Newfoundland and Labrador
Commission for Destination Canada
Battle Harbour, Labrador Coast
Situated on an island on the eastern seaboard of Canada, Battle Harbour was once the economic and social centre of the area. A thriving saltfish industry was first established here in the 1770s before cod fishing dwindled and the area was abandoned as a permanent settlement.
The Battle Harbour Historic Trust now operate the site as a living museum and I was given the opportunity to stay in the perfectly restored Battle Harbour Inn.
I let time slip past in the company of good friends, whales and icebergs... pretty special. It's a perfect place to disconnect for a bit.
TIP of the ICEBERG
Almost 90% of an iceberg is under water hence the phrase above. The Titanic had no chance!
The blue "vein" in the picture opposite is caused by melt water. As glaciers creep over land, meltwater fills the crevasses and later freezes, creating clear, bubble-free ice.
The majority of icebergs we saw off Newfoundland and Labrador had come from the glaciers of western Greenland and the rest from glaciers on islands in Canada's Arctic area. They are best viewed in late May and early June along the coast of Newfoundland, and between March and July along the coast of Labrador. We were there in July and were spoilt for choice.
At the tip of Newfoundland’s Great Northern Peninsula, lies the first known evidence of European presence in the Americas. A Norse expedition had sailed from Greenland, building a small encampment of timber-and-sod buildings around 1000 years ago.
Attracted by the forests which were beneficial to boat-building, house-building and for iron extraction there was also an abundance of food in the rivers which are still teeming with Atlantic Salmon today.
The remains of the Norse camp at L’Anse aux Meadows is the oldest known European settlement of the New World and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1978.
Gros Morne National Park
A world heritage site located on the west coast of Newfoundland, Gros Morne National Park is encircled by tiny seaside communities, and comprises of forests, freshwater fjords, bogs, barren lowlands, striking cliffs and shorelines.
The barren Tablelands also tower over the park, looking more like a scorched desert than it's green surroundings. This burnt orange outcrop – an ultramafic rock known as peridotite – was forced up from the Earth's depths during a tectonic plate collision millions of years ago.
Gros Morne's grandeur and scale reminded me of Yosemite National Park in the US, only without the crowds of people and motorhomes. Epic.
To reach the West Coast of Newfoundland & Labrador, catch a Provincial Airlines flight to Deer Lake from St. John’s. Gros Morne National Park is around an hours drive from the airport.
For Battle Harbour, you'll need to take the ferry from St. Barbe to Blanc Sablon. Check in with Carmen Hancock of Tour Labrador who will be able to handle all of the logistics associated with getting you further North. Carmen can also sort you out with dinner and digs in the tallest lighthouse in Atlantic Canada en route. Pretty special especially when you step out the front door and watch a pod of humpback whales cruise past. Seriously.