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5 days in Nfld, do-able?

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May 21st, 2004, 03:27 AM
  #1
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5 days in Nfld, do-able?

We would like to visit Nfld from Halifax and will only have 5 days (around Cda Day w/end).

We will drive from Halifax. Is it "worth it" to try to do with the time constraint?

We realize we won't "see everything" but what stops would give us a good flavour of the province/parts of the province? We are keen on seeing icebergs, and interested in local culture, scenery, some light hiking and lobster!

Thx a mint for any suggestions! (=
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May 21st, 2004, 08:38 AM
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Yes, it is doable but you will have two FULL travel days. Check the ferry sched to Port aux Basques carefully and make reservations in advance.

I suggest you spend your time on the Island near Gros Morne National Park. You should get a taste of culture, history, good food [bakeapple jam.....a gift from the gods...], some easy hikes and spectacular scenery if you stay somewhere like Rocky Harbour.

I don't suggest you even think about going further afield.

If you were able to fly from Halifax to St. John's I would offer a very different itinerary.

To even touch on the highlights of the Island takes at least two full weeks -three is better.

cheers
Jerry

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May 22nd, 2004, 05:16 AM
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I agree with Jerry...doable but two days of travel leaving you only 3 days. I assume you have visited other areas close to Halifax such as Cape Breton, PEI, etc., which make more sense.

We went to Nfld last summer for 2 weeks and could have stayed longer. We spent about 4 days in Gros Morne area. Yes, 3 days is good but you really should spend more time in Nfld. Also keep in mind that the weather is variable in Nfld and you might be lucky or unlucky. If Nfld will be a once a lifetime trip and you could visit later, I'd save it. On the other hand, if this might be your last opportunity for a few years, go for it.
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May 27th, 2004, 01:58 PM
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gannetmusic and dial: thx a mint for your thoughts! Given your comments, I've spent some time reconsidering and given gas prices, we might just fly to St John's to give us more time (and since there's only two of us).

We'd really love to see icebergs and the sites I've read on Gros Morne NP make no mention of them. So we might head for St. John's.

We moved to Halifax a year ago, and have spent time discovering the province 'mainland', CB, and PEI. I am sure we'll be back to NL as everything I've read shows spending a couple of weeks is easy (especially since we like nature, camping, etc.). We thought we'd get a taste of NL before we left the maritimes.

Any suggestions for routes if we head to St. John's? We're hoping to keep the costs down for this trip. I guess we'd need to rent a car?
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May 28th, 2004, 06:10 AM
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What time in the summer are you visiting Nfld?

You will most definitely need a car.

Are you interested in whale watching?

Do you enjoy, or would you like to sample, Nfld. traditional [celtic influenced ] music?

Please advise!

Jerry
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May 28th, 2004, 03:40 PM
  #6
Syv
 
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If looking for icebergs - definitely take a whale-watching / iceberg boat tour (internet search O'Briens - I think it is just south of St John's at Bay of Bulls?).

The other location for whale-watching /iceberg tours where maybe there's more icebergs that late in the year is St. Anthony's (Gros Morne side - way up at the top!).
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May 29th, 2004, 05:11 AM
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Jerry: Travelling on July 1 w/end. I know it's probably going to be a busy w/end but I'm at a new job so I don't have much choice about timing and am trying to take advantage of the stat holiday.

I've been whalewatching off the Boston coast but it wasn't so successful (saw 2 minke's far off) so going again would be interesting.

Also, love to experience local culture and celtic music could be one of the highlights!

Syv: thx for the specific recommendation of O'Brien's; I checked out their site and quite excited about our trip now! We love kayaking and may do that tour. Would you suggest doing the boat (not zodiac) and kayak tour? Do you think the sights would be different enough (I don't know much about iceberg 'locations').
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May 29th, 2004, 06:32 AM
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We did a kayak tour of the area, not with O'Brian's. It was the day after a storm, and other outfitters elected not to lead tours. We were there for only a limited time, so decided to go for it. We saw a number of whales, which was neat, but the water was VERY rough, and difficult to navigate for us novices. Peoples' camera equipment got wet even taking it out for a quick shot. Pick a calm day, leave valuables at your hotel or outfitter's office, and beware of waves!

