Natural Wonders of Newfoundland
Projected Dates: September 8-16, 2020 • 9 Days • Price TBA
Featuring an exploration of the island of Newfoundland, with stops in St. John’s, Cape Spear, Gros Morne National Park, L’Anse aux Meadows, Port au Choix and more!
Now accepting Early Bird deposits on this potential 2020 tour! An Early Bird is a $50 deposit that holds your spot during the planning stages of a trip, when we don’t have a set itinerary or dates. Early Birds are always refundable!
Traveler Rewards Program: New Travelers receive a $200 discount on the Newfoundland tour! Returning travelers receive our Alumni Traveler Discount of 5-10% off the main tour price. Terms, exclusions and conditions apply. Check out our Traveler Rewards page for more details.
Combining Newfoundland & Canadian Maritimes
Travelers can join us for just Natural Wonders of Newfoundland, or combine this tour with Scenic Vistas of the Canadian Maritimes. A flight between Deer Lake, Newfoundland and Halifax, Nova Scotia will be included for travelers joining us for both the Newfoundland and Canadian Maritimes tours.
Natural Wonders of Newfoundland explores Canada’s newest and easternmost province—truly a unique land, distinct in many ways from its sister provinces. The spirit of independence and commitment to their distinctive island culture that kept them separate from neighboring Canadian provinces until the 1940’s is still evident today! “Newfie” warmth, hospitality, and sense of humor, not to mention boatloads of intriguing historic sites and drop-deadgorgeous coastal scenery, make Newfoundland one of North America’s most underrated travel destinations.
- Outstanding cliff walks on beautiful Bonavista Peninsula
- Interacting with Newfoundland’s fishing and maritime heritage at places such as Cape Spear National Historic Site—easternmost point in North America, and Ryan Premises National Historic Site
- Walking in the footsteps of the Vikings at L’Anse aux Meadows, where Leif Ericson is believed to have established the first known European outpost 1000 years ago
- Cruising through Western Brook Pond, a landlocked fjord flanked by ancient, 2000-foot tall cliffs
- Climbing over exposed mantle pushed up by primeval forces beneath the Earth’s crust on the Tableland’s Trail in Gros Morne National Park
Scenic Vistas of the Canadian Maritimes offers a trio of eastern Canada provinces that certainly live up to the name “Maritimes”. We are never more than a few miles from the sea, and everywhere we travel, themes of shipbuilding, fishing, navigation, and naval pursuits are never far from the surface. The pastoral charms of Prince Edward Island, coastal beauty of Nova Scotia, and tidal surprises of New Brunswick’s Bay of Fundy beckon travelers to wander the landscapes of Maritime Canada. Our Scenic Vistas of the Canadian Maritimes tour is available as a potential Part 2 to the Natural Wonders of Newfoundland tour.
This is a draft itinerary. Revisions will be made, and an updated itinerary with dates and pricing will be made available!
- All land travel as outlined
- Flight from St. John’s, Newfoundland to Saint Anthony, Newfoundland
- Superior tourist-class or better hotel accommodations
- 12 meals: all breakfasts & 4 dinners as denoted (BD)
- Walks as listed
- Fees for those who collect IVV/CVF credit
- WAI guide service throughout (2 guides)
- Cultural & historic expertise of local guides on some walks
- All tipping for local guides, coach drivers and group meals
- Pricing is based on double occupancy. A limited number of single rooms are available for a supplement.
Activities & Visits to:
- Signal Hill National Historic Site – St John’s
- Cape Spear National Historic Site – St John’s
- Ryan Premises National Historic Site – Bonavista
- L’Anse aux Meadows National Historic Site
- Port au Choix National Historic Site
- Gros Morne Theatre performance – Cow Head
- Gros Morne National Park
- Western Brook Pond cruise
- Norris Point water taxi
“The tours are extremely well organized, we are kept well informed; also [appreciate] the size of the tours i.e, the number of travelers. [Enjoy] Making new acquaintances & possibly new friends.”
-Perry C; ON, Canada
“We like your style of history and local experiences. No Americanized anything!”
-Sue C; Tigard OR
“High quality itineraries, guides, and travel companions. Your tours are the only group tours I will do.”
-Lee M; Minneapolis, MN
“You never disappoint me – every walk is as good as the other – domestic or international.”
-Maureen P; Long Branch, NJ
“Everyone on the WAI Team… They are always very helpful and great places to visit.”
-Linda & Bill H; Pasadena, MD
Tour Pace: 1 2 3 4 5
Walk Challenge: 1 2 3 4 5
Roger & Jana Dorway have always appreciated the experiential, paradigm-expanding value of travel, and have been privileged to explore destinations on 5 continents. Since retirement, they’ve increased their commitment to discovering the world, fostering a growing desire to share cultural and historical insights as part of the WAI guide team. The look forward to sharing the Natural Wonders of Newfoundland with you!
This is a draft itinerary. Revisions will be made, and an updated itinerary with dates and pricing will be made available!
Click on each day for more details.
