Flights/itinerary etc

Oct 24th, 2005, 04:05 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 28
Flights/itinerary etc

Hi All

Returned in July from a 2 week trip for our honeymoon in the Canadian Rockies- we had a fantastic time.

We're now planning a return trip but with an extra part. We like the look of Newfoundland but also have great memories of the Banff area and definitely want to return there.

An initial idea would be to fly out from the UK to Newfoundland, spend a few days there before catching an internal flight to Calgary to drive to Banff for the remainder of our trip.

Where would be the main destination in Newfoundland? How about St. John's? How feasible (including cost) is it to fly internally from Newfoundland to Calgary?

I've heard that Newfoundland is a good spot for viewing the Aurora Borealis and also moose, which we didn't manage to see in the Rockies? Is there a particular time of year when it's best to go to see these?

Any suggestions? Sorry for the vague questions, but we're just coollecting early ideas at the moment!

Many thanks
Chris_Erica is offline  
Oct 24th, 2005, 06:55 AM
Join Date: Oct 2003
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My advice would be not to try to combine a trip to Newfoundland with the Rockies. First off, I think that you will find that you can't do justice to Newfoundland in a couple of days. Secondly, it is certainly feasible to fly to Calgary from St. John's, but whereas the flight from London to St. John's will take about 5 hours, it will take at least 8 or 9 hours to get to Calgary from Newfoundland with a connection in Toronto or Montreal. I'm not sure what it would cost, as that will depend on seat sales and when you travel but I think $600 would be a minimum.

I would devote at least a week to Newfoundland, and possibly more. Certainly St. John's is worth a couple of days, but you need to travel beyond there to appreciate Newfoundland. I would include the Avalon and Bonavista peninsulas, and the west coast, including Gros Morne National Park and L'Anse aux Meadows at the top of the Northern peninsula. Newfoundland is a big island (half the size of the entire UK) and it takes time to get around.

The best time of year to travel is July or August. In July, you should still be able to see icebergs as they make their way south. July is also a great time to see whales. You will certainly see moose, but I wouldn't count on the aurora. You may see it or or not, but the further north you are the better your chances.

Certainly Banff and the Rockies are spectacular, and I don't blame you for wanting to return as soon as possible. However, Newfoundland is an amazing place with its own charms. In terms of spectacular scenery, a cruise on the fjord-like Western Brook Pond in Gros Morne Park is among the top of any of the sights in Canada.

If you do go to Newfoundland, you might want to consider combining it with a visit to a couple of the Maritime Provinces.
laverendrye is offline  
Oct 24th, 2005, 09:20 AM
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 329
So glad you loved the West and want to see more of Canada but I have to agree that your next trip should be more of an adventure in Eastern Canada...especially Nfld, but even the Maritimes and Quebec if you're interested.

PEI, Cape Breton, as well as Quebec City and the Gaspe would also be worthwhile in addition to Newfoundland if you had at least another two weeks to explore. In terms of logistics, cost as well as enjoyment, it makes more sense than just barely glimpsing another beautiful area of Canada.
TobieT is offline  
Oct 24th, 2005, 09:53 AM
Join Date: Jun 2004
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If you do decide to visit both Nfld and Banff, check into flying with Westjet. They usually offer the lowest fares between Newfoundland and Calgary and they usually offer significant discounts if you fly on a Tuesday or Wednesday (and sometimes Thursdays). It is quite a distance, however, so be prepared to spend most of the day flying and at airports.
The chances of seeing a moose on your travels are quite slim. They tend to avoid areas where people might see them (along roads, etc.). I live in Northern Alberta where moose are quite prevalent and we have only seen 2 in the last 8 years. We do see the Aurora Borealis often, however. The Aurora is usually most visible in August and September - but may be seen at any time of the year. You need to be away from city lights for the best view.
Cathy61 is offline  
Oct 24th, 2005, 11:12 AM
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If you go to Gros Morne National Park, the likelihood of seeing a moose is quite good. The park has a large concentration of moose, and is said to have the densest population of them in North America. There are signs at the entrance of the park showing the number of collisions with moose for the season. When I visited, I saw several (moose, not collisions).

laverendrye is offline  
Oct 24th, 2005, 01:42 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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My husband is driving from Corner Brook, Newfoundland/Labrador (where we live) to St. John's, NL, tomorrow. I really, really hope he doesn't see a moose or at least not up too close. However, if you do come out here to Western Newfoundland you would be hard pressed to avoid at least one (safe) sighting of moose, maybe some caribou, whales almost certainly, dolphins, icebergs and some wonderful folks for sure. But no Aurora Borealis in summer, I am afraid.
LJ is offline  
Oct 24th, 2005, 01:46 PM
Join Date: Jul 2003
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What is the best time of the year for northern lights (aurora borealis)?? -
the aurora are dependent on the activity of the sun. So far, we (scientists) are not very good at predicting when the sun will be most active, although an 11-year cycle has been observed.
That being said, generally the best times for aurora displays seem to be around the equinoxes, that is, spring and fall. They are noticed most frequently by the general public in the winter mainly because the sky is dark for so long at that time of the year.

Unfortunately for you Chris, the sun is now entering its quiet time (in 2006), so your chances of seeing the northern lights are lower than usual.

The best observing sites for aurora are at 51 degrees north and points north of that. However, that doesn't mean that you won't see aurora south of that latitude, they are routinely seen in Minnesota, Michigan, Iowa, and Wisconsin - where amateur astronomers and astrophotographers delight in taking striking photos of the displays and posting them on websites such as - Check it out!!

The specific web address for the photo-gallery is:

By the way, Banff is further north than Newfoundland (Banff at 51 degrees and a little bit, and St. John Newfoundland at just under 48 degrees north). So your chances of spotting the northern lights are better in Banff than in Newfoundland. It also bears mentioning that weather plays a factor. Newfoundland is subject to a maritime climate, which means more fog and cloud than there is in the Rcokies, and that cloud and/or fog will obscure the sky so even if the northern lights are spectacular, you wouldn't be able to see them.

Borealis is offline  
Oct 25th, 2005, 02:09 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 28
Some great advice from everyone- thanks!- there is a lot to consider.
I used this site a lot in planning our 2 week honeymoon in the Rockies- it's a great place for hearing from people who have first-hand experience.
Thanks again.
Chris_Erica is offline  

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