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Driving to Newfoundland and Labrador

Albany, NY
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Driving to Newfoundland and Labrador

My wife and I are thinking about driving from Albany, NY to Newfoundland and possibly Labrador in late July. We are thinking of taking about two weeks for this trip. Can anyone suggest an itinerary for this trip? Does it even seem doable in the alloted time? We will be driving a AWD Grand Caravan and we usually stay in motels, hotels, cabins, or inns. So far I expect to drive to Nova Scotia, take a ferry to NFL, drive to the northern peninsula, take ferry to Lab, drive to Red Bay and then come back more or less the same way. I read that one needs reservations for the ferrys, but have seen nothing about how far in advance, costs, times, etc. How are the roads? Is it difficult to get overnight accomadations at the last minute or do we need reservations several days in advance? What are some "must see" places to go? Are there sufficient service stations along the way? I would appreciate any information anyone could give me. Thanks

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1. Re: Driving to Newfoundland and Labrador

I dont know much about Labrador .....ive only been there once in the winter

But the roads in Newfoundland are alright...yeah you will have no problems with service stations if there is ,there should be a sign..

There should be adequate accommodations but you may want to be careful cause during July there are quite a few festivals so if you want to stay in that town you may want to make reservations..

some places to consider

Signal Hill

Gros Morne

George Street

Boat Tour Scademia or O'Briens

Sea Kayaking with Stan Cook

Bonavista Great Scenery and you may see whales or ice bergs

hope this helps

2. Re: Driving to Newfoundland and Labrador

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3. Re: Driving to Newfoundland and Labrador

Yes, that is one thing I can't stress enough- HAVE RESERVATIONS!

July and August are peak months and most sites are filled. You will have to probably book now to get some of the prime places to stay.

Nova Scotia Canada
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4. Re: Driving to Newfoundland and Labrador

Marine Atlantic has a website that gives schedules and rates and the number to call for reservations. If you want a night crossing and a cabin, book as early as possible. We are doing an evening crossing (6 pm) and have made a reservation at Hotel Port aux Basques for the night. it is cheaper than a cabin on the ferry and we get a longer sleep!

London, UK
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5. Re: Driving to Newfoundland and Labrador

If your schedule permits you might choose to use the summer seasonal ferry from North Sydney, NS to Argentia, NL. This was you can drive across Newfoundland, stopping at St John's, Trinity and Bonavista enroute to Gros Morne. You can return (after Labrador) from Newfoundland at Port aux Basque to North Sydney. Both ferries are operated by Marine Atlantic http://www.marine-atlantic.ca/

If you get to St John's I'd recommend staying at Banberry House Heritage Inn. http://www.banberryhouse.com/

London, UK
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6. Re: Driving to Newfoundland and Labrador

Also meant to answer your query about roads. We have mixed opinion about the roads. We drove from St John's to Bonavista and also round the Burin Peninsula. We found the roads were mainly open freeway which was fine. But they were also pretty broken up on many stretches due to the severe cold breaking down the tarmac in the winter. They seem to patch repair rather than resurface. You will cope no problem but watch out for some big holes.

We found service stations were frequent enough. Probably best to keep topping up especially if you are planning to drive any distance outside daylight hours.

One other thing - Watch out for the Moose! We actually never saw one on our entire journey but every time we told someone we were going for a drive we would hear the locals shout - Watch out for the Moose! We spent most of our trip with our heads at 90 degrees hoping to see one in the undergrowth!

NL, Canada
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7. Re: Driving to Newfoundland and Labrador


Here is a site that might help.


Two weeks in Newfoundland will only give you a whirlwind tour especially if you intend to visit Labrador.

St. Agatha Ontario
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8. Re: Driving to Newfoundland and Labrador

Hi, my wife and I just returned from 8 days in Newfoundland and cant wait to go back. The western side of the island from Port aux Basque to St. Anthony is worth 2 weeks by itself . Gros Morn is just beautiful. There are many nice Bed and Breakfasts, only a few motels, mostly in larger towns. As far as must see or do, a boat tour of Western Brook Pond and/or Bonne Bay, the Viking settlement at L'anse aux Medeaux on the northern tip of the peninsula, a visit to St. Anthony and a whale watch boat tour from the town, the Grenfell Museum and interpretation center in St. Anthony. The archeological digs at Port aux Choix. There are enough gas stations, lots of ATM's but very few banks. The Viking Trail (route 430) is for the most part very smooth. The scenery is fantastic and if you are driving early morning or at dusk or night, you do have to watch out for moose. We saw lots of them either standing in the road or just on the roadside. More in the northern end of the peninsula then towards the south. And they really do know how to cook fish properly!!

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9. Re: Driving to Newfoundland and Labrador

We just returned from 8 days in Newfoundland and Labrador. We only spent one day in Labrador and went from Deer Lake up the Viking Trail as far north as Quirpon Island. There was so much to see that we could not see it all. I agree that you should book your lodging in advance. The B&B's are a much better value and really much more fun than the hotels. The hotels were nice, but pretty generic and quite expensive relatively speaking.

For us, the Western Brook Pond Boat tour and two nights on Quirpon Island were the absolute, unequivicable highlights.

My recommendation would be to narrow the scope of your trip or allocate more time. You won't be disappointed!

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10. Re: Driving to Newfoundland and Labrador

I've driven from Newport, R.I. to northern Newfoundland last summer. It took us a week but we stopped for a night in Maine and two or three nights in New Brunswick. The trip to Newfoundland could easily be done in 3 days (including the 6 hour ferry ride, night crossing is recommended). Gas is VERY expensive in Newfoundland now. In my town, gas is almost $1.09 a litre. It's definitely more expensive in Labrador. The roads on the Northern Peninsula are TERRIBLE...though the sites up here are worth seeing. You'd definitely have to take your time and be sure to watch out for moose!