Western Newfoundland Tour – 6 days

These group tours are designed to expose you to western Newfoundland’s natural, historical and cultural geography in a way that will make its memory, and your photo albums and journals much more precious.

What would it take: The rarest of geological formations on earth? Sub-arctic environments at 650 meters (2100 ft) above the sea? The cultural legacy of 400 years of French habitation? The magnificence of coastal and landlocked fjords? Rare yet flourishing flora of the coastal peat bogs? Perhaps moose, caribou and whales foraging with their calves?

Depending on the tour, your ‘basecamp’ at Marble Inn Resort, is within walking distance or scenic drives to points of interest or trailheads.


About your guide

Explore Newfoundland has a number of experienced guides that have been providing tours of Western Newfoundland for more than a decade. Experience and passion are the key to a great guide and they have no shortage of either.


Description

All tours begin on a Sunday. A Marble Inn Resort team member will greet you at Deer Lake airport and escort you to the resort. After you settle into your suite, your local guide will meet with everyone to discuss your chosen tour itinerary.

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Some tours include night accommodations at various locations. A continental breakfast is included only when the itinerary includes accommodation at Marble Inn Resort. Madison’s Restaurant and The Cove are conveniently located onsite at Marble Inn Resort for fine or casual dining (not included in the tour prices). Our tour guides and reception staff are happy to help you choose alternative restaurants in the area.

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What to bring

Bring clothing appropriate for the Newfoundland summer climate, including rain gear and light gloves. Adding and removing layers best meets the variable conditions.

Ocean breezes can be cooler than when winds are off the land. High altitudes are typically cooler than sea level temperatures. Tours that feature periods of walk/hiking require hiking boots with firm soles, good ankle support and high sidewalls to avoid ankle abrasions. Running shoes should not be used. You may wish to bring a walking pole.


Your package includes…

  • Airport shuttle to and from Deer Lake Regional Airport.
  • 3 nights accommodation at Marble Inn Resort and use of resort amenities, plus continental breakfast.
  • 2 nights in Cow Head area of Gros Morne National Park.
  • Entry fees for Gros Morne National Park.
  • Tickets for boat tour of Western Brook Pond Fjord.

Starting at $2950/couple. Prices do not include HST.

Add 1 or 2 children for $250/child.

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Day 1

Bay of Islands

  • A Marble Inn Resort team member will greet you at Deer Lake airport and escort you to the resort. After you settle into your suite, your local guide will meet with you to discuss your custom made tour itinerary.
  • Your first stop will be Captain Cook’s Lookout in Corner Brook. Captain James Cook revolutionized map making methods and accuracy while mapping the Newfoundland coast in the mid-1700s. Numerous bays, coves, streams and headlands bear names he designated while others are his anglicized renderings of original French names.
  • You will proceed along winding roads and scenic villages along the southern shore of the Bay of Islands, passing under the Blow-Me-Down Mountains, as far as Bottle Cove on the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Keep your eye out for whales as thirteen different whale species pass through the Gulf seasonally. We leave the Bay of Islands at Lark Harbour, where in 1776 Captain Cook concluded his mapping expeditions of the island, as commemorated by the famous Trail End Monument.
  • At Bottle Cove, only a few kilometers away, choose from an array of hiking trails that offer enchanting views overlooking the Gulf. Each trail varies in difficulty and will be chosen based on experience and ability. If hiking, please bring proper footwear.
  • Conclude the day by returning to the Marble Inn Resort. Relax in your suite, or take advantage of the many amenities we offer, such as the heated salt-water pool, mineral bath and labradorite steam bath.
  • Includes continental breakfast and snacks and a picnic lunch during the tour.
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Day 2

Stephenville, Port au Port, Humber Valley and Blow-Me-Down Mountain

This is a day for choosing directions and the activities they offer the group: a trip to the ‘French Shore’ at Stephenville and the Port au Port Peninsula; or hiking to natural attractions of the Humber Valley.

  • Stephenville & the Port au Port Peninsula

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The area includes rich military and cultural history dating from the 17th and 18th century imperial ambitions of France and England to the anxious years of WWII and the Cold War. In 1941, the U.S. established Harmon Air Force Base, one of three in the province, to reinforce the allies’ North Atlantic defences. Following the War, it was on standby for any possible conventional or nuclear attack on NATO nations until it was decommissioned in 1966.

Bay St. George is one of two areas in Newfoundland where the M’ikmaq were settled prior to European presence and where they still maintain an integral relationship with the sea and the wilderness. Traditional M’ikmaq design motifs and images are evident in local arts and crafts.

The area boasts spectacular coastal and mountain scenery. The Gravels is the name given to the narrow isthmus that joins the Port au Port Peninsula to mainland Newfoundland. It is a relaxing place to walk beside the ocean and to browse the rocks for ocean bric-a-brac. The Gravels Trail leads through thickets of stunted spruce and passes bizarre rock formations shaped by waves and wind.

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  • Humber Valley

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This option is closest to home base and includes the most dramatic sections of the Humber Valley.

