Tag Archives: Deer Lake

Vacation to Gros Morne, Newfoundland

Sunset Panorama
Emily and I are back from our great Newfie adventure. 9 days exploring the other side of Canada and dipping our toes in the Atlantic Ocean.

Parts of Newfoundland looked a lot like BC, with the ocean shoreline and deep mountain fjords, but the skyline felt bigger. The weather was also colder, the mountains smaller, there’s a lot less people, and hardly any vegan food. I think we made the most of our trip. We saw an iceberg and a moose, picked fresh dewberries, visited a viking settlement, hiked their biggest mountain, skinny dipped in the ocean, and listened to Newfie speak whenever we could. We spent most of our time in Gros Morne National Park but also drove up the top of the Great Northern Peninsula where there were icebergs and lots of whales.

Whale Rocking Iceberg
My biggest tip to someone looking to do a similar trip: bring binoculars!

Top Activities

  • Hiking the Green Gardens Trail in Gros Morne. We did this as a day hike, but I regret not doing an overnight hike. It was a gorgeous area.
  • Waiting for the sun to set from Cape Onion.
  • Seeing whales from the top of the Santana Trail in St. Anthony.
  • Skinny dipping in the Atlantic Ocean. It was cold but it felt good after hiking in the sun.
  • Watching an amusing play at the Woody Point Heritage Theatre – Sherlock Holmes and the Nazi of Bonne Bay.
  • The 360° view from the top of the Lookout Trail in Gros Morne.

Ready to Ascend Ocean Skinny Dipping Red Chair Lookout I'm a Viking

We also did two boat tours – one from St. Anthony and one in the Western Brook Pond. I wasn’t overly thrilled with either. Seeing an iceberg up close in St. Anthony was cool, but the whales were just as easily spotted from land as from the boat. The Western Brook Pond area is too similar to the BC coast to really get excited about.

Newfoundland Travel ExpensesCost
9 days in Newfoundland cost more than a week in Hawaii. Luckily I had a free Air Canada flight from Vancouver to Deer Lake, which saved us $950. Our rental car cost over $700 plus $115 in gas, but it was a necessary expense. We logged over 1200 km driving. There was a Japanese pair staying with us in Woody Point who were trying (with limited success) to explore Gros Morne car-free. They were very grateful when we took them site seeing for a day.
View from the Discovery Centre

Accommodation in Newfoundland wasn’t cheap, but it was offset by the 3 nights we spent camping in the park and our cheap food costs. We only stayed in places with kitchens so we could cook our own meals. We spent $210 on on activities, with the boat trips ($65 each) being the most expensive. Our 7-day pass for Gros Morne ($44) was the best value considering how much hiking we did. The theatre show was $23 and well worth it.

Pictures
Full Set on Flickr
Newfoundland Panorama
Continue reading Vacation to Gros Morne, Newfoundland

I Won a Free Flight to Newfoundland!

air_canada_750
I can’t believe it. I won a free round-trip flight to Deer Lake, Newfoundland. It almost sounds like a joke. Who gives out free flights to Newfoundland? My first reaction when I received the email was to assume it was a hoax. I almost marked it as spam, but then I remember I had entered Air Canada’s Around the World in 750 Stories Contest a few weeks ago and picked Deer Lake as the my preferred destination for a free flight anywhere in the world.

I never thought I would win and immediately regretted choosing Newfoundland, of all places, but I had my reasons. Air Canada gave away 750 free flights – 386 to Canada, 99 to Asia, 98 to Europe, 86 to the USA/Central America, 51 to South America, and 30 to Australia. I figured more people would choose exotic, overseas destinations. So, I played the odds and picked a Canadian city.

Newfoundland 2006 - 103.jpgI’m lucky to have seen more of Canada than most Canadians. I’ve travelled east to St. John’s, north to Churchill, west to Prince Rupert, and to visited every province except PEI. But there are still lots of beautiful places in Canada that I’ve yet to visit. I eventually settled on Newfoundland because I’ve never been to Gros Morne but I’ve heard great things about it, and flights from Vancouver to Deer Lake are as expensive as flying overseas.

Here is what I wrote for Air Canada’s contest:
Mount Gardner Double JumpI love to spend time in the outdoors. My wife and I have hiked and trekked in far away places like Peru and Vietnam, but there are large parts of Canada we’ve never explored. I’d love to spend a week hiking through Gros Morne National Park in Newfoundland. There are so many beautiful places in Canada, and Gros Morne is at the top of my list for places to explore.

I can use my free flight almost anytime before December 15 (except around Easter), so we were thinking of going in the summer. Anyone have any recommendations of sights or hikes in the park?

Photo of Gros Morne by David Ooms.