Newfoundland and Labrador
Canada literally starts in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, located on the island of Newfoundland in the North Atlantic. While the capital city, St. John’s or “Mile One,” is home to more than 100,000 people, there are vast spaces in the province without any population. There are almost 29,000 kilometres of combined coastline, offering ample opportunity for visitors to Newfoundland and Labrador to watch humpback whales, observe millions of migrating seabirds, and catch sight of wild caribou and moose. The people in this province, both from European roots and northern Inuit and Innu tribes, are hearty souls, always ready to open their homes to visitors.
Newfoundland, also known as “The Rock,” serves up some of the world’s best outdoor attractions, including bird watching, camping, kayaking, fishing and hiking. With fewer than 1,600 hours of sunshine every year, there are great opportunities for catching the Northern Lights. The first rule of thumb for visitors to Newfoundland, however, is to correctly pronounce the name. Newfoundland is pronounced “new-fun-land” (land rhymes with understand).
Outdoor enthusiasts could easily spend weeks touring Newfoundland. Most start with the local pubs and historic buildings of St. John’s after flying into the city's international airport, then continue on to places few people ever visit, stretched along the Trans-Canada Highway. The one must-see in Newfoundland is Gros Morne National Park, a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. From magnificent, glacier-carved fjords and thundering waterfalls, these are places time seems to have almost forgotten. The park is popular for fishing and has more than 95 kilometres of maintained hiking trails.
Over on the mainland, Labrador might be part of North America, but it remains a mostly wild area in much the same way it was when old maritime tribes hunted the area. There are only a couple of populated areas in Labrador, and everything is spread over upwards of 285,000 square kilometres of wilderness area. While it is possible for those touring Newfoundland and Labrador to travel throughout the province, it is a massive area that requires advance planning, a trusty vehicle and ample supplies.