Steady Brook Falls and Marble Mountain may be reached by foot from Marble Inn Resort. A groomed trail and stairways make the 1 km steep climb easier to Steady Brook Falls and its impressive 30 meters (100 ft) gorge. In summer, rainfall determines the volume of water pouring into the gorge. Always a pleasing hike for its views of the valley, it is most spectacular after a period of rain.

Marble Mountain rises 546 meters (1546 ft) from near sea level. Steep trails make a challenging 3 – 4 hour hike (with picnic and rest stops) rewarding with amazing views in one direction all the way to Deer Lake, and in the opposite direction all the way to Corner Brook and beyond to the Blow-Me-Down Mountain in the Bay of Islands.

Man in the Mountain hiking trail gets its name from the naturally carved image in the face of Indian Head Mountain where it rises vertically from the Humber River gorge. The hike begins at the mouth of the river just 4 kms from Marble Inn Resort and steeply ascends 300 meters (985 ft) over 2.5 kms. Both ways, the hike normally takes 4-5 hours.

Finally, there is Copper Mine Brook near Lark Harbour on the side of Blow-Me-Down Mountain (approx. 1 hour drive). This trail is part of the Newfoundland section of the International Appalachian Trail (the Long Range Mountains are geologically part of the Appalachian Mountain formation). The 660 meters (2165 ft) climb to the plateau is another bucket-list hiking venture. The sub-arctic tundra-like heath terrain is the habitat of moose and caribou. However, the affect of climate change, even here, has affected the smaller animals’ predator/prey ecology, so that ptarmigan and birds of prey are not as common on the plateau in recent years—never say never! Bald eagles still make their aeries among the highest crags and chimneys along the plateau wall. The views over the Bay of Islands are ones you’d remember for your lifetime. This strenuous hike normally takes 5-6 hours.

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  • Whichever hikes fill your day, it all ends at the Marble Inn Resort. Relax in your suite, or take advantage of the many amenities we offer, such as the heated salt-water pool, mineral bath and labradorite steam bath.
  • Includes continental breakfast and snacks and a picnic lunch during the tour.
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Day 3

Tablelands UNESCO World Heritage Site

  • After a continental breakfast you leave Marble Inn at 8:30am for the drive to Gros Morne National Park. There you will meet a Park’s Canada tour guide at the base of the tablelands and be guided on a 2km interpretive hike.

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Gros Morne is Eastern Canada’s second largest national park and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Surrounded by forest mountains, lakes and and rivers, the Tablelands is obviously a geological freak: tawny brown-to-orange, depending on the light, and almost completely devoid of vegetation. It is one of only three sites in the world (the other two are in Siberia and South Africa) where you can stand on exposed sub-ocean mantle. Hiking to the top of the Tablelands appears to be daunting, but there are great views to enjoy without such a strenuous undertaking.  Also, the Gros Morne Discovery Centre will provide you with all of the natural history and science of the Tablelands.

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  • At the western base of the Tablelands, the fishing community of Trout River has supported a fishing population since 1815–with a single family until 1880. Its history is represented in a lovely fishing museum and house that was one of the first to be built in that long ago time. You will leave Trout River with a lingering memory of dining at the Seafood Cafe or perhaps a walk along the beach.
  • Then to Woody Point on the shores of Bonne Bay. Some of its older homes reveal a prosperity rare on the Great Northern Peninsula until the later 20th century. Its prosperity was due to the great forests that supplied mainland lumber demands and stout masts for maritime shipbuilding yards. At the same time, there were fishing families that grew their enterprises with substantial vessels and shore-based facilities. Today, Woody Pt. entrepreneurial energy turns as well to the increasing tourism trade that is due to world wide recognition of Gros Morne Nat’l Park. There is no trouble finding a café, restaurant or craft shop.
  • Return to Marble Inn Resort. Relax in your suite, or take advantage of the many amenities we offer, such as the heated salt-water pool, mineral bath and labradorite steam bath.Includes continental breakfast and snacks and a picnic lunch during the tour.
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Day 4

Western Brook Pond

  • We return to Gros Morne Nat’l Park, first to visit Lobster Cove Head for a tour of the lighthouse and to view the twisted and crushed rocks called mélange, one of many features that distinguishes parks geological history.
  • Then we drive further north to Western Brook Pond, the Park’s largest freshwater lake. From the parking lot beside the highway, you hike a trail and boardwalk over the coastal plain (30 – 45 minutes). Insect eating flora such as the pitcher plant, sundew and butterwort are plentiful on the bogs along with flowering heath shrubs. At the head of the pond we board the boat that will take us on a 2 hr. guided tour into the spectacular landlocked fjord with its soaring 600 metre (2000 ft) cliffs on both sides.The tour boat’s knowledgeable guide will provide live commentary on the history, geology and wildlife of this majestic park region where the coastal plain meets the soaring ramparts of the Long Range Mountains. Don’t forget your camera–and a warm sweater.
  • Return to Marble Inn Resort. Relax in your suite, or take advