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Old 10-19-2018, 05:42 PM   #1
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Labrador and Newfoundland tips please

After getting over the initial sticker shock (think life support needed!) on the cost of the Ferries to Nfld, then to Ld and other small ones to the likes of Fogo Island, Battle Harbour, Bell Island and maybe a couple other boat tours, we are seeking advice from others that have done these provinces.

After spending so much to get there, we really, really don't want to miss anything whilst there that we really should experience as part of the flavour. Equally would appreciate some guidance as to "don't bother save your money/gasoline" tips as well. Or "if you've done abc, then don't bother with xyz as it's pretty much the same/similar". Mainly because there are so many arms to go up and down, we're not sure if we need to cover ALL of them???

Here's a brief thought as to our itinerary (thanks for any add ins or deletes):

Sydney NS to Port Aux Basques NFLD Cape Ray Lighthouse Red Rocks
Saint Andrews Searston Codroy Cape Anguille Upper Ferry
Saint Georges Stepenville Lourdes Black Duck Siding Lark Harbour York Harbour Johns Beach Humber Arm Corner Brook Cox's Cove
Goose Arm Deer Lake Trout River Kayak to Bonne Bay Gros Morne NP
Port Au Choix Flower's Cove Cooks Harbour? L'Anse Aux Meadows?

Then head back to St Barbe to take Ferry across to Blanc Salon. To explore Brador Falls, L'Anse Au Clair Red Bay and St Mary's Harbour to take day trip ($210!) to Battle Harbour. Anyone in the know is the cost of the Ferry to Labrador worth it in your eyes and/or Battle Harbour experience. Thanks

Upon returning back to St Barbe we are headed for: La Scie Harbour Twillingate. Long Point Lighthouse and is it worth it to take the Ferry from Farewell to Fogo Island Joe Batts Arm.

Next up was "Road To the Shore Gambo", Terra Nova Nat'l Park Bonavista Elliston Trinity Arnold's Cove? Brigus and Cupids Torbay Point for hubby to shore fish deep water from Eastport Beaches and Happy Adventure?

Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto? Middle and Outer Cove? Portugal Cove is it worth taking the Ferry to Bell Island from here?

Then Quidi Vidi Village and St Johns area Signal Hill, Cathedral Jellybean Row, Holloway and George Streets, Rocket Bakery before heading on to Petty Harbour Maddox Cove.

Is it worth taking the 2 hour boat tour from Bay Bulls/Witless Bay? From here we have Ferryland & Lighthouse plus St Vincents Beach targeted at St Mary's Bay. Then onto Cape St Mary's Eco Reserve Saint Brides. Now not 100% sure if it's worth heading to Fortune and Grand Bank at all but have it down if it is, so value input on these two before we then meander back to the Port Aux Basques Ferry.

We really are looking forward to this trip, but as I said the cost of the Ferry's combined to get there make us anxious to ensure we cover everything we could possibly want to. Equally though because there are so many arms (travelling up and down wise), and mini ferries/boats etc to take, we want to try and ensure we aren't duplicating experiences we've gained elsewhere.

In a nutshell we are about the fishing, kayaking, waterfalls, sightings of marine and wildlife (preferably unorganized), be nice to see the icebergs, Fjords and cute/quaint/colourful little towns villages - we are also quite happy sitting somewhere having an ice-cream or Fish and chips in hand people watching. Whilst we have walked 6 and 9 miles a day around NYC and Wash' DC in the past we prefer shortish non strenuous walks/hikes.

Thanks for any tips from your experiences you can share on itinerary, anything that was a wow for you we might have missed and where we might be able to save some dollars on not bothering with certain parts from a mileage/boat/ferry aspect.

Happy Travels y'all.
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Old 10-19-2018, 09:18 PM   #2
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We took a trip that ended in Sydney, NS on Cape Breton Island. Little did we know that from our home in Alabama to Sydney, Boston was about half way.

What was shocking was the 15% sales taxes and $12.99 per six pack for the cheapest beer. We got there 6 weeks too early to catch the Celtic music. And we were expecting roadside lobster shacks serving good--not. The whole region had been logged, and the forest was pretty sparse.

When we got back in the coastal areas of Maine, we found exactly what we were looking for and at reasonable prices. We fell in love with Camden, Maine and the incredible bays with schooners and other tall masted ships.

In other words, Canada can be very expensive to travel in, especially with their very high taxes and expensive fuel. It's not a place we'll ever take our RV.
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Old 10-19-2018, 11:09 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bamaman View Post
We took a trip that ended in Sydney, NS on Cape Breton Island. Little did we know that from our home in Alabama to Sydney, Boston was about half way.

What was shocking was the 15% sales taxes and $12.99 per six pack for the cheapest beer. We got there 6 weeks too early to catch the Celtic music. And we were expecting roadside lobster shacks serving good--not. The whole region had been logged, and the forest was pretty sparse.

When we got back in the coastal areas of Maine, we found exactly what we were looking for and at reasonable prices. We fell in love with Camden, Maine and the incredible bays with schooners and other tall masted ships.

In other words, Canada can be very expensive to travel in, especially with their very high taxes and expensive fuel. It's not a place we'll ever take our RV.
Pretty much nails it. We're pricey, overrated, and overtaxed on top of it.
There's a reason some/many Canadians prefer traveling in the lower 48 or Alaska.
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Old 10-20-2018, 09:21 AM   #4
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Now some positive on your planned trip!

Did similar trip last year, late August- September. Spent 22 days in Newfoundland. The people and scenery are the experience! Yes things are more expensive on the island as all things have to be brought on ferries also.

You will not regret this trip!!
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Old 10-20-2018, 10:01 AM   #5
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We second mckbeth - we spent 3 weeks - needed more! The price of diesel there is the same as Pennsylvania is right now. We averaged $30 US/night for campgrounds. The exchange rate is 24% to our favor so do the math as you make your purchases. The people are the most gracious and friendly we've ever met anywhere.

Recommend you add St. Anthony early in the summer to see the whales and icebergs. We're 61' overall and had no problems - and with a 43' coach stayed in all kinds of campgrounds. Do slow down on the roads - there are stretches that are quite rough. Its perfectly acceptable to slalom through the lane to avoid the worst holes and heaves.

We chose to locate the coach near the main roads and day-trip through the peninsulas for key sites. We didn't take any of the off-island ferries.

We enjoyed a wonderful trip - do have a great time! Questions welcomed...
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Old 10-20-2018, 10:34 AM   #6
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One thing that so should NOT miss, L’Ance Aux Meadows, the trip is long and in September it was windy, but it is a place you will remember for the rest of your life! The campground is ok, the water plugged up our filter in 2 days, so bring extras or better yet, run off your fresh water tank. If you see a sign for a “Ceileigh tonight” (sorry if the spelling is not right) take the time to stop. A Ceileigh is also called a kitchen party, there are quite often cookies and cake, some even have a full meal, and a lot of great Irish ☘️ music.

We only traveled around Newfoundland but found the people VERY friendly and the land beautiful. We took the ferry from Sydney both going and returning, it is the shortest trip. We went overnight so we could leave our dog in the coach where he was in familiar surroundings and we took a stateroom, pets can stay in the coach overnight, people cannot. They have a full restaurant available. The ferry is a good size ship, I guess there were over 75 18 wheelers on board along with 50 RV’s and 100 cars . The drive on and off is easy.

Bottom line, take the trip, enjoy it, you only live once, to heck with the expense, and if you are American, your dollar goes further, even if it is more expensive!
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Old 10-20-2018, 11:54 AM   #7
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McBeth, Steve and Dave. THANK YOU, as I expected, tons of positive response on the people, and for sure we are looking forward to it. For sure we'll add in St Anthony's and make sure we do make the effort to go to L'Anse Aux Meadows. This is what we need to hear on the Don't Miss and Don't Bother.

Interesting, that the three of you don't appear to have taken the Ferry from St Barbe to Blanc Salon or day tripped on any of the other Ferries as foot passengers even to the other Islands like Fogo/Battle Harbour/Bell Island etc!
Did you feel that you got enough exposure and flavour of Newfoundland and didn't miss out at all by not doing those? Thanks for that.

We are Canadians from Alberta so believe me we know the issues with pricing of gas etc, and personally, we have been spoilt with zero sales tax in our province compared to others. However, it'll be a once in a lifetime trip for us (we've gone across Canada to PEI before but at speed pre-retirement), so we want to make sure we cover what we shouldn't miss whilst there. We are going much slower over 4 to 5 months and hope to come back through Maine and the USA side of some of the great lakes/Michigan as well. We have allocated on paper around 28/30 days for Nfld & Lab - if it takes a little less awesome if it takes a couple days more that's fine also to not miss the must sees. At the cost to get onto Nfld & Lab, this is intended to be a one off trip into Nfld/Lab, so we WILL DO what we should, but equally don't want to waste money/time unnecessarily on certain trips/places when there.

Thanks for the feedback everyone.
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Old 10-21-2018, 10:21 AM   #8
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What is the "cost" for the ferry? RT or one way? per feet? How far in advance to reserve?


