Off the beaten path Road Trips

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Newfoundland and Labrador is much larger than most travellers realize. And there are interesting things to see and do all over this province, and a bunch of different ways to get there. Our Road Trips (and sometimes boat trips) will guide you through every nook and cranny of this place.

To help you plan your journey, we divide our province into five geographic regions, with plenty of themed road trips within each. Whether you’re looking for a fun day trip or hoping to stay on the road for a week or more, we’ve got route suggestions on what to see and do, with historical tidbits to add context.

Enjoy the routes exactly as they’re written, switch things up and drive in reverse order, or even create a custom route of your own using the road trips as inspiration. It doesn’t matter which way you go – you’ll find yourself far off the beaten path regardless. How lost, or found, you want to get will be up to you.

Explore Road Trips by Region

Western

Stretching from the ferry port of Channel-Port aux Basques to the Viking site at L’Anse aux Meadows, the west coast of the island of Newfoundland offers travellers a wide range of natural and cultural experiences. Don’t miss the two UNESCO World Heritage Sites (Gros Morne National Park and L’Anse aux Meadows National Historic Site), as well as glacier-carved fjords, hiking trails, ancient indigenous sites, national and provincial parks, beaches and sand dunes, theatre festivals, museums, and cultural events.

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  • Granite Coast Drive 45 km + optional ferry

    Travel the rugged coast, laden with history and lore, from Basque whalers to present day.

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  • South Coast Adventure By ferry

    Tiny isolated villages, some without streets, where time is caught in the past.

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  • Codroy Valley International Wetlands 46 km

    By car or by foot, one of the best birdwatching trails anywhere.

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  • Three Rivers/Sandy Point Lookout 129 km

    Great salmon fishing and an incredible view of St. George’s Bay.

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  • Caribou Trail 150 km + optional ferry

    Your pathway to the interior, and to the dunes of Sandbanks Provincial Park at Burgeo.

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  • French Ancestors Route/La route des ancetres francais 240 km

    Where the province’s French heritage still lives, in name and in spirit.

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  • Captain Cook’s Trail 54 km

    See where one of the world’s best known explorers learned his trade.

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  • Admiral Palliser’s Trail 40 km

    Scenery and history combined in this drive along the north shore of Humber Arm.

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  • Humber Valley 51 km

    Salmon fishing in summer; skiing in winter. It’s an adventurer’s paradise.

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  • Viking Trail 684 km

    Follow the footsteps of the Vikings, and marvel at the wonder of Gros Morne National Park.

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  • Grenfell Drive 268 km

    Named for the famed medical missionary, this route follows the coastline of the old French Shore.

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  • Main River Run 95 km

    A Canadian Heritage River that will challenge even the most experienced paddler.

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Central

With two seacoasts and forests in between, central Newfoundland offers an outdoor experience with unique history, Old English and Irish words and customs, aviation history, and music sure to get your toes tapping. Hike to see icebergs and whales, camp in Terra Nova National Park on the coast, and explore the 5,000-year human history of the area, including the Beothuk. Explore remote communities accessible only by ferry. Discover what inspires our artist and songwriters. It’s all here.

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  • Dorset Trail 300 km

    The 1,500-year-old Dorset Soapstone Quarry at Fleur de Lys was the first of many mines built in this rugged area.

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  • Green Bay & the Beothuk Trail 300 km + optional ferry

    The Green Bay area is no stranger to plentiful icebergs and whales that frequent the coastal communities along this route each year.

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  • Exploits Valley 386 km

    Salmon have been caught here for over 5,000 years. Bring your waders and become part of history.

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  • Coast of Bays 485 km

    A land of fjords and inlets that the French settlers along this coast named “Bay of Hope”.

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  • South Coast Adventure By ferry

    Tiny isolated villages, some without streets, where time is caught in the past.

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  • Fortune Bay Adventure By ferry

    A short sea cruise along the rugged north shore of Fortune Bay.

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  • Kittiwake Coast: Road to the Isles 311 km

    The heart of Iceberg Alley. Endless shoreline, and a web of interconnected islands, villages, and outports.

