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Family Adventure Awaits in Newfoundland

by Barbara Rogers

Jun 20, 2023

© Golasza | Dreamstime.com

Destinations / North America

Giant icebergs, moose, whales, fossils, Vikings — families traveling in Newfoundland will find all this and more. Reachable by air or ferry from Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia, Newfoundland is filled with adventures for family travelers.


Look for Icebergs
You might see huge chunks of ice floating in Bay Bulls, near the capital city of St. John’s, but the best place to look is Iceberg Alley, the passage between western Newfoundland and Labrador, where these chunks of glacier are often visible as you drive along Route 430.


Watch Whales
Whales follow small fish on their annual migrations, often coming quite close to shore. In June and July, as many as 20 species breach and spout off the Avalon Peninsula on the eastern side of the island. You’re likely to see them from the shore at the village of Flat Rock or at St. Vincent’s, or take a whale-watch cruise from Bay Bulls, close to St. John’s.


Look inside the Earth
At Tablelands in Gros Morne National Park, you can see a rare piece of the earth’s mantle, normally a mile or more underground, but thrust to the surface here 450 million years ago. Geologists come from all over the world to study this unique feature, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

© George Burba | Dreamstime.com

Meet the Vikings
At the very northern tip of the Northern Peninsula, L’Anse au Meadows is the site of the first European settlement in the New World. In about 1000 A.D., Vikings built houses and boats, forged metals and cut wood for transport to Greenland. You can see the archaeological work, visit replicas of Viking houses and board a replica Viking ship.


Watch Out for Moose
You’ll see signs along the road cautioning you to look out for these giants, who are not afraid of cars and may wander into the road. With more than 120,000 moose estimated to live on the island, you are likely to see one. On the southern part of the Avalon Peninsula, you may also see herds of caribou.


Look for Fossils Under Your Feet
At Mistaken Point Ecological Reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage site at the southernmost tip of the Avalon Peninsula, you can walk across the ancient seafloors to find 565 million-year-old fossils. This spectacular coastline preserves the oldest known group of large fossils anywhere. Be sure to reserve ahead for a tour.



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