniversary of the Vikings landing on the island had only been held the year before. With fantastic rugged scenery, whale watching and two UNESCO World Heritage Sites very close to each other, we decided that a trip up along the westernmost shores of it's Northern Peninsula would make a great summer holiday.

At 42,000 square miles (109,000 sq. km.), the Island of Newfoundland is the 15th largest in the world, half the size of Britain and sandwiched between New Zealand's North Island and Cuba in the rankings! Although long-inhabited by Inuit and Native American peoples, the first Europeans to 'discover' Newfoundland were the Vikings in 1000 AD. They did not last long following skirmishes with the native population and the place was forgotten until 1497 when explorer John Cabot arrived and claimed it for England. In the ensueing years, explorers from Portugal and France made occassional visits but the island was formally declared British territory in 1583 by Sir Humphrey Gilbert.

The first colony was established in 1610 by the British, outside present-day St. John's, and the island came to be a popular summer stop-over for fishermen from England, Portugal, Spain and France as they reaped the bounty of the world's greatest fishery just offshore - the Grand Banks. Due to it's rugged interior, foggy and inhospitible climate, Newfoundland evolved into a sea-faring society with isolated out-ports dotted around its coastline. The island remained a British colony until 1949, when poverty-striken Newfoundland voted to join Canada, becoming it's 10th and final Province. The former large mainland territory of Labrador officially became part of the Province in late 2001. For the first time in it's long history, Newfoundland has finally struck it rich. In the early 2000s, production of oil and natural gas fields off its coasts began, and the royalties are starting to flow in! It is about time the friendly people of Newfoundland got a break.

We were lucky, the weather we had was some of the best that 'the Rock' could offer - sunny days and temperatures in the mid-to-high 20s C! The round-trip drive from Fredericton to Newfoundland's northern tip put 3000- km (1860 miles) on the car, but it was well worth it for one of our most unforgettable experiences! Please see my 'General' tip for a map of our route and experiences.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Outstanding scenery and history
  • Cons:Can be foggy and wet, expensive to get there
  • In a nutshell:One of the world's unique and friendly places!
  • Last visit to Province of Newfoundland and Labrador: Aug 2001
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (14)

Comments (21)

  • HORSCHECK's Profile Photo
    Jul 6, 2011 at 10:25 AM

    Glenn, fantastic page with outstanding photos and interesting descriptions of this fascinating region in Canada.

  • calcaf38's Profile Photo
    Sep 19, 2010 at 5:37 PM

    Beautiful pictures, and much information about a region I would like to know some day.

  • JLBG's Profile Photo
    Feb 6, 2008 at 1:32 PM

    A fascinating page on this island that has somehow looks of Norway and Iceland! It is a place I would like to visit, together with St-Pierre-et-Miquelon. French TV includes everyday the weather in StP&M! Chilling!

  • traveldave's Profile Photo
    Dec 6, 2007 at 7:33 AM

    I'd always heard about the dramatic scenery and wildlife in Newfoundland, and reading this page shows me how beautiful that province is.

  • Ekaterinburg's Profile Photo
    Nov 21, 2007 at 3:44 PM

    Labrador and Nova Scotia have incredibly vivid associations for me. I was checking them out on the map from the age of about 10. Seeing the photos and reading this was wonderful - a bit like 'The Shipping news " which I absolutely loved :))

  • magor65's Profile Photo
    Nov 18, 2007 at 9:00 AM

    It seems that Newfoundland has all to make one's vacations unforgettable - beautiful scenery, Unesco heritage sites, exciting history, flora and fauna to watch, etc. And it's great that there are still places where you can leave your car unlocked.

  • toonsarah's Profile Photo
    Oct 14, 2007 at 2:19 AM

    Great scenery and whale watching - looks like my kind of place, though taking our own car might prove tricky when travelling from London ;) I'd love to see the moose too, though NOT to hit one!!

  • Trekki's Profile Photo
    Feb 25, 2007 at 10:52 PM

    Marvellous landscapes and presentation Glenn :-) Ah, and I wasn't aware how Acadians and Cajuns are related. I like your map - excellent for orientation :-)

  • tiabunna's Profile Photo
    Feb 24, 2007 at 8:05 PM

    A fascinating place and I'd love to see the Viking settlement. As usual, an excellent coverage Glenn - just as well, as time will preclude us visiting.

  • matcrazy1's Profile Photo
    Feb 24, 2007 at 10:38 AM

    A lot of great suggestions, beautiful sceneries, very interesting information. I didn't know that the island was so long (until 1949) British not Canadian.


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