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Driving to Bay of Fundy, Nova Scotia & Newfoundland

Driving to Bay of Fundy, Nova Scotia & Newfoundland

Mar 5th, 2012, 05:37 AM
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Driving to Bay of Fundy, Nova Scotia & Newfoundland

We are planning a driving trip at the end of June and would like to explore the Bay of Fundy, NS and Newfoundland. We will be leaving from Southwest Harbor ,Me and would love some ideas of places to stop along the way. Our preferences is to drive no more than 4 hours or so per day, but realize that is not always possible. Also would prefer to stop places worthing exploring for at least 2 days, but again, some one night stops are fine. We love scenic drives, hiking, interesting towns and cities and always enjoy good food. We are flexible with the time, perhaps two weeks or a little more in that area before returning home to the East Coast US. Thanks!
yestravel is offline  
Mar 5th, 2012, 07:08 PM
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Well, the first item of concern is whether or not you REALLY want to take the 5-7 hours each way ferry trip to Newfoundland.

For two people in a standard vehicle the round-trip ferry fare is about $375 !!!

Perhaps you might be better off in terms of time and finances by adding PEI and dropping Newfoundland.

For everything else, I might direct you to click on my name and scroll back in my posts for various other, detailed suggestions for the path to and from Nova Scotia.
NorthwestMale is offline  
Mar 5th, 2012, 07:24 PM
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Yes, I am aware of the ferry trip and the time and costs. Are you suggesting that it is not worth the time or money to go to Newfoundland?
yestravel is offline  
Mar 6th, 2012, 12:15 PM
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Newfoundland is absolutely worth the time and cost IMHO, but you say you prefer to travel leisurely and there is certainly enough to see in the other maritime provinces (Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, PEI) for two week trip. Nfld. deserves a two week trip on its own, I think. If you do want to include it this time around I suggest you take the shorter ferry trip to Port aux Basques and go to Gros Morne Park and up the northern peninsula to L'anse Aux Meadows. Leave the eastern side of the province till another time.

PEI is certainly easier to get to and doesn't need more than a couple of days to see the highlights, but doesn't have the spectacular scenery and distinctive charm of Nfld. It's mostly farmland, little villages, and some nice beaches.

Have fun planning and enjoy your visit to Canada.
eliztravels is offline  
Mar 6th, 2012, 07:03 PM
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Oh don't get talked out of Newfoundland!!! PEI is nice but no comparison at all, especially if you are from Maine. I think you will need to resign yourself to a few days of long drives to get to a particular place. You may consider your first "long drive" to Hopewell Rocks in the Bay of Fundy. Plan to overnight near there and catch both extremes of the tides. Personally I would then consider driving to North Sydney to catch the ferry. If my memory serves me right that would be about 6 to 8 hours, but if you plan on catching the night ferry with a cabin you could spread it out over a long day and sleep onboard. Your first day in Newfoundland you could drive only as far as the Codroy Valley or to Port au Port pennisula or explore one of those areas and spend the night in Corner Brook (about 4 hours). If you go to CB area, you could stay two nights there and drive out to Lark Harbour the day you are in the CB area. It is a pleasant drive with nice scenery & Marlene's has GREAT cinnamin buns from a deck overlooking the bay. From CB, Gros Morne is your next logical stop (two hour drive) and plan on spending a few days in that area. You can stay in either the Woody Point area or Rocky Harbour/Norris Point area on the way up and stay around Cowhead on the way back down. Regardless you can work your way up to St. Anthony and L'ance aux Meadows and then back down staggering any stops. I hear they expect a log of icebergs again this year. There is a website that gives you driving distances which can help you plan your time. The funny thing about driving in Newfoundland is that it is easy and the scenery is great.... time just goes quickly.... I hope this helps you get started with your planning..... Just remember Newfoundland is DEFINITELY worth it........
katrinasl is offline  
Mar 7th, 2012, 04:00 AM
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Thanks so much! very helpful
yestravel is offline  
Mar 7th, 2012, 05:47 AM
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Forget PEI--take the time to go to Newfoundland.
laverendrye is offline  
Mar 7th, 2012, 12:36 PM
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So sorry I don't check this board as often as I should. Yes, definitely go to Newfoundland . Seeing both sides will be a bit tough to do in one week, I think. We had two weeks, and felt we just skimmed the surface.. but we did have to drive both ways , so taking the ferry from the east side back would save a day or two of driving.