We took a boat trip out of St. Anthony's to see an iceburg; had to go quite a distance because it was late in the season so there weren't many left. We could not have accessed it in a kayak. What a sight! We circled it in quiet awe for perhaps half an hour. We also saw one from shore, but it wasn't nearly the same experience as seeing it close up from the boat. Not sure about Witless Bay/Bay of Bulls area.??
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May 30th, 2004, 01:14 PM
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There MIGHT be icebergs around Bay Bulls on July 1st. It is hit-and miss.

Another alternative would be to drive up to Twillingate - much better chance but it is a good 6 hour drive one way from St. John's.

Bay Bulls is great for Humpback Whales, generally a bit later than early July but that is variable. Actually I just heard there were 20 to 25 Humpbacks in Witless Bay recently.

Even if you did see neither whales nor icebergs I think you would enjoy O'Briens' trip.

Some Nfld music, great scenery, a touch of history, a bad joke or two and hundreds of thousands of seabirds including 10's of thousands of Atlantic Puffins.

I will follow up with some music suggestions.

Jerry
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Jun 3rd, 2004, 05:16 AM
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Hi:

Just to bring you folks up to speed a few bergy bits have been floating around Portugal Cove area and I saw one in Flatrock (about 20 min from downtown). Six whales have been playing at the mouth of the Narrows in St. John's, so if I only had five days. I'd stay closer to the Avalon Penninsula, take the boat tour, do the day hikes on the East Coast Trails, stop at Bidgoods (grocery store) for some local jams, baked goods, etc. and of course enjoy the Newfoundland Hospitality.

From here,

Denise
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Jun 3rd, 2004, 05:55 AM
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Denise - thanks for the update.
I agree that the Avalon is well worth a few days - or weeks.
Other possibilities on the Avalon are visiting the archeological dig at Ferryland, visiting historic Cape Race, watching the caribou down near Cape Pine [one of my favourite places anywhere] and of course spectacular Cape St. Mary's !
All of these provide wonderful coastal scenery , wildlife and great opportunities to hike and explore.

I have had the pleasure of leading 2 tours to Nfld. in recent years - mainly for birds and whales - and every participant has loved the place.

cheers

Jerry
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Jun 3rd, 2004, 02:17 PM
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klam_chowder - Last year we drove the east & southeast coast of NL and we saw whales every day including from Signal Hill in St. John's. I think Jerry just gave you some excellent advice. Ferryland, Cape Race, St. Schotts, Cape Pine & definitely Cape St. Mary's are all fantastic. Make the time to go up Signal Hill in St. John's and also get out to Cape Spear. It is much cheaper to rent a car away from the airport. You may want to look into renting from Enterprise in St. John's. We were there last year over Canada Day and we saw icebergs in Witless Bay just south of St. John's. Also heard there were icebergs in Spaniards Bay in Conception Bay. An alternative to the Avalon Pennisula is Bonavista Pennisula which is just a few hours north of St. John's. We saw lots of whales & puffins off of Bonavista at the tip, plus Trinity is a very interesting town with lots of history. Kerley's Harbor, an abandoned community, and the set of Random Passage are also nearby. If I had only one option I would pick Avalon Pennisula instead though. Have a great trip. Five days is not enough to see everything, but any time you can spend in NL is definitely worth it. Just focus on a smaller area.
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Jun 4th, 2004, 06:13 AM
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Also great is St. Vincent's Beach, west of Cape Pine / Trepassey. If the capelin are inshore to spawn it can be a riot of birds and whales.
The sea floor drops off abruptly here and one can quite regularly find humpbacks and minke whales within 100 - 150 feet of shore.
At any time it is a beautiful beach for a stroll.
For accomodations in that area, the Trepassey Motel is basic and simple but has a nice little restaurant and your hosts Jerome and Mary Devereaux will make you feel very welcome.

In St. Bride's, near Cape St. Mary's, I recommend the Bird Island Resort. Very clean and pleasant and with a wonderful seaside view. My friends the Manning family will make you feel at home there.

Thinking of wonderful times in Newfoundland.......

Jerry in Toronto
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