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  • Kittiwake Coast: Islands Experience 115 km + ferry

    Two beautiful islands, connected by ferry, and a common heritage of the sea.

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  • Kittiwake Coast: Road to the Shore 307 km

    Lumsden, Deadman’s Bay, and Cape Freels – hidden gems and three of our best sandy beaches.

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  • Kittiwake Coast: Road to the Beaches 90 km + optional ferry

    A land of and castles and sandpipers – here at Eastport on Bonavista Bay.

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Eastern

Eastern Newfoundland is synonymous with the fishing industry. Learn about this way of life in the large museums of Bonavista, and in smaller ones throughout the region with a more local focus. But there’s much more here than fish. How about a round of golf near two salmon rivers, or walk along a coastal trail so magnificent it has won international acclaim? There’s a theatre festival in Trinity that’s been entertaining travellers for decades with local productions, local stories, and local stars. There are beaches and boat tours, history and heritage – and even a ferry boat ride to France.

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  • Discovery Trail 425 km

    In 1497 John Cabot made landfall here. People have been discovering its beauty ever since.

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  • Heritage Run 482 km + optional ferry to SPM

    The legendary land of the wooden ships and iron men of the deep-sea fishery.

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  • Fortune Bay Adventure By ferry

    A short sea cruise along the rugged north shore of Fortune Bay.

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Avalon

The Avalon Peninsula looks a piece from a jigsaw puzzle, with its deep bays separating long fingers of land. Almost completely surrounded by water, it’s where the first European settlers put down roots. It’s full of history and home to the provincial capital, St. John’s, North America’s oldest city, which has a well-deserved reputation for food, music, and good times. The region – which National Geographic calls a top coastal destination – is full of great places to see whales and seabirds, go sea kayaking or hiking, or enjoy sightseeing in centuries-old seaports.

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  • Osprey Trail 70 km

    The sea hawks are here for the capelin, everyone else comes for the beach.

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  • Cape Shore 303 km

    Visit the most accessible seabird colony in North America and the old French capital.

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  • Baccalieu Coastal Drive 310 km

    Where classic outport communities and favourite pirate haunts dot the coastline.

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  • Admiral’s Coast 90 km

    For day-trippers from St. John’s, a perfect excursion “around the bay”.

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  • Killick Coast 80 km + optional ferry

    For generations it’s been a wonderful place to drop anchor and admire the sea.

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  • St. John’s & Environs 70 km

    One of the oldest cities in North America, and a centre of culture, history, and entertainment.

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  • Irish Loop 312 km

    10,000 whales, a million seabirds, and an endless wealth of Irish heritage.

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Labrador

Labrador is the home of the Innu and Inuit, and was visited by Basque whalers, European fishermen, and possibly even the Vikings. You cannot visit this inspiring region without being forever changed. The trip across Labrador, The Big Land, is a trip through a rugged and wild environment. You can catch the ferry to Labrador from St. Barbe on the island's northern peninsula, where you’ll begin your journey along the Expedition 51° highway to the unforgettable and historic southern coast. It’s also possible to drive to Labrador from the mainland of Canada via the Québec-Labrador Highway. This Expedition 51° route will take you past the mining centres of Labrador City and Wabush, through the hub of Happy Valley-Goose Bay, and continues on to the South East coast. Happy Valley-Goose Bay is also the jumping-off point for the ferry service to Northern Labrador.

View Road Trips in Labrador
  • Expedition 51°: South 807 km + optional ferry

    Discover the history and explore the unspoiled environment.

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  • Expedition 51°: Central 42 km

    The land, air and sea travel centre for all of Labrador.

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  • North Coast By ferry

    A boat ride like no other: from central Labrador to the Inuit and Innu communities of the north coast.

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  • Expedition 51°: West 534 km

    Discover The Big Land along the Freedom Road and beyond.

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Distances are estimates and for guidance only. Routes can be taken as is or in reverse order.

Welcome travellers, the wait is finally over! Book your car rentals and accommodations well in advance and be sure to follow public health guidelines during your stay in Newfoundland and Labrador. Click Travel Info for details.

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