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9 Day Photography trip to Nova Scotia and Newfoundland

9 Day Photography trip to Nova Scotia and Newfoundland

Old Jun 23rd, 2017, 09:18 PM
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9 Day Photography trip to Nova Scotia and Newfoundland

Hi All,
I am planning to do a 9 Day Photography Trip (National Parks, Landscape, Nature, Sunrise, Sunsets, Milky Way, Star Trail, Northern Lights etc) of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland, during the July 4th week
I have been to Banff, Jasper and hoping to have "similar" kind of “breathtaking” shots taken in this region, though I completely understand that this part of Canada has a different landscape.
I am flying into and out of Halifax and will have a Car with me. I love driving and am used to driving 6 to 8 hrs a day and mainly want to focus on the photography compositions that I mentioned above.

Below are a few places/points that I am planning to see and have put down some related questions.
Nova Scotia
• Bay of Fundy: Which place/location will give the best vantage point for photography. Is Sunrise/Sunset best for this location?
• Cabot Trail: Should I do this clockwise or anticlockwise? What should be the start and end points?
• Lunenberg, which other places are an absolute must for photography in Nova Scotia

I then plan to take the Ship from North Sydney to Channel-Port aux Basques and cover below places in Newfoundland, before again returning to North Sydney from Channel-Port aux Basques

Newfoundland: What is the best route to cover Newfoundland in 4-5 days, by covering below mentioned places?
• Gros Morne NP: How many days should I spend here and which are the best places for Day and Night Photography?
• Ferry from Saint Barbe to Blanc Sablon to see Red Bay and Battle Harbour: Is this good for photography and worth the time?
• L'Anse aux Meadows Road, St Anthony
• Twillingate: I believe we can take boat rides to see the Icebergs. Any other location which offers best view of the Icebergs ?
• What is the most scenic routes in NL
• Terra Nova NP: Anything which catches the eye here?
• St. John’s area – Cape Smear, Witless Bay…What are the other best places here ?

Other questions overall
• Should I first cover Newfoundland (Gros Morne, Icebergs, St. Johns etc) and then see NS (Cabot Trail, Lunenburg, Bay of Fundy etc)?
• Are there any routes in these places which will need an AWD or 4WD car?
• Which places (darkest skies) would be best for Milky Way and Northern Lights
• Which are the best locations to see wildlife (whales, bears, seals etc), birds, icebergs

Your responses will help me map out the places and let me decide the time that I need to spend in each place.
Thanks, as Always
- Manish
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Old Jun 25th, 2017, 12:11 PM
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Well, I will leave NS to someone else for comment. You will need to scale back your NL plans considerably for 4-5 days, regardless if you are confortable driving 8 hours per day. First of all, if you drive 8 hours a day (and sleep and eat), then when will you take photographs; Wildlife photography is popular here-- and whales and puffins would be around-- but they aren't on the side of the highway where you can make a brief road stop.
From Port aux Basques to Gros Morne would be over 3 hours driving. If you have taken a night crossing, you could be in Gros Morne and find your lodging (book ahead) by noon. Now--you could do the Western Brook Pond tour, hike the Tableland or Green Gardens Trail, or explore Green Point and the Coastal Trail. But you can only do one of those things in an afternoon. Hiking Gros Morne itself is a full day hike.
Then the drive to L'Anse aux Meadows the next day will take a full morning, leaving you the afternoon to visit the site.
Battle Harbour is out of the question. The ferry from St. Barbe takes about 90 minutes, and I believe goes twice a day. It's over two hours drive from Blanc Sablon to Mary's Harbour. Battle Harbour is an island. The ferry to it runs ONCE a day. I think you can see the problem here. It would be a unique experience--but not if you want to see other places.
Assuming you are willing to drive from :'Anse aux Meadows back up to Deer Lake after your visit there (and you may spot some moose--this is really the only place on the island where wildlife actually is seen near the highway), you could start day 3 with a 4-hour drive to Twillingate. There has been so much pack ice this year that the fish plant there is closed, and the tours may not be running. However, hopefully that will have changed by the time you arrive, and Twillingate will provide scenic fishing village atmosphere. At any rate, a tour will take up the afternoon. It's evening of day 3. St. John's is 4 hours away (and night driving is NOT recommended, because moose crossing the roads at night are a hazard--there was a two-car collision with a moose just yesterday). If you go to St. John's, you won't be able to see either the city or the whale/puffin tours in Bay Bulls, and make it back for the ferry crossing that night.
You need to decide on your priorities, and limit your plans. With your time and interest, I'd suggest stopping at Twillingate. If you want to include the Avalon Peninsula--which is fascinating-- you will have to eliminate L'Anse aux Meadows.
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Old Jun 25th, 2017, 08:03 PM
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Geez, I wish I had the EYES AND INSTINCTS of a true photographer... then I could more fully respond to this very sincere quest.

