About this Place Practical InformationLearn More
Q: Do I need to book my accommodations in advance?
A: Yes. To avoid disappointment, you should book accommodations, car rentals, flights, and ferries in advance. Summer is particularly busy and bookings fill up fast. For more information visit the Getting Here & Around section of our website.
Q: Do I need to book my rental car in advance?
A: Yes. While this place is off the beaten path, lots of people want to visit Newfoundland and Labrador at the same time as you. The summer season is particularly busy. You should make car rental reservations before you travel, because they can book up fast. Pre-booking your accommodations, airline, and ferry crossings is also recommended. For more information visit the Getting Here & Around section of our website.
Q: How long does it take to get across the island of Newfoundland?
A: Newfoundland is an island, but it isn’t a small one. Travelling from the ferry terminal in Port aux Basques to the capital city of St. John’s is a 900-kilometre, 10-hour drive. It’s a good idea to review the distances between destinations. Make sure you aren’t leaving yourself short of time. Our interactive map can help you out with that.
Q: How to drive the Trans-Labrador Highway
A: The Trans-Labrador Highway is over 1,100 kilometres. It is made up of two roads. Highway 500 goes from the Québec border to Happy Valley-Goose Bay and is completely paved. Highway 510 then heads southeast and along the coast. There is no cellphone service on the Trans-Labrador Highway between Labrador City and Port Hope Simpson. Make sure to borrow a free satellite phone for a safe drive. There is a program for drivers that can be found here.
When you cross the border from Québec, you're moving from Eastern Time to Atlantic Time. If it's one o'clock in Québec, it's two o'clock in Labrador. The time changes again in southeastern Labrador: the communities south of Black Tickle are on Newfoundland Time.
To cross from the island to Labrador, you will need to use Labrador Marine ferry. You should plan this in advance. Schedules can vary and there are time zone changes. Remember that the ferry from Blanc Sablon to St. Barbe operates on Newfoundland Time.
If flying from Québec the Blanc-Sablon airport schedule operates on Eastern Time.
Q: What should I know about driving in Newfoundland and Labrador?
A. We have the same driving system as Canada and the United States. Vehicles keep to the right side of roadways and highways. Drivers must abide by road rules and regulations. On highways where a passing lane ends, the driver in the centre lane must yield to the right-hand lane.
Be sure to visit the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador's Department of Transportation and Works website to find highway cameras and the latest highway driving conditions. You can keep track of highway construction slowdowns, winter driving conditions and other important transportation factors.
Drivers must carry a valid driver's licence, Vehicle Registration Certificate, and Proof of Liability Insurance Coverage in order to drive in Newfoundland and Labrador. Legislation requires that motorists carry lump-sum public liability and property damage insurance of $200,000. Seatbelts are mandatory and cellphone and mobile one use is prohibited unless a hands-free device is used.
A child weighing less than nine kilograms (20 pounds) must be secured in either an infant carrier or a convertible car seat adjusted to the rear-facing position. Radar detectors are illegal in our province. It is also illegal to drive with a blood alcohol limit exceeding .05 milligrams of alcohol per litre of blood.
Watch out for Moose
There are about 120,000 moose on the island of Newfoundland. Most highways go through moose habitat. If you see one of these large, brown, hoofed animals on or near a roadway, use extreme caution. You should slow down and prepare to stop. Like all wild animals, moose are unpredictable. Avoid driving at night if possible, as most moose/vehicle accidents occur between dusk and dawn. If you must drive at night, slow down. Scan both sides of the highway with your lights set to high beam unless you are overtaking traffic. Pay attention to highway signs. A road sign with a picture of a moose or a warning that says "Caution, moose next 'X' kilometres" means moose cross there.
Caution is also required when driving in winter. Slippery road conditions, drifting, and blowing snow can sometimes make driving treacherous. When road conditions are not optimal, it is imperative that you slow down and use caution while driving. For information on road conditions, use the Highway Cameras from the Department of Transportation and Works and Weather Forecasts.
Q: How do I travel to Saint-Pierre et Miquelon?
A: Saint-Pierre et Miquelon is a French territory 19 kilometres from the town of Fortune on the Burin Peninsula, on the south coast of the island of Newfoundland. You can reach Saint-Pierre et Miquelon by ferry or air.
The Saint-Pierre Ferry operates from Fortune. It is passenger service only and reservations are recommended at all times. The crossing takes 55 minutes and operates year round. There is daily service during peak summer season and limited crossing during the fall and winter.
Toll free: 855-832-3455
Please note that Saint-Pierre Time is half an hour ahead of Newfoundland Time. So, when it’s 2:15pm in Saint-Pierre, it’s 1:45pm in Fortune.
If you want to fly to Saint-Pierre, Air Saint-Pierre offers scheduled service from St. John’s, Sydney, Halifax, and Montréal. Toll free: 877-277-7765
Q: What are the Saint-Pierre et Miquelon entry requirements?