We did not have time to go north to L'anse aux Meadows. but did spend 3 days doing different hikes in Gros Morne.

We also did some hikes on the East Coast Trail which goes down the Avalon Peninsula and had a wonderful time. Parts of the trail were just being developed when we were there, but I think the trails are all very well marked and maintained now.

I will think more about what I would recommend and get my maps out.
kodi is offline  
Mar 8th, 2012, 01:23 PM
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We have decided to spend about 2 weeks in Nfl. Trying to sort thru where to stay and what to see in that timeframe. Hopefully we can visit the Eastern and Western side in that time. Given the ferry schedule and out timing it looks like we would take the overnight ferry to Argentia and go directly to St. John. Trying to figure out what day trips we can do from there and how many days to spend there. It looks like we can visit the Avalon Peninsula from there? Definitely want to do hiking on the East Coast Trail. Is this doable basing in St John? Suggestions would be appreciated.

Would like to visit Trinity. Plan to make our way over to Gros Morne for several days. Where is a good stopping point on the drive over? At this point thinking of not going up to L'Anse aux Meadows. From Gros Morne we would head down to the ferry in Port-aux-Basques, perhaps stopping in Corner Brook.

Thanks in advance!
yestravel is offline  
Mar 8th, 2012, 07:20 PM
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Your plan sounds good . You can easily do different day trips from St.John's .
When we were at the south end of the Avalon peninsula we met people that were catching a plane that very day and had driven down to St shott hoping to see caribou .

A whale watching boat tour is a must . You could do some hiking on the East Coast trail .
At least an afternoon and evening to wander around the city .
I would spend a day going north from the city doing a loop around Pouch Cove.

So I would think 4 or 5 days in this area

Then I'd suggest 3'days around Trinity.
And on to Gros Morne .

I think it will be great to see the east and the west .

Good Luck with your planning . It's looking good .
kodi is offline  
Mar 9th, 2012, 08:53 AM
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The planning moving along thanks to u, Kodi!
yestravel is offline  
Mar 12th, 2012, 02:00 PM
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It looks like you've decided to focus on Newfoundland, but in case you're still planning on spending time in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia:

Cape Breton Island, particularly the section of the Cabot Trail scenic route through Cape Breton Highlands National Park is spectacular. You could easily spend 2 or 3 days exploring, day-trip touring, hiking (short or longer walks) Cape Breton making a base of perhaps either Baddeck, Ingonish area or Cheticamp.

As mentioned, the Bay of Fundy tides are a dramatic spectacle, if you can spend enough time to view both high and low tides. Hopewell Rocks is a popular viewing area, but so is Fundy National Park and the adjacent village of Alma (which offers a couple of very nice accommodation options) and you could still do a quick stop at Hopewell Rocks the morning of departure (trying for low tide if you can't see both).

The South Shore or "Lighhouse Route" southwest of Halifax has many historic towns (e.g. Lunenburg, Mahone Bay), picturesque little fishing villages (Peggy's Cove is famous but there are others) and some beautiful and often undeveloped shorelines and seascapes.

It's been years since I've visited Newfoundland, but yes - I remember Gros Morne National Park as quite breathtaking.

I do wonder however if any other Fodorites with more experience have any comments on your June timing for Newfoundland in relation to temperatures, rain and fog?
mat54 is offline  
Mar 12th, 2012, 02:19 PM
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Thank you -- Yes u r correc re Nfld. We are staying in Alma and enjoying the Bay of Fundy for a few days before going to Nfld. We have been to NS (exactly the places u mention) before and thus decided to skip spending time there in favor of Nfld where we have never been. We don't get to Nfld until July 5 so hoping that we get ok weather.
yestravel is offline  

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