We did the Acadia / New Brunswick thing last month. Will return in a few years to cover Nova Scotia and PEI. ( 3-4 weeks).
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Old 10-21-2018, 11:48 AM   #9
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Old 10-21-2018, 12:49 PM   #10
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The year we went, there were no icebergs except up at the top of NFLD. The first ones we could find were at St. Anthony. We also saw them at the viking village. We found them on iceberg finder. https://icebergfinder.com/ This website was very helpful to locate the icebergs. Most years they will come down to Twillingate, or to St. Johns, but not the year we went. It was ten hours north to Lans eaux meadows from the main highway. Not much up there otherwise. Most of the campgrounds were just parking lots with utilities, but they were cheap. Most were $25 or $30 dollars when we went about six years ago. It was worth the trip if you have extra time. You have to drive through Gross Morne National park on your way up. One of the only places on earth that you can see the earths mantel above ground. The fjords there were amazing as well, but you have to hike several kms to the boatride to see them. That is no problem unless you have a walking disability, it can be a long hike. Dont miss St. Johns, it is really neat. We stayed at Pippis Park, which is a municipal campground in downtown St. Johns. Its a short cab ride to downtown if you want to take in the nightlife. The music at the bars was awesome. One of the days we rented a taxi for four hours, and he took us to many places the tour buses wont take you, and you wouldnt know to find yourself. We had four people, so the taxi ended up being cheaper and better than the bus. A couple hours south of St. Johns, St. Vincent beach is one of the best places to see whales in their natural habitat. The whales come right up to the beach. The water is very deep right at shore, and the whales come right up to shore chasing the schools of caplin fish, which are there in mid summer. We stayed right on the beach at the parking lot for two days watching whales. It was one of the highlights of the trip. We also saw whales at Twillingate from the lighthouse, but the tour boats were following the whales around, and from shore it almost looked like they were harassing the poor whales. Im sure that wasnt their intention, but the whale looked like he just wanted to be left alone, but had several boat following him where ever he turned. You will love the island. The people are amazing for their friendliness. We only traveled in the daytime, and only saw one moose in two weeks there. I wouldnt recommend traveling after dark. This is what most people said. Before or after your ferry ride to the island, you pass the Cabet trail in Cape Breton. It is one of North Americas top drives. Very scenic. We stayed at the arms of Gold campground in North Sydney. It is only a few miles from the ferry terminal, and a good home base for exploring the Cabet trail. I could go on for hours. I love the Maritime provinces. I have been there from Ontario four times, and am planning another trip, probably next year. When you pass Truro NS, try to catch the tidal bore if you can. If its near a full moon phase, the tidal bore is amazing. The tides of the Bay of Fundy are one of the main attractions for me. Cheers
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Old 10-21-2018, 01:17 PM   #11
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Winniman, THANK YOU, that was wonderful to read, and please feel free to share anything else as and when regarding your having been 4 times

So very much appreciated, to hear the experiences of others and what created the best memories.
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Old 10-21-2018, 01:53 PM   #12
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Atlantic Canada trip

We went to Atlantic Canada about three years ago this past August/September. We went with our MH towing a trailer with our bike in it. We really enjoyed all four provinces, but because my brother landed in palitive care while we were away...we decided to shorten our trip and head for home. We missed most of PEI, but bid see the Confederation bridge.
Regarding NFL...we went over on our motorbike and left the coach at North Sydney, NS. (just because of the cost). We stayed mostly at hotels, and a couple of B&Bs.
The people in all of Atlantic Canada and as someone else stated the scenery are awesome.
One thing we really enjoyed was the hometown dinner theaters. The same people that prepared and served the GREAT food, entertained us with skits, songs, dancing, etc.
Because we only took ourselves on the bike...we decided to take the long ferry ride back to the main land. It's an approximate 16 hour overnight ride on a vessel that is a converted cruise ship...very comfortable with nice rooms.
One thing that I would like to do next time to NFL, is go out on a real Atlantic fishing boat for a day...you know a real fishing boat...so I could see for myself what a fisherman's day consists of. Us folks from the prairies don't get a chance to experience anything like that.
Enjoy your trip and take your time!
Harvey 😎
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Old 10-21-2018, 02:12 PM   #13
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I have been to the east coast four times, but NFLD only once. We went in mid July. The weather was nice, but there were about four nights up at the north end that we had the heat on at night. Even mid summer can be cold there. If you are traveling from Western Canada, a National park pass might be of value to you. We bought one each time we went. It is good for one year from the day you purchase it. It will cover Gros Morne, Lans eaux Meadow, Signal hill in St Johns, and many other sites and monuments, not only there but right across Canada. Fortress Louisburg in NS is not far off your path either on your way there. The pass covers it as well. When you board the ferry, you will be required to turn off your propane, which means the fridge is off. The ferry ride should only be around six hours, but can be more if the weather is bad. A trick we discovered, was to freeze some water bottles in advance, then put them in the fridge for the ferry ride. The frozen bottles will help keep the fridge cold, and will just turn back into water when their job is done. Pets if you have any, cant be checked on in the rv. They do not permit you to go back to your rv until they dock. If you have pets, they have to stay by themselves in the rv, or you can pay to have them petsitted at a pet containment area on board. Either way, they cant come with you to the lounge area of the boat. For extra money, you can get a private lounge room for yourself. We didnt bother, as we just sat up front and watched the scenery. Will see if any other things come to mind for you to make note of. Cheers
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