Harbour Breton area - worth a visit?

Sep 28th, 2009, 11:54 AM
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Harbour Breton area - worth a visit?

My wife are planning a four week trip to Newfoundland next September. We're not into "attractions" or tourist traps but are interested in landscape, history, wildlife and just seeing what The Rock and life on it are like.

Initial plans are to fly into Deer Lake then, spending two/three nights at most stops, cover the west from Corner Brook to St Anthony (including a few days in Labrador), then Baie Vert Peninsula, Harbour Breton, New World Island, Terra Nova, Bonavista, Burrin Peninsula, Avalon before flying out from St John's.

We're finding it hard to get much information about the Harbour Breton area and what it's like but feel we would like to get down to that part of the island. Our outline schedule let's us do it without any problem but we wonder if our time might be better spent elsewhere.

So, comments would be appreciated on whether the drive along Highway 360 and what there is at its end are worthwhile and whether that part of Newfoundland is much different to what we might see elsewhere.


wasleys is offline  
Sep 29th, 2009, 08:04 AM
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This is a tough question because I don't like to 'dis' any area of Newfoundland Labrador: attempts at inventing a tourist industry to replace the dependence on the ocean fishery are to be commended and Newfoundlanders have done a fantastic job of turning their natural hospitality to GREAT advantage.

That said Route 360 is long and, IMHO, a bit dreary.

I applaud the detail of your West Coast itinerary and when you come to fine tuning, come back as Corner Brook/Deer Isle is an area I know well as do others on this board.

I do not claim detailed knowledge of Harbour Breton, just one visit to Deadman's Cove park doing the light show for a rock band about a million years ago! Nice dark-sandy beach as I recall...

You have not specifically mentioned Cape St. Mary's (western part of Avalon) but if you do reconsider that long trip down 360 and are looking for a substitute that is HIGHLY recco'd (and not just by me!) the trip down to Freshwater to St. Bride's and then on to Cape St. Mary's eco preserve (and back up via Branch) is amazing and so worth the miles.
LJ is offline  
Oct 1st, 2009, 05:51 AM
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Thanks for response. We think we'll go, we quite like places a bit off the tourist beat. You often get more of the real feel of a country than you do in the sanitised packages intent on getting visitors to part with their money.

Re your comments on Corner Brook: I'm about to post a new topic asking a similar question about Port au Port.

wasleys is offline  
Oct 1st, 2009, 08:24 AM
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I've visited Newfoundland a number of times, most recently this summer, and aside from a very few places, I never felt the sense of "getting visitors to part with their money" I think that wherever you go you will find Newfoundlanders exceedingly warm and welcome and wanting you to enjoy your visit and learn more about their island.

With four weeks, you'll be able to visit lots of places that people with less time might not see. Certainly I'd go to Port Breton and the Port au Port Peninsula. Don't, however, exclude other areas because you think that they might be sanitized or too popular. They won't be.

When it comes to detailed planning and choices have to be made among various places, you might come to this board for suggestions--I expect that you will get good advice.
laverendrye is offline  
Oct 1st, 2009, 12:02 PM
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I agree with Laverendrye. You will encounter VERY few places where you find "the sanitised packages intent on getting visitors to part with their money."

Even the on many of the more 'touristy' attractions such as the Witless Bay whale / bird watching trips you might hear some traditional Nfld music and a bad joke or two - but
that is followed in short order by a true wildlife spectacle.

One comment, one of your goals is seeing wildlife and September is not the best time on average. Most of the seabirds will be long gone from their nesting islands [although the amazing Northern Gannets WILL still be at Cape St. Marys]. Most years the Humpback Whales are also gone by September, although this year they arrived late and there were still a few around the Avalon in early September.


gannetmusic is offline  
Oct 1st, 2009, 12:42 PM
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Fair point about September. This we had realised but for various reasons we want to make this trip in 2010 and September is the only time we can comfortably fit it in.

wasleys is offline  
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