A: Saint-Pierre et Miquelon is a self-governing territorial overseas collectively of France. The island sits just 19 kilometres from Fortune, Newfoundland and Labrador. For information on travel and customs regulations, visit www.tourisme-saint-pierre-et-miquelon.com.
If you visit Saint-Pierre et Miquelon, you'll have to clear Canadian Customs in Fortune upon your return. Canadians visiting for short periods of time do not require a passport, but must show a valid driver's licence, citizenship card, permanent resident card, student card, or a social insurance card with an embedded photo. Americans must show valid passports.
Q: Do I need a passport to travel to Newfoundland and Labrador?
A: Newfoundland and Labrador is a province of Canada, which means we are governed by Canadian law. If traveling from the United States, The Canadian Border Services agency asks that you carry proof of United States citizenship such as a passport, birth certificate, a certificate of citizenship or naturalization, or a Certificate of Indian Status along with photo ID.
Whether you're entering by air, land, or water, we recommend you carry a valid passport for visiting Newfoundland and Labrador from the United States a passport may be required by your airline or alternative transportation authority, as it is the only universally accepted identification document.
Re-entry to the United States requires a passport, passport card, or a trusted traveller card, such as a Nexus card. Please consult the United States Department of State website for full details.
Visitors from other countries must have valid national passports, and visitors from certain countries also require a visa. For a list of visa-exempt countries, go to www.canadainternational.gc.ca.
If you visit the French islands of Saint-Pierre et Miquelon from Newfoundland and Labrador, you'll have to clear Canadian Customs in Fortune upon your return. Canadians visiting for short periods of time do not require a passport, but must show a valid driver's licence, citizenship card, permanent resident card, student card, or a social insurance card with an embedded photo. Americans must show valid passports.
Q: What can I bring to and from Newfoundland and Labrador? What are your customs regulations?
A: Newfoundland and Labrador is a province of Canada, so Canadian customs rules apply. There are a couple of non-customs agricultural regulations that are different than other provinces you should be aware of:
You can bring your cat, dog, or horse to Newfoundland and Labrador without a permit, and they can be moved freely between Newfoundland and Labrador. However, the importation of non-indigenous animals is restricted, as is the movement of Labrador Huskies from Labrador to Newfoundland. For more information on Canadian Customs regulations, please see www.canadainternational.gc.ca.
Neither soil nor plants bearing soil may be removed from Newfoundland because of the possibility of accidentally spreading soil-borne diseases from certain areas. Vehicles leaving Newfoundland are inspected at the ferry terminals, and soil and plants are subject to confiscation. Special permits for removing plants under strict conditions may be obtained from Agriculture Canada. For more information about soils and plants, please contact 709-695-2135 or (summer) 709-727-2307.
If you are planning on visiting Saint-Pierre et Miquelon, you should check this link because they are part of France and French customs and regulations apply.
Q: What happens if I become sick or injured?
A: All visitors to Canada are strongly urged to obtain health insurance before leaving their home country. Canadian hospital and medical services are excellent, but a hospital stay can cost in excess of $750 a day, and the cost of an extended stay can be prohibitive. Be sure you are covered. If you are a resident of Canada, you should carry your provincial or territorial Health Care card just in case you need medical attention. If you are taking medicine prescribed by your doctor, it is a good idea to make a list of what you are taking in case of emergency, and bring along a copy of your prescription in the event that you need to have it renewed by a doctor in Newfoundland and Labrador.
Q: What kind of currency do you accept?
A: The Canadian dollar is the currency used in Newfoundland and Labrador. Many operators and retailers will accept American dollars, but not always at the official exchange rate. Businesses do not accept other foreign currencies, and there is no currency exchange house in the province. Banks do not normally exchange foreign currencies, so we recommend that you convert your national currency into Canadian dollars before you leave home.
If you would like to see how your currency converts, we recommend using the currency converter located at www.xe.com.
Q: What is the Newfoundland and Labrador climate like?
A: The island of Newfoundland has a temperate marine climate. Winters are usually mild with a normal temperature of 0 degrees Celsius. We get higher than average amounts of rain and snow as a result. Summer days range from cool to hot, with a normal temperature of 16 degrees Celsius. Good swimming weather generally begins at the end of June. Labrador’s climate is different from the island. Winters are much colder than those on the island. While summers are shorter and generally cooler, extreme high temperatures are not uncommon in Labrador. For more information, visit Environment Canada website.
Q: What time zone does Newfoundland and Labrador occupy?
The island of Newfoundland occupies its own time zone, known as Newfoundland Time. It is half an hour later than Atlantic Time, and a full hour and a half later than Eastern Standard Time or 3.5 hours behind Greenwich Mean Time (GMT-3:30). Most of Labrador occupies Atlantic Time; however, the area from L'Anse-au-Claire to Black Tickle operates on Newfoundland Time.
