News

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  • With a new year comes new Tourism TV! Watch ‘Half Hour’ and ‘500 Years,’ the latest chapters in the continuing Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism story. In Half Hour, we look at the unique half an hour time difference here in NL. In 500 Years, we celebrate the spirit of our capital city, St. John’s, which is one of the oldest in North America, but one of the youngest at heart.

  • One of the best places to see the fall colours is in the Humber Valley, and the best way to see them up close is to take a fall hike.

    It is no surprise then that The Old Man in the Mountain Hike is one of the most popular of those developed by the International Appalachian Trail in Newfoundland (IATNL). It has fabulous views of the Humber River and Humber Canyon and the vistas are all the more beautiful in the fall when the brilliant colours of changing leaves intermingle with the coniferous greens.
     

  • The only known North American colony of Manx Shearwaters, a nocturnal seabird, has been declared a Provisional Ecological Reserve. The colony, about 100 birds on Middle Island off the coast of the Burin Peninsula near Lawn, now falls under the protection of the Lawn Islands Archipelago Provisional Ecological Reserve.

    The birds live in burrows four feet deep and can live for 50 years. Consultations on making the reserve permanent will be held in the near future. Thousands of seabirds nest on Middle Island, Offer Island, and Columbier Islands, including Arctic terns, great black-backed gulls and black-legged kittiwakes.

  • The Western Brook Pond fjord in Gros Morne National Park is the Park’s largest lake and the backdrop for a spectacular scenic boat tour. Once open to the ocean, this 16-km lake with a depth of 165m is home to Atlantic salmon, brook trout and Arctic char, as well as an unusual colony of cliff nesting gulls.

    The boat tour can be reached via Route 430, 27 km north of Rocky Harbour. From the parking lot, there is a pleasant 45-minute walk to the dock. The trail carries you over the fragile coastal plain, once located below sea level. Here, examine a variety of plant life, scan for wildlife sightings or view the interpretive panels located along the trail.
     

  • Western Newfoundland offers some of the best snowmobiling in all of Eastern Canada and the Lewis Hills is an especially great spot to sled. The “hills” themselves are located approximately 18 km north of Stephenville and 27 km southwest of Corner Brook and at 814m (2,671ft) the Cabox is the island of Newfoundland’s highest point.

    As you can see from the video you can see breathtaking scenery and a variety of wildlife in the backcountry. The Lewis Hills terrain is inviting to a novice rider but offers everything an expert rider would need.
     

  • Dark humour is the silver lining of Newfoundland and Labrador’s colonial history. Those early European settlers were the original survivors. Pirates, unpredictable weather, buccaneers disguised as governors, hard labour, wars, privation - all easy targets for the wits and wags who laughed and struggled onward through the fog of mercantile exploitation and inept colonial administration. Laughing in the face of danger may seem unseemly, but when the alternative is tears, you might as well laugh. And that’s been our motto ever since.

    That tradition lives on in the narrow lanes of Trinity, Trinity Bay, where each summer actors with Rising Tide Theatre take history to the people with the New Founde Lande Trinity Pageant, the anchor event of the Seasons in the Bight Festival.

  • With over 130 root cellars – small storage spaces skillfully built into the hillsides – Elliston has an unusual heritage. Important to many in rural Newfoundland, the root cellars kept vegetables cool, yet frost- free and edible during the long winter months.

    It’s late October, 1887. The few meagre crops eked out during the short summer months are in and the frost is quickly coming. God help the family that doesn’t have a proper root cellar!

    - Anonymous Bird Island Cove Resident (now Elliston).

    As remote as Newfoundland and Labrador probably seemed to some back in the 1800s, invention and know-how were definitely up to snuff!

  • Be there a birder in temperate North America that has not dreamed of a visit to Labrador much like J.J. Audubon did. Well dream no more! You may not be able to follow in the footsteps of J.J., but you can now drive into and across the Labrador Peninsula.

