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Some activities to try in Terra Nova National Park and Gander

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On our most recent trip to Central Newfoundland we were focusing on seeing places and doing activities that we had not done before. We had been very impressed with the Barbour Living Heritage Village in Newtown and were blown away with the scenery, hiking and beaches on the Eastport Peninsula (see previous blogs). We then turned our attention to Terra Nova National Park (http://www.pc.gc.ca/pn-np/nl/terranova/index.aspx) and decided to head to the Visitor’s Centre where the staff suggested doing the 3.5 km hike (1 way) to Buckley Cove.

The Buckley Cove trail winds in part along the ocean

The trail follows along the ocean before winding inland to Buckley Cove. The highlights were the coastal views of Newman Sound and seeing shore birds-several greater yellowlegs feeding on the beaches.

We saw many Yellow Legs feeding along the shore

We also joined Coastal Connections for a boat tour of Newman Sound. The Coastal Connections boat tour is unique in the province with its emphasis on interpreting the marine environment. Part of the tour includes hauling up several traps in different locations to illustrate some of what lives in these waters. The kids on board loved helping pull up the various traps and everyone wanted to see what fish, star fish, sea urchins or other creatures might be trapped inside. The highlight was the crab trap that was in about 120 meters of water and everyone on board helped haul in the catch. It held about 15 snow crabs and toad crabs which Cap’t Lloyd Phillips said was about 1/10 th of their normal haul! Depending on the tour you may also see whales and eagles. For more information on this popular boat tour see: www.coastalconnections.ca

Having an up close look at some snow crab

From Terra Nova National Park we drove to Gander to see the North Atlantic Aviation Museum. This museum is conveniently located right on the Trans Canada Highway and has many aircraft parked out side. Inside we met the manager, Catherine Torraville, who explained the evolution of aviation in Gander. The museum has just had a facelift and has a new 9-11 exhibit which should be very popular. We enjoyed this museum with its interactive displays and we recommend it to people of all ages. They also have a small gift shop and for more information see: http://northatlanticaviationmuseum.com/

Catherine Torraville (right) chats to Heather Nicol about the North Atlantic Aviation Museum

That evening we saw the “Beyond the Overpass “Dinner Theatre and Show (http://www.beyondtheoverpass.ca/) at the Hotel Gander. They have several plays (mostly with a musical component) and their season runs through early September.

Performers at the dinner theatre in the Hotel Gander