Province/Territory: Newfoundland and Labrador

Adventure and Culture on Canada's Eastern Edge

  • 10,000 year old icebergs
  • 29,000 kilometres (18,000 miles) of coastline
  • 22 species of whales

Perched on the eastern edge of North America, Newfoundland and Labrador offers easily accessible, larger-than-life adventure, wilderness and culture. Hop on a boat to spot massive mountains of ice on the move in Iceberg Alley, crane your neck to see some of the 35 million seabirds including colourful puffins, or commune with 20 whale species – perhaps in a kayak or even joining them underwater!

Walk in the footsteps of long-vanished Vikings amid misty L’Anse aux Meadows’ sod houses, and explore dramatic fjords that were home to Inuit ancestors in the Torngat Mountains. Taste salt cod cakes and pies made of tundra cloudberries. Dance a jig or reel to fiery fiddling in the shoulder-to-shoulder pubs of the capital of St. John’s. A multi-cultural past that includes English, Irish, French and Aboriginals has spawned not only a quick-wit with a charming Irish lilt, but also a multitude of dialects and home-grown sayings that make up a unique local dictionary – after all, where else can you find place names like Jerry’s Nose, Leading Tickles West and Little Heart’s Ease?

Outdoor adventure

  • View freshwater fjords and 200 to 500-million-year-old fossils in dramatic Gros Morne National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Stay in a base camp managed by Inuit, hike the dramatic Torngat Mountains fjords watching for polar bears and caribou and visit the foundations of ancient sod houses and stone burial sites.
  • While hiking along the 336-mile East Coast Trail, check out the Spout, a natural, wave-driven geyser found en route.

Urban adventures

  • Prowl George Street, the seat of St. John’s nightlife, amidst a waterfront region with more pubs per square foot than almost anywhere in North America.
  • Sample traditional local dishes like cloudberry pie, cod tongues and cheeks, salt cod and “toutons” – crispy pork lard - and a Jigg's Dinner.
  • See the views of icebergs and whales from atop historic Signal Hill where the final battle of the British/French Seven Years’ War was waged in 1762.

Arts & Culture

  • Walk in the footsteps of Vikings at L’Anse aux Meadows, the earliest known European settlement in the New World and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Embed yourself into Newfoundland and Labrador neighbourhoods, live like a local and take a self-guided eco-culture experience.
  • See where Guglielmo Marconi received the first transatlantic wireless signal in 1901.

Nature & Wildlife

  • Go whale watching along the Southern Shore while paddling a sea kayak
  • Peek at puffins and have a picnic with whales in the Witless Bay Ecological Reserve.
  • Don a wetsuit and slide into the water for the once-in-a-lifetime experience of snorkeling with whales.

On the water

  • See the "frozen behemoths" of Iceberg Alley, as chunks of glacial ice the size of ocean liners float into Labrador; finish the day with a shot of vodka made from fresh iceberg water.
  • See icebergs rise like surreal white mountains from the blue sea, while watching North America's largest population of humpback whales and seabirds.

Weather

  • St. John's enjoys the third mildest winter in Canada with comfortable cool-to-warm summers.
  • Across Newfoundland, the average summer temperature – July and August - is 16°C (61°F) while the average winter temperature – November to March - hovers around 0°C (32°F).
  • In Labrador which is further north, winter climate is somewhat harsher, but temperatures can top 25°C (77°F) during the short but pleasant summers.
  • In spring, during the peak iceberg and whale-watching season, the average temperatures in St. John’s hover between 2 - 6°C (35 – 43 °F)
  • Discover local weather information
  • Research local weather patterns at Environment Canada’s Canadian Climate Normals Website.
Quick facts

Area: 405,720 sq km (156,649 sq mi)
Capital City: St. John’s
Largest City: St. John’s
Total Population: 512,659
Official Languages: English
Provincial Motto: “Seek ye first the kingdom of God”

When to go
  • Spring in Newfoundland and Labrador arrives in April and May and is iceberg and whale-viewing season. Be prepared for a rain shower or two and dress warmly in layers.
  • Summer, from June through August, is t-shirt and shorts-warm, but keep a sweater handy near the cool coast when you’re hiking, biking, kayaking, fishing, taking in a festival or whale-watching by boat.
  • September through October is leaf-peeping time with fall colours in full swing. Good time for golf and prowling the national parks, but bring layers to keep warm.
  • November through March is downhill and cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and snowmobiling season. You might also spot the dancing Northern Lights in mid-winter.
Getting Here
Getting around
  • Newfoundland and Labrador may look mid-sized on a Canadian far east coast map, but it's actually a vast place with plenty of open country in between – travel takes some advance planning, and during the high summer season when demand is high for car rentals, accommodations and ferry services, booking in advance is recommended.
  • Find general information on getting around.
  • Travel by car ferry on Marine Atlantic between Newfoundland and Labrador in summertime.
  • Newfoundland and Labrador highway information is available on the government roads website which also includes an important moose advisory.
  • Find information about public transit in St. John’s on Metrolink.