I hate sorta being (scared to say what I feel, for the chance that I don't know WTF I'm talking about IN photography terms.

I still have the gut sense that Hopewell Cape, NB would offer an array of useful contrasts and colors to give the most vivid impression of most things Fundy.

Also, the mere uniqueness that is ocean-going vessels sitting on the ocean floor at low tide, in the Bay of Fundy, are such that they too might (*wow* the eventual viewer).

(gawd I feel clueless, and it's NOT that I don't have a clue about the areas, but more that I can't know how to sit here and see/sense what a photographer wants to see) BUT...

I also want to put in a plug for the drive between Truro and Parrsboro along the Fundy shore.

There's a place, with an island out there in the bay, that just... feels so photogenic in my (clueless eye).

The Maritimes' environment where the whole of society isn't racing through there to get anywhere (else) makes for idyllic locations whose contrasts alone might tantalize the senses of the random photo viewer.

I even imagine Burntcoat Head, NS... probably nearer to sunset than sunrise (???) would offer some impressive photo possibilities too.

Hopewell Cape is rather shady rather early, given its location, so perhaps sunrise is most impactful when photographing there. And of course there are always the stark contrasts to be observed when viewing low, and then high tide... but I wish there were a unique vantage point for both, which isn't over-represented in the photography world.

PS - I don't think you'll need 4WD in any part of NS, if that matters.
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Old Jun 26th, 2017, 11:02 AM
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Thanks and Many Thanks everyone….Just planning this trip and reading your inputs is an enriching journey.
I have come up with the following, without getting into the specifics yet

Day 1 – Cabot Trail, then take Ferry from NS to CPB
Day 2 – Night halt around St. Anthony, will NOT do Red Bay/Battle Harbour
Day 3, 4 – Gros Morne NP
Day 5 – Night halt at Twillingate
Day 6 – Night halt at Bonavista
Day 7 – Night halt near St. Johns
Day 8 – Take Evening Ferry from Argentia to NS
Day 9 - Lunenberg

This is the last leg of my planning and I am able to get some positive responses for Hotel Bookings, few already booked….. Any other last minute thoughts/suggestions/key locations ?

manishbit is offline  
Old Jun 28th, 2017, 02:24 PM
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Just a few comments. This looks more possible than your original schedule.
- Iceberg Quest is the largest tour boat company in Twillingate, I think. If you call a day or 2 ahead, they'll be able to tell you what's likely in terms of sightings
- In Bonavista, the Dungeons Provincial Park has beautiful sea caves/ sea stacks, and vistas--usually complete with cattle/horses / goats that are pastured there. It's on the road to the lighthouse. In nearby Elliston, the Puffin Rock should have very photogenic puffins still.
- In Witless Bay / Bay Bulls, contact the large tour companies--O'Brien's or Mullowney's-- to find out if whale sightings have been common. In St. John's, Signal Hill and Cape Spear are popular vistas. Quidi Vidi Lake and nearby Petty Harbour are also scenic.
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Old Jun 28th, 2017, 05:14 PM
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I don't think you have the time but there are so many beautiful coves and cliffs just north of St John's. Anywhere from Pouch Cove to the Ocean Science Centre off Marine Drive. But sometimes you have to walk a bit along the coastal path to get to them.
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Old Jun 29th, 2017, 01:51 AM
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I'm visiting this part of the world right now. Some of the best photos I have gotten have been hiking places on foot or biking. Some days in this part of the world are photo-taking busts...rain and fog are regular events. Your schedule doesn't allow for any of this. You get on what looks to me to be your super-rushed possibly foggy day from Halifax to the Cabot Trail and then to the ferry (where you must be 2 hours in advance for boarding by the way) and you won't have that picture you dreamed you might have.

Slow down. The saying "less is sometimes more" seems to be jumping out at me. Some photo op places reward lingering, especially in this part of the world. Accept you can't get photos of all the top spots in both Nova Scotia and Newfoundland in 9 days. Honestly, within that time frame, even South Shore Nova Scotia plus Cape Breton plus Gros Morne plus Avalon Peninsula plus ferries alone sounds moving awfully fast even for those who travel at a far faster pace than is my preference.

Just my 2 cents. Hope you have a great trip! Do let us know how it went! Daniel
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