    In 1987, Route 389 from Baie-Comeau, PQ, was opened, allowing one to drive the 375 miles northward through Quebec and into western Labrador. In 1991, Highway 500 was pushed through 300 miles of wilderness to Goose Bay in central Labrador. Finally, at the end of 2009, the Trans-Labrador Highway made the 230-mile connection to Cartwright on coastal Labrador then onward 200 miles to the lower north shore of Quebec.

  • Cain’s Quest Snowmobile Endurance Race is the main annual winter event in Labrador and is said to be the ultimate in extreme racing. On March 12, 2011, racers will gather in Labrador City and roar off on a 2,500-km journey through the Labrador wild, hitting 18 remote checkpoints and a further nine community checkpoints. Racers will have to bring their “A game” in this true test of endurance. And indeed they should. Racers compete for a shot at a $65,000 prize purse.

    In March 2011, Cain’s Quest will be hosting its first ever “Ladies Edition”. At 650 km, in a race to Churchill Falls and back, ladies will compete for a $20,000 prize purse.d

  • Camping at 40 years old brings back the same summer rush I had for adventure in my earlier days exploring Gros Morne National Park. Last July’s excursion to a 90-km stretch of beach in Labrador called the Wonderstrands proved I was still able to hike 100 km of wilderness and camp for seven days – and call it vacation! It was so much fun.

    The Wonderstrands is located in what is now the Mealy Mountain National Park Reserve. At 11,000 square km, it’s the largest protected area in eastern Canada. Best of all, it’s just a day’s ride from other fantastic adventures in the Labrador Straits region, including Gros Morne, Iceberg Alley and Battle Harbour National Historic Site. For my wife Rufina and I, it was only a kayak trip from Cartwright.

  • Rugged, wild and beautiful, the coastal communities of Brigus and Cupids will take you back in time. Rich in culture and history, the two towns are just a stone’s throw from one another, and both are located just an hour outside of St. John’s. Let the townspeople take you in as you explore heritage that has been preserved for hundreds of years. And see for yourself what we’ve been celebrating. 

    Of all the mariners who set to sea in Newfoundland and Labrador over the centuries, none is more justly famous than Captain Bob Bartlett of Brigus. A noted explorer in his own right, and perhaps the greatest ice pilot who ever lived, Bartlett guided American Commodore Robert Peary to within 150 miles of the North Pole in 1909, at which point Peary set out with one servant to finish the job on foot. Bartlett won numerous awards and spent many summers exploring the Arctic, and had a gift for self-promotion that in the first half of the 20th century made him one of the most famous men alive.

  • Newfoundland and Labrador isn't your typical run-of-the-mill tourism destination. It's complex, ancient and multi-faceted. Nowhere is this fact more apparent than within Canada's 'exquisite jewel,' Torngat Mountains National Park. Read about one Toronto Sun reporter's unique experience. There's video too...

  • Located at the most easterly point of land in North America, Cape Spear is where you can see nature at its most beautiful and wild; tranquil and ferocious; it all depends on the day you visit. The site is surrounded by spectacular scenery and wildlife such as whales, seabirds and icebergs in season.

    In 1834, construction began on the first lighthouse, with a foghorn added in 1878. The light was first lit by oil, with acetylene adopted in 1916, and electricity in 1930. In 1955, the dipodic system was moved to a new light tower, not far from the original lighthouse. The original lighthouse is the oldest surviving lighthouse in Newfoundland with the original building and the lightkeeper’s residence restored to the period of 1939, and shows how a lightkeeper and his family might have lived there during that time.

  • St. John’s Time

    10 Jan 2011

    St. John’s Time is an 11-day festival taking in the Royal St. John’s Regatta, the George Street Festival, the St. John’s Downtown Buskers Festival and the Newfoundland and Labrador Folk Festival. The festival starts in late July and goes until early August.

    Thousands descend on George Street every year to take in the annual George Street Festival - one of the biggest and friendliest patio parties in the world. This event always precedes the Royal St. John’s Regatta. The Royal St. John’s Regatta is a 1-day event and is the oldest, longest running sporting event in North America! This 1-day festival draws in the vicinity of 60,000 people to Quidi Vidi Lake in the heart of St. John’s to watch the races and to try their luck on various ticket spins, or just sit back and relax and take in the sights. This event is always the first Wednesday in August.

  • Newfoundlanders and Labradorians are known worldwide for their hospitality. Making your own way to (and through) Newfoundland and Labrador is sometimes exactly what’s called for, but if you’re interested in travelling here without having to worry about the details, there are many package tour operators that take care of arrangements for you.

    CapeRace Cultural Adventures and Ocean Quest Adventures are just two of many tour operators that let you truly experience and explore the majestic beauty of our province, our rich culture and heritage and, maybe even, our ocean floors.

    Ocean Quest Adventure Resort offers a 7-night multi-adventure vacation package on Newfoundland and Labrador’s Avalon Peninsula. CapeRace Cultural Adventures is a self-guided eco-cultural tour that features exclusive-use, serve-yourself accommodations at heritage houses in St. John’s, Heart’s Delight and Bonavista

  • We’ve travelled to the Twillingate area on several occasions to see icebergs, go whale watching and explore with our sea kayaks.

    But recently we got a phone call from Fred Bridger, who has been helping to develop hiking trails in the Twillingate area for the past few years.

    “If you like coastal hiking you can’t do much better than these trails,” he said over the phone.

    “The trails pass by sea stacks, sea cliffs and we even have some osprey and eagles that nest in the area. At this time of year you won’t see any icebergs but you can nibble on blueberries if you like, since the trails go through some fine berry patches.”

    This was all we needed, and Fred offered to act as our guide for a couple of days.

  • It was really just another business day – a Tuesday – and I had the usual workplan. Go to a location, shoot videos, take photos and return home. Okay, maybe not as usual as I am letting on. I was about to travel abroad...to McCallum, a unique little isolated community on the south coast of Newfoundland that's only accessible by ferry. What makes this community so unique? Other than the ferry being your only means of getting to the town, travel within the community is essentially by foot on a series of boardwalks!

    It was 11:30 a.m. when my friend and I caught the small passenger ferry from Hermitage bound for a place neither of us had ever been, but had always hoped to someday visit. After filling two seats with luggage and getting settled away in the lounge, the ferry began to move away from the dock. I was out on deck with my camera faster than you can say "Adventure Central Newfoundland"! After taking numerous pictures and videos of the passing scenery and the billowing waves crashing against the side of the vessel, I put away the camera, leaned against the side railings and peacefully watched the water for the rest of the trip.

  • There’s a vacation and then there’s an experience; and the differences in the two couldn’t be more important. You can book a plane ticket to a famous destination and wait in line for your token photo of the same crowded attraction, or you can have an experience. Central Newfoundland provides the latter. Real adventurers seek out places long past the beaten path, and slip into the experience like a warm bath. They linger, soak up the destination, and immerse themselves in people, place, culture and nature. This is no cookie-cutter destination. This is Central Newfoundland - real, raw, rugged and wholly authentic. It calls to the adventurer because he knows that the greatest rewards are at the end of the longest path.

    An experience is not the “wow” of a well-treaded tourist trap. It is the sum of sights, sounds, smells, adventures and interactions; a million tiny moments melded into something that leaves an indelible mark on your spirit and memory.

    And what are these moments? Let us begin…

  • “Five days of hiking the East Coast Trail transformed us into proselytizing zealots. Now we're the ones eagerly asking, ‘Have you hiked the East Coast Trail?’ hoping for an opportunity to tell all about it.” Forget the West Coast Trail, travel writers Craig and Kathy Copeland discover that when it comes to big Canadian hiking adventures, Newfoundland’s east coast is the place to go.

  • Mistaken mystique

    21 Nov 2010

    Mistaken Point is a remarkable place. A beautiful, rocky headland at the tip of the Avalon Peninsula bearing the fossilized remnants of ancient creatures more than half a billion years old. Etched onto two shelves of stone, these cryptic messages from the distant past were once primitive animals living at the bottom of the ocean. The volcanic ash that killed them, also preserved them