Day 1: Arrive St. John's, Newfoundland (D)
Our adventure in eastern Canada begins in St. John’s, Newfoundland, considered by many to be the oldest city in Canada. Fishing for cod in the Grand Banks of the southern coast of Newfoundland drew voyagers here as early as the 15th century, probably even before Columbus “sailed the ocean blue”. Travelers arrive at St. John’s airport today and make their way to our hotel overlooking the harbor. Our first activity is a Welcome Orientation this evening, followed by dinner.
Day 2: St John's – Port Rexton (BD)
Quidi Vidi Lake & Signal Hill Walk – 8 km, rated 3B
This morning’s walk winds along the edge of Quidi Vidi Lake on a pleasant path that leads to the tiny fishing hamlet of Quidi Vidi Village. A rigorous ascent up Signal Hill rewards us with breathtaking views over the Atlantic before we continue to historic Cabot Tower, built in 1898 to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria and the 400th anniversary of John Cabot’s voyage to the New World. Displays in Cabot Tower also tell the story of Guglielmo Marconi and the first trans-Atlantic wireless transmission he received on Signal Hill from Cornwall, England in 1901. Our afternoon begins on the easternmost point of North America with a visit to Cape Spear National Historic Site. Here, costumed interpreters explain the oft-romanticized role of lighthouses and their keepers at the first of many lighthouses we’ll encounter in Atlantic Canada. The balance of the afternoon involves a scenic drive westward towards the Bonavista Peninsula and Port Rexton.
Day 3: Activities from Port Rexton (B)
Green Island & Catalina Bay Walk – 8 km, rated 2D
Northward-facing Bonavista Peninsula is indented with myriad picturesque bays and coves. Today’s walk wanders along a series of headlands with sparkling seaside scenes set against fascinating forest backdrops. The trail passes Green Island with its photogenic lighthouse, one of the last remaining manned stations in Newfoundland and Labrador. In 1497, John Cabot first set foot in the New World at nearby Cape Bonavista. In 1997, 500-year anniversary activities for Cabot’s exploits included sailing a replica of his ship the Matthew from Bristol, England. After 54 days, it was welcomed into Bonavista by Queen Elizabeth II and 30,000 spectators. We spend the afternoon in the Bonavista area where Cabot first came ashore and learn more about the five-century-long history of Newfoundland’s fisheries at Ryan Premises National Historic Site. Interpreters and docents, most of whom have personal connections to the industry, are spaced throughout the complex of buildings which was the heart of a thriving international fish trade.
Day 4: Port Rexton – St. John's (B)
Skerwink Coastal Delights Walk – 4 km, rated 2B
Challenge option – 6 km, rated 3C
The Skerwink trail takes us along the north coast of Skerwink Head, a rocky peninsula that separates Trinity Harbour from Port Rexton Harbour. Stunning coastal views are once again ours with sea stacks – free standing columns of stone eroded by the elements into whimsical shapes – situated offshore beneath our cliff side trail. A lunch break in the village of Trinity, set on one of the island’s best harbors, offers a chance to connect with one of Newfoundland’s oldest communities and stroll through a Crayola-like array of gaily painted wooden homes. We return to St. John’s this evening in preparation for tomorrow’s flight north to Saint Anthony.
Day 5: St. John's – Saint Anthony (B)
Footsteps of the Vikings Walk – 3 km, rated 2B
A morning flight transports us on a short-hop up to Saint Anthony and Newfoundland’s Great Northern Peninsula. Further north is the UNESCO World Heritage-listed L’Anse aux Meadows. In 1960, a Norwegian archeologist, Anne Stine Ingstad, and her explorer husband, discovered the remains of a 1000-year-old Norse village considered by many to be the settlement mentioned in the 13th century Icelandic sagas of Leif Ericsson. Period interpreters add color to the visit as they explain what has been learned about life in that mystical long ago. The lovely coastal walk that follows offers a high degree of confidence that we are walking in the footsteps of these intrepid Norse explorers.
Day 6: Saint Anthony – Cow Head (BD)
Footsteps of the Ancients Walk – 7 km, rated 2B
A morning drive south along the Great Northern Peninsula takes us to Port au Choix National Historic Site. An elevated headland, the setting is windswept and appears barren, and is protected by Parks Canada due to archeological finds here of the structural remains of Dorset Palaeo-Eskimo people from 2000 years ago, and even older Maritime Archaic Indian burial remains going back 4400 years. We learn about these ancient peoples at the visitor center, then enjoy a multi-faceted walk from a statuesque lighthouse on an easy coastal trail that leads us inland to surprisingly verdant Philip’s Garden. Set directly on the Gulf of Lawrence and within Gros Morne National Park, the oddly named fishing village of Cow Head is our home for the next two evenings. Following dinner, we take in a uniquely “Newfie” drama production at Gros Morne Theatre.
Day 7: Activities from Cow Head (B)
Cow Head Point Walk – 4 km, rated 2B
Western Brook Pond Walk – 5/7 km, rated 1B
An early morning hike near our hotel takes us through dense, silent forest to dramatic rock formations and seascapes at the Point of the Head of Cow Head. Gros Morne National Park is recognized by UNESCO for its textbook geological examples of plate tectonics. It is also home to some of the oldest rock on planet Earth, completing our march back in time through human history from modern St. John’s to 15th century John Cabot, to 11th century Norsemen, to 4000-year-old indigenous remains, and finally to the geological story in stone that continues back to the dawn of our planet. The main event of the day is an easy walk through coastal bogs to pristine Western Brook Pond in Gros Morne National Park. A cruise departs from here through this land-lock fjord between 2000-foot-high cliffs of the Long Range Mountains, where our guide will enlighten us about the timeless landscapes of the national park.
Day 8: Cow Head – Deer Lake (BD)
Woody Point Walk – 2 km, 3B
Tablelands Mantle of the Earth Walk – 4 km, 1B
From Norris Point, we cross Bonne Bay by water taxi, with unforgettable 360 degree views from the vessel. We disembark in Woody Point and walk to the Discovery Centre to share its helpful exhibits about this special place. The main walk of the day is a ranger-led hike through the Tablelands. World renowned as one of the few places on the planet one can walk on rock material from far beneath the Earth’s surface – mantle pushed up through the Earth’s crust – this is a relatively easy trail over a bizarre, orange moonscape where vegetation is rejected by toxic minerals born deep inside the globe. We finish our day in Deer Lake with a Farewell gathering and dinner at our hotel, reminiscing about this special place called “Newfoundland”.
Day 9: Depart from Deer Lake, Newfoundland (B)
Following breakfast, we say farewell to travelers ending their adventure in Newfoundland as they prepare for homebound flights from Deer Lake. It’s been a remarkable odyssey through the Natural Wonders of Newfoundland in this easternmost corner of Canada.
Click on each heading for more details.
How do I lock in my place on this Adventure?
Call or mail in your refundable Early Bird ($50) to save your spot! A maximum of 30 travelers will be accepted on this Adventure.
Early Bird deposits are refundable $50 deposits which serve to hold your spot on a tour until dates and pricing have been confirmed. Once all details on a tour have been finalized, travelers can then register with an additional $450 deposit to bring their total on a tour up to $500.
Traveler Rewards Program
New Travelers receive a $200 discount on the Natural Wonders of Newfoundland tour! Returning travelers receive our Alumni Traveler Discount of 5-10% off the main tour price. Terms, exclusions and conditions apply. See the Traveler Rewards page for more details or contact us with any questions at 800.779.0353 or [email protected].
How is airfare arranged?
The official start point for Natural Wonders of Newfoundland is our hotel in St. John’s and the finish point is the hotel in Deer Lake. More details about flight arrangements and travel agent contact information will be available after this tour has been finalized.
What about the walks?
Walks on this Adventure are guided walks and we generally walk at a pace of 2 to 3 miles per hour. In most cases, we are not “strolling”; we are walking at a relaxed but steady pace. Walks on this tour are mainly nature walks and thus offer a higher degree of difficulty, due to the elevation gain/loss and uneven terrain. Your experience will be significantly affected by your level of physical fitness. Success of the walks is predicated upon walkers having a minimum level of fitness to walk at our pace. If not walking regularly at home, we strongly recommend that you make a priority of “training” beforehand in order to both enjoy the trip and avoid medical issues due to overexertion. If you have questions about your ability to participate, please contact our office at 1-800-779-0353.
We have adopted a walk difficulty rating system which contains a numeric indicator for trail incline and an alpha indicator for trail terrain. The explanation for this system is presented below:
1. Very small hills or very little stair climbing. Cumulative elevation gain from Starting Point: up to 200 feet.
2. Some moderate hills and stair climbing. Cumulative elevation gain from Starting Point: 200-1000 feet.
3. Some significant hill or stair climbing. Cumulative elevation gain from Starting Point: 1000-2000 feet.
4. Lots of significant hills or stair climbing. Cumulative elevation gain from Starting Point: 2000-3500 feet.
5. Many steep hills. Cumulative elevation gain from Starting Point: more than 3500 feet.
A. Almost entirely on pavement.
B. A significant part of the route is on well-groomed trails with very few obstacles.
C. A significant part of the route is on somewhat difficult terrain (rocky / rooted paths or soft sand).
D. A significant part of the route is on very difficult terrain.
E. The majority of the route is on very difficult terrain.
What happens next?
We are currently revising the itinerary for this Adventure. Once the itinerary is released, we will accept registration deposits ($500) to save space.
If you have Early Birded with a refundable $50 deposit, your spot on the tour will be held for 2 weeks after the itinerary is published while you make a decision on whether or not you’d like to register with an additional $450 deposit, bringing your total on the tour up to $500. If you decide not to join us for this tour, your Early Bird can be refunded or transferred to another tour.
Canada is an amazing country, second largest on the planet, and full of wide open spaces and cultural surprises! Newfoundland & the Canadian Maritimes showcase provinces teeming with dramatic history, a melting pot of European and native culture, and postcard-perfect coastal scenery. Join us as we get off the coach and experience one of our most popular North American walking adventures!