Newfoundland Nature Experiences: 4 Places to Get up Close and Personal

Newfoundland is well known for its spectacular scenery and wildlife, tops bucket lists of nature lovers the world over. With its diverse landscapes and huge stretch of coastline, there are plenty of adventures to be had, with Newfoundland’s wild, natural beauty surrounding you at every turn. Here are 4 Newfoundland nature experiences to get up close and personal with some of the most enchanting nature that this province has to offer.

Gros Morne National Park

 

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There’s something for everyone in this expansive park, with a diverse panorama of sweeping mountain ranges and freshwater fjords. The ancient landscape of Gros Morne is unlike anywhere else in the world, granted UNESCO World Heritage Site status thanks to its 500 million year history. In the south west corner of the park, you’ll even find part of the earth’s mantle, raised from the depths of the earth by tectonics to become a vast massif on the surface.

Gros Morne is a haven for outdoor activities, with hiking being high on the list. There are over 100 km of trails spread across the park, with these Newfoundland nature experiences ranging from leisurely half hour strolls to day-long excursions. Whichever route you choose, you’re sure to come face-to-face with some of Gros Morne’s animal inhabitants. Moose, arctic hares, and caribou all call the park home. Take a boat trip across Western Brook Pond – you might spot some curious bears prowling along the shore!

Cape St. Mary’s Seabird Ecological Reserve

 

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With rugged cliffs and breathtaking views, Cape St. Mary’s is also home to some of the most impressive seabird colonies in North America. Slightly off the beaten bath, the reserve can be reached with a drive along the Cape Shore, where a gentle walk awaits you once you’ve reached the interpretation centre.

The path meanders along the grassy cliffside for about 1.5km, with views of the open ocean immediately to your right. Soon, you’ll be confronted by ‘bird rock’, a stack of sandstone mere meters away from the cliff top viewing platform. During breeding season each year, it’s where tens of thousands of Northern Gannets make their nests. Joining them are Kittiwakes, Razorbills, and a whole host of other sea birds. As the birds perch, dive and scramble across the rock, they create a true spectacle of movement and sound, a unique nature experience that won’t be forgotten.

MUN Botanical Garden

 

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Get up close and personal with the flora of the province at the beautiful and perfectly manicured MUN Botanical Garden. The botanical garden spans 110 acres and surrounds the still waters of the Oxen Pond. A real gardener’s delight, this calm oasis houses hundreds of species of flowers, trees and plants, spread out across five gardens amongst easy-to-walk trails and paths. It is located in St. John’s, making it ultra convenient and accessible.

Some, like the Crevice Garden, have been meticulously planted to mimic the natural landscapes of Newfoundland. Areas like the Asian Garden, transport you to faraway lands with their bold and colourful displays. From the Himalayan blue poppies to the magnificent rainbow of rhododendrons, there’s plenty in this beautiful garden to entertain you. Once you’ve had your fill of flowers, head off on one of the hiking trails, where Moose, snowshoe hare and other wildlife are frequently spotted inside the park boundaries.

Twillingate

 

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This picturesque town is one of the best places to encounter one of nature’s most spectacular forms – the iceberg. One of the stops on the aptly named ‘Iceberg Alley’, every year between May and July, adventurers flock to Twillingate to see these ancient glacial giants. Coming in every shape and size, the 10,000 year old ice formations arrive from the Arctic. They dazzlingly reflect light across the pristine waters and stun all who see them with their sheer scale and size. It’s one of the Newfoundland nature experiences truly unique to the province.

There is a range of excursions on offer. These include breathtaking kayaking trips and a boat tour with the captain (or ‘Iceberg Man’) of the MV Iceberg Alley. Besides a close look at these natural wonders, you just might spot some of the world’s most magnificent creatures. Twenty-two species of whale swim along the Newfoundland coast! Between May and September they can often be found breaching the surface and playing along the shores.

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