When travelling by Labrador Marine ferry, it's important to plan in advance. Schedules can vary and there are time zone changes. When you cross the border into Québec you enter the Eastern Time zone. However the ferry from Blanc-Sablon to St. Barbe operates on Newfoundland Time. If flying from Québec the Blanc-Sablon airport scheduled operates on Eastern Time.
It can get a little complicated sometimes, so double check your itinerary to avoid delay.
Q: What should I pack?
A: Depending on when you plan to visit, there are some essentials you should bring with you or buy once you get here.
Our weather is variable, so bring appropriate apparel for your itinerary. Our temperatures are usually mild in comparison to other parts of Canada, but vary a great deal from day to day, and sometimes hour to hour. For this reason, it is best to pack clothing that you can layer, and a light bag to carry it in for your day trips.
In winter, you will be thankful for a warm coat, hat, and mittens. A warm pair of shoes or boots that do not leak will ensure that you won't be hindered by slush, snow, and ice. For summer travel, don't forget your swimsuit, sunscreen, and sandals for your trips to our sandy or pebble beaches. In spring, summer, and fall, a raincoat is always a good idea.
Comfortable footwear is important if you plan on walking at any time of the year. We've been nicknamed "The Rock" and "The Big Land" for good reason! If you plan to explore, make sure your shoes are ready to explore with you.
Q: What should I know about deposits, credit cards and refunds?
A: When you make a reservation, it's always a good idea to ask the operator about the deposits, what credit cards are accepted, and the establishment's policies on cancellations, refunds, and late arrivals. Some seasonal operators may have a minimum-stay policy in effect, while others may offer just one form of electronic payment. If you are asked to pay in advance, it's always a good idea to ask to see the room first.
Q: What are the Good and Services tax in Newfoundland and Labrador?
A: HST stands for Harmonized Sales Tax. This 15% tax is charged on goods and services purchased in Newfoundland and Labrador.
Q: What is a Tourism Levy?
A: Some hotels charge a Tourism Levy. For rates, check with accommodation at time of reservation.
Q: How wheelchair-accessible are buildings and establishments in Newfoundland and Labrador?
A: Establishments in Newfoundland and Labrador listed as "wheelchair accessible" meet the minimum requirements as set out in the Provincial Buildings Accessibility Act and Regulations. These establishments have a main entrance, and, where provided, public washrooms that an individual in a wheelchair can access unassisted. Hotels, motels, cottages, and B&B establishments with the accessibility designation have a wheelchair-accessible room or suite, but there are no guarantees all the establishment's facilities could be accessed by wheelchair users. Some have only a limited number of wheelchair-accessible rooms, so reservations should be made. Also, many establishments not listed as accessible may provide acceptable facilities, depending on individual needs.
Q: What about WIFI and Internet Access?
Traveller’s visiting Newfoundland and Labrador can take advantage of many internet connections and WIFI hot spots. Internet access is offered at many accommodations, food establishments, and attractions throughout the province, all Provincial Visitor Information Centres, and all Marine Atlantic terminals, including onboard their ferries. Internet access can also be found in provincial libraries and airport terminals.
There are some black out areas in some rural areas. Check coverage maps with your cellular carrier.
Q: Can I get mobile phone coverage in rural areas?
A: We have two service networks: Rogers and Bell. The coverage is similar for both. If you are on the Avalon Peninsula, along the Trans-Canada Highway or in a major centre you can experience coverage. For more information and to see the rest of the island, you can view coverage’s maps for Rogers (here) and Bell (here).
Q: What electric standard does Newfoundland and Labrador use?
We use the same standard as the rest of Canada and the United States: 110 volt / 60 Hz.
Q: How do tipping and gratuities work in Newfoundland and Labrador?
A: It is traditional to leave 10%–20% of your bill at most restaurants, pubs, etc. when served by a waiter, waitress, or bartender. Employees are paid at least minimum wage, but many rely on tips to supplement their wages. It is custom to also leave a gratuity to hotel staff such a bellhops and maids. Unless noted, tips and gratuities are not built into the prices.
Q: When is the best time to see Icebergs?
A: Spring and early summer. As you move north, the season stretches a bit longer. April and May are the months when icebergs are most plentiful, but they may be locked up in sea ice, so it's recommended that late May and early June is best for viewing. For more, look (here).
Q: When is the best time to see Whales?
A: Anywhere between May and September, whales can be seen breaching the surface of the water and playing along our shores. For more, look (here).
Q: When is the best time to see Seabirds?
A: Summer and early September are the traditional times for seabirds. You can find more information and a map (here).
Q: Where can I find information about hiking?
A: You are coming to right place if hiking is your interest. Newfoundland and Labrador has hundreds of trails that offer a variety of experiences, distances, and degrees of difficulty. For locations, categories, and more, look (here).