Staggering Landscapes & Viking History
The northwestern section of the island is full of stunning terrains and fascinating history with two UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Stand where the Vikings stood over 1,000 years ago, or explore the geological masterpiece that is Gros Morne National Park. Learn about the exciting career of Captain James Cook, and enjoy a gut-busting evening of theatre and music.
Day 1 - An Unforgettable Hike
An hour northwest of Deer Lake airport, make your first stop in the natural wonder that is Gros Morne National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Pop into the Discovery Centre in Woody Point and get a brief introduction to this earthly marvel. Choose from over 100 kilometres of trails for hikers and walkers of all abilities and interests. Hike along the moonscape called the Tablelands - gigantic peridotite rocks that were once part of the earth's mantle. Or, choose Green Gardens, a more challenging trek through a boreal forest leading to a fertile volcanic seacoast.
Return to Woody Point, a charming village with a Registered Heritage District full of quaint galleries, craft boutiques, and restaurants. Before calling it a night, be sure to check out some of the evening entertainment for a toe-tapping time.
Day 2 - Bonne Bay
Visit Bonne Bay Marine Station in Norris Point to see the indoor aquarium and get up-close and personal with unique sea creatures that live in the local waters. Get a different vantage point by going kayaking in the bay. Surrounded by spectacular mountain scenery, the Bonne Bay shoreline is punctuated with coves and beaches and makes for a wonderful paddle.
Day 3 - Boat Tour in the Fjord
Start your day with a bite and a coffee in Rocky Harbour before you take the boat tour into Western Brook Pond. Float through the majestic, glacier-carved fjord and look for the 2,000-foot-high waterfalls that cascade down the Long Range Mountains, part of the Appalachian chain. The boat launch is a 45-minute walk down a picturesque nature trail filled with plant life and curious creatures.
Day 4 - A Look into the Past
For your final day in Gros Morne National Park, start your day at the Lobster Cove Head Lighthouse. Then jump back in time at Broom Point Fishing Premises. Step inside the fish store and tiny cabin and imagine the lives of the three Mudge brothers and their families who fished at Broom Point from 1941 to 1975. Take part in hands-on demonstrations of tasks from their daily life.
Continue on to an evening of stories, plays, and concerts featuring local talent at the Gros Morne Theatre Festival.
Day 5 - Arches & Archaeology
Stroll Shallow Bay Beach in Cow Head to start your day, and take time to visit the Dr. Henry N. Payne Community Museum. Only 30 minutes away, The Arches Provincial Park is the perfect place to have a picnic and relax as you watch the ebb and flow of ocean waves. The park is named for the rock arches carved by eons of tidal activity.
The rivers on the west coast are famed for their salmon runs. See these travelling swimmers in action through an underwater viewing chamber at the Torrent River Salmon Interpretation Centre in Hawke's Bay.
Last stop for the day is Port au Choix National Historic Site. Find relics from four ancient cultures who lived and thrived in this rugged place many years ago. After exploring the exhibits, take a walk along the coastal trails and scan the waves for seals and whales. Drop by Bird Cove for a display on Captain James Cook, who charted this part of the coast before he became a famous South Seas explorer.
Day 6 - The Viking Experience
Today it's all about the Vikings. Just over 1,000 years ago, the first European settlement was built in North America, a place now called L'Anse aux Meadows - both a National Historic Site and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Nearby at Norstead Viking Village, reconstructed sod huts 'inhabited' by costumed interpreters help bring this historical place to life. Take time to visit the local shops and restaurants to round out your day.
Day 7 - St. Anthony's History & Culture
Hop on a tour boat in St. Anthony and start your day watching frolicking whales and majestic 10,000-year-old icebergs. Or hike the trails in Fishing Point Municipal Park and gaze on as these larger-than-life spectacles put on a show. Be sure to drop by the Grenfell Historic Properties and discover how Dr. Wilfred Grenfell brought modern medical care to remote coastal communities more than a century ago. In the evening, be part of a Viking court of law at the Great Viking Feast dinner theatre.