Where is it?
Newfoundland and Labrador are located in the north Atlantic ocean in the far eastern part of Canada. Neighbours include the Canadian provinces of Quebec and the Maritimes as well as the French (France) territories of St. Pierre and Miquelon.
What is it?
- Newfoundland/Labrador is Canada’s 10th and last province. It joined the Canadian confederation in 1949.
- Newfoundland is an island while Labrador is attached to the mainland. The capital is St. John’s and the postal abbreviation is NL.
- Newfoundland and Labrador are huge. Allow sufficient time and cash if you want to see it all. The area in square kilometres is just over 111,000 (with Labrador it is just over 405,000). To give a little perspective that is about twice the size of the UK!
- The province is divided into various tourist regions. Click here for more information.
Who are the people?
The people of Newfoundland are mainly of English, Irish, French and Aboriginal descent. Sadly, one of the indigenous groups, the Beothuk, were completely wiped out.
Why go there?
Newfoundland’s main attractions are the people, nature and history.
Creative and friendly locals with a penchant for storytelling are a memorable part of a visit to Newfoundland. Get “screeched in”, attend a kitchen party and take in the various accents and dialects.
National parks and animals abound. Check out Gros Morne, Terra Nova and Torngat National Parks; search for moose, bear, whale, puffins and other seabirds; be on the lookout for icebergs.
NL is also known as “The Rock” (not the wrestler) with some of the oldest rocks in the world.
- The Vikings were here-travel the Viking trail and visit the ancient Viking site and UNESCO World Heritage site, L’Anse Aux Meadows
- St. John’s is considered by some to be the oldest city in North America. Visit Signal Hill in St. John’s where Marconi first received a transatlantic signal in 1901. One could argue that this was the predecessor to the age of modern-day cellular communication; See Quidi Vidi, a fishing village and neighbourhood; Take a 20 minute drive to Cape Spear, the most easterly piece of land in Canada.
- Fogo Island, considered one of the 4 corners of the earth by the Flat Earth society.
- Visit various lighthouses along the 29,000km of coastline (Umm on second thought..the Titanic was sunk by an iceberg just 400 miles shy of the coast, so…)
When to go?
Summer (June-August) is usually when the most pleasant weather occurs. Each season, however, offers something of interest to do:
Spring: come to see whales and icebergs; Summer: more whales (hopefully), festivals and hiking; Autumn: hiking, golf and fewer tourists ; Winter: snow activities such as snowboarding and skiing.
How to get there?
Newfoundland/Labrador is accessible by air and water.
Air: There are 2 airports in Newfoundland: St. John’s and Deer Lake. The former is the major airport and is serviced by the following Canadian airlines: Westjet, Air Canada, Porter and Provincial (the local airline).
Water: There are 2 ferries that leave from north Sydney, Nova Scotia to NL. The one that goes to Port aux Basques on the west of the island is year-round service while the ferry to Argentia is from June-September only.
The usual precautions apply with food, climate and sanitation.
Yes Newfoundland has all of these in spades and for the most part they function quite well.
Internet/cellular connectivity is generally pretty good. If you are in mountainous areas or Rogers is your carrier, service will be limited.
It never hurts to bring toilet paper, especially if you are using trail facilities. Toilets on hiking routes may not be fully stocked at all times.
Big cities and tourist towns will likely have these as well as the latest software that can read a variety of major cards.
Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism