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Newfoundland in June! Help with Intinerary

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Mar 13th, 2008, 08:33 AM
  #1
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Newfoundland in June! Help with Intinerary

First, I want to say thank-you to everyone on this forum for all your postings about Newfoundland, and for inspiring our trip!
I'm hoping to get some help with a couple questions about our trip, from June 10th to June 24th this year.
We're planning to rent a car from Avis (unlimited mileage! Yay!) and drive around, staying mostly at B&Bs. We're most interested in hiking and photography. Also hoping to see whales & iceburgs - but who isn't? A minor constraint on our itinerary is that we'd like to visit my aunt, who lives in Burin, on the Burin Penninsula.
Here is my first draft of an itinerary. I realize there is a lot of driving. We're thinking of passing on Gros Morne this trip, but it looks too good to miss. Also, we might prefer to spend more time in the Avalon penninsula, if anyone has any suggestions.

Going to post the itinerary as a message, because this post is getting too long!
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Mar 13th, 2008, 08:34 AM
  #2
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Rough Itinerary:
Day 1: Arrive St. John's 12:00, Stay at Murray's Premises
Day 2: Pick up car, drive around north of Avalon Penninsula. Stay at Murray's
Day 3: To Cape Broyle for sea kayak adventure. Stay at Murray's
Day 4: Drive to Burin (4.5hrs). Stay at my aunt's.
Day 5: Explore Burin penninsula. Stay at my aunt's.
Day 6: Drive to Trinity (4hrs). Stay at B&B
Day 7: Hike in Terra Nova Park
Day 8: Visit Bonavista
Day 9: Drive to Gros Morne (7hrs-eep!). Stay in cottage in Rocky Harbour.
Day 10: Hiking in Gros Morne, maybe boat trip?
Day 11: Hiking or kayaing in Gros Morne
Day 12: Drive to Twillingate (5.5hrs)
Day 13: Whale watching boat trip in Twillingate
Day 14: Drive to Trinity (4hrs - or another point midway between Twillingate and St. John's).
Day 15 Drive to St. John's. Drop off car. Flight departs at 12:40.

So, what do you think? Are we crazy?
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Mar 13th, 2008, 09:08 AM
  #3
LJ
 
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Well, it is a lot of driving, but I don't think you are insane. As it is only June and accomodation is unlikely to be fully booked, why don't you try leaving some of your hotels and B&B arrangements until you get there and play it by ear a bit?

You can judge for yourselves when you have done the Terra Nova Park part whether you want to continue out to Gros Morne.

It is so worth it to do so, if you have time and the drive is less gruelling than specacular toward the western end (and even the Badlands are interesting) so do leave early in the day.

BTW, I note you have not included St. Mary's Bay as a day-trip from St. John's and if you do add a day in that vicinity, that is THE place to go, IMHO.

The Murray Premises are very grand and you will love being right downtown on Water Street.Do go to Auntie Crae's for coffee and treats, say hello to my friend the watchmaker in the cellar of MP and purchase one the amazing wooden vases in the gift shop.
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Mar 13th, 2008, 09:50 AM
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Well, it's a lot of driving, but you have two weeks, so it's doable, IMO. I would make one suggestion, however.
Trinity is an hour from Terra Nova Park -- probably 1 1/2 hours to popular locations within the park. That means it's nearly an hour from the Trans Canada Highway (TCH). Bonavista is nearly an hour from Trinity, in the opposite direction. It looks closer, but those are NOT straight highways up there.

Have you considered staying up on the Bonavista Peninsula (days 6-8)on your way west, then staying near, and hiking in, Terra Nova Park on your way back east. It would cut down on "backtracking".
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Mar 13th, 2008, 09:53 AM
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LJ, just a note that when you mention "St. Mary's Bay" above I'm presuming you mean Cape St. Mary's where the seabird ecological reserve with the northern gannets is located. This is actually near St. Bride's at the south end of the Cape Shore Peninsula [southwestrn part of the Avalon Peninsula] rather than on St. Mary's Bay.

cheers

Jerry
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Mar 13th, 2008, 11:09 AM
  #6
LJ
 
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Yes, I do mean Cape St. Mary's (as in 'Take Me Back to Cape St. Mary's...')...it requires a bit of hike in, but it is well worht the jaunt!
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Mar 13th, 2008, 05:39 PM
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leeoda, we basically did the same trip the first time we went to Newfoundland. We like driving, and some days were long, but it was a good trip.
I don't think you are crazy. Go for it.

Another 'must do'.. when you get to Gros Morne do go on the Western Pond boat trip...it's truly breathtaking.
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Mar 14th, 2008, 05:15 AM
  #8
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Thanks everyone for your helpful comments!
LJ, that is a great idea, we will have our cellphones, so it will be very possible to book as we go. Much more of an adventure that way!
And nfldbeothuk, thanks for your suggestion, I would never have thought of that!! Do you have any suggestions of places to stay closer to the park?
After looking into Cape St. Mary's, we are now trying to figure out how to fit it into the plan. Dear lord, how can one province have so much to see?
A final (for now) question: We're going to be on our honeymoon. Does anyone have a suggestion for a nice place for a honeymoon meal either in St. John's or elsewhere on the island?
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Mar 14th, 2008, 05:55 AM
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You might consider flying 'open jaw' into Deer Lake and out at St. John's to save yourself some drive time. Although that will add to your trip costs with the additional flight charges and the one-way rental fee, you will recoup some of these expenditures if gasoline prices continue to soar.

Another option would be to follow your thought of passing on Gros Morne this trip. Instead I'd recommend ferrying over to the French islands of St-Pierre and Miquelon from the town of Fortune on the Burin Peninsula after your visit with the aunt. These islands were given to France under the Treaty of Versailles at the end of the American Revolution along with fishing rights off the Grand Banks. Today they afford one a quick taste of Europe in a quaint island setting...plus a short history lesson with their role in rum running during the Prohibition era.

You can find my suggestions on what to do/see on the Avalon Peninsula on my recent post on the thread entitled 'Where to go in Newfoundland'. Just click on my screen name and it should appear.

You're going to love Newfoundland!
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Mar 16th, 2008, 09:04 AM
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Hi Leeoda, You have been given some great advice on a driving itinerary and Newfoundland is just wonderful for driving around & stopping. However, I am a hiker & have been to Newfoundland 5 times now to hike so I'll focus on that aspect and probably combining the two will lead to a great trip. I suggest you choose either the western part of the island or the eastern part. If you drive from one to the other you will miss out on some great hiking opportunities. Since you mentioned St. John's, I'll focus on the eastern half. Plus the East Coast Trail is absolutely fantastic. I can't remember how long it is but it takes about a week to hike the entire length.I would recommend you spend your first couple of days staying in St. John's. Stay at a b&b downtown. Gower Street is great. First day sightsee st. John's and get your hiking legs by walking to Signal Hill. You can make a great loop walking up along the harbor - you actually go over people's porches. Once you reach the top of the hill there is a good chance you will see whales & you may also be lucky & see some icebergs. You can then walk over the hill to Quidi Vidi & have some beer You can then walk back down to your b&b. Second day I recommend driving out to Cape Spear. From there you can pick up the East Coast Trail and hike down to Petty Harbor - if you get that far. The problem is there is so much to see and for us - the whales just stop us in our tracks & we spend hours just whale watching. There is also a great walking tour right in St. John's. After two or three days in St. John's, I recommend you head on down to Ferryland area. ECT trailhead (East Coast Trail) is right there, plus the archelogical dig is interesting & they have a great dinner theater. Use that area as a base and plan on driving up to LaManache to hike to the Spout and also the hike at Witless Bay towards Tors Cove is great. While staying in Ferryland drive on down to Mistaken Point and there is a wonderful walk out to some fossil beds. Still while staying in Ferryland or on your way to rebasing yourself in St. Brides make sure you stop at Cape Pine & St. Schotts. There is a wonderful trail there and you most likely will see caribou. Stay in St. Brides one or two nights. You will spend an entire day at Cape St. Mary's. From Bird rock you can walk several hours on the bluffs and at one point there is a beautiful beach you can get to - great for picnicking. Again the whales put on quite a show there. From there I would go to Burin Penninsula and then from there head up to Bonavista Penninsula. Use Trinity as your base - it is quite fun - good walking tour there plus the Trinity pageant is great. There is good hiking from New Bonaventure out to an abandoned community Kierly's Harbor, I think.... from there you can go over the mountain to other abandoned settlements. Another day - take the Sperwink trial. It isn't very long but the scenery is spectaculr - sea stacks, whales, etc. After a few days head back toi St. John's to head home. On your way to Trinity is a tourist info that has a good hiking guide for the Bonavista Penninsula. If you search the web you can get the website for East Coast Trail. If these suggestions appeal to you and you want more specific info, let me know. Or if you decide you want to cover another part of the island, let me know & I can make hiking suggestions there. What I have just described took us two weeks without the stop in Burin Penninsula. Have fun! I hope to go back again this year too.
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Mar 17th, 2008, 03:42 AM
  #11
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Thanks everyone for continuing to add suggestions!
katrinasl, that itinerary sounds wonderful! Are most of the hikes circular? If we drive to Cape Spear and do the hike, will we need to backtrack to get to the car, or is it possible to catch a bus/taxi back to the car?
If anyone would prefer to send a private message with additional information, or specific B&B and restaurant recommendations, please feel free to e-mail me at [email protected]
Thanks again! This is going to be a lovely honeymoon! I think you're right, Retired_teacher, if it's half as nice as everyone makes it sound we're going to LOVE it!
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Mar 17th, 2008, 07:22 AM
  #12
LJ
 
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I, like the hiker above who has given you so much good info LOVE the East Coast Trail. But, sadly, it is continuous, not circular, except for some rare exceptions like the Barachois. When we lived in St. John's we joined the East Coast Trail Supporters and they arranged walks that include car arrangements. Otherwise you mostly do have to retrace your steps.
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Mar 20th, 2008, 11:49 AM
  #13
 
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I followed this thread with some interest, as spouse & I also plan to visit Newfoundland in June 2008. A question for you all, though.... what is the trick to an unlimited mileage rental? I reserved through Avis back in January and got unlimited KMs. But, now, I need to change our dates (trip length remains same) and any online change to the reservation results in a cap of 1400 km! I called Avis and they said they could change our dates and keep the unlimited KM intact, but it doubles our rental rate! Eek!
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Mar 20th, 2008, 02:08 PM
  #14
LJ
 
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Sorry I cannot assist with the gripe about the car rental...but I can say that you should not go without making arrangements for the car you want at the time you need it in NL. Rental cars are scarce as cod's legs in high season and you daren't count on finding one at the airport!
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Mar 20th, 2008, 06:29 PM
  #15
 
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Katrinas has provided excellent information on hiking on the Avalon Peninsula.
All wonderful.
My favourites were the hike up through the Battery area to Signal Hill.
HIking around Cape Spear.
And a very favourite was hiking LaManche.. we loved it.. The big bridge is wonderful.

We rented a house for a week, south of St.John's in Mobile, which was a 1 minute walk from the East Coast trail, and used it as our base for the week.

I do a lot of research when I'm planning a trip, and we've never been able to find a car rental with unlimited miles there. We just added the cost to our budget. IF you are going over to Grose MOrne, then for sure you will go over.
If you do find another unlimited milage, I'd be interested in knowing where.

Oh to be going again this year.. I love it there.
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Mar 22nd, 2008, 09:50 AM
  #16
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Actually, Avis is currently showing me unlimited kilometers for my 13 day rental. I'd better book that just in case they change it! Is there something I should know? Is Avis' unlimited kilometers really not unlimited?
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Mar 23rd, 2008, 07:53 PM
  #17
dng
 
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We circled Nfld in 3 weeks in June staying at B& B's the entire trip. I could list them for you if you contact my ID.
dng
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Mar 26th, 2008, 11:50 AM
  #18
 
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A followup to my earlier comment about trying to get unlimited KM with Avis. I booked a rental today (for my June travels) and got unlimited miles by using a code associated with a discount club of which I'm a member. Strange that it would give me unlimited KM now -- I tried the same code last month and it came back with a 1400 KM limit. When I originally booked back in January, only my employer's corporate code gave me unlimited KM. Now, my corporate code caps the miles.

Moral of the story: if you find unlimited KM, you'd better book it. And, if you don't find unlimited KM, keep trying!
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Mar 26th, 2008, 11:56 AM
  #19
 
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Dear dng,
I'm a noob here so I don't know how to "contact your id", but I'd love a list of the B&B's where you stayed and your comments about them.
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Mar 30th, 2008, 03:32 PM
  #20
dng
 
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Dear Sequin,
List of B&B's follows. Rates are in '05 so might be a bit higher today.
Twillingate- Crewe’s B&B- fair- $70
Springdale- Riverview B&B-good- $55
Gros Morne B&B- ex- $65
Port au Choix-Jeannie’s B&B-ex-$65
L’Anse aux Meadows- Marilyn’s B&B-A1-DO DINNER with her!
Cowhead- Sea Breeze B&B-ex
Port Blandford- Serendipity B&B-vg- $60
Grand Bank- Inn by the Sea-ex $89 + tax
St. Pierre (Fr) -Sound of the Sea B&B-good- €40
Torbay- Sandy & Mickey’s B&B-fair
Trepassey- Barb & Frank’s B&B-ex
Trinity- Trinity Cabins- not recommended
Dunfield- Rolling Hills B&B- ex- $90? Buy crab here (King) for $5 for a cluster of 8 legs!
St. John’s (near)- Room Inn Paradise B&B-good
We did 5200 km, rented from Avis who were super at $966 for 3 weeks. Had an Impala (cruise didn't work) then they upgraded to a loaded Explorer! for no extra. Hope this helps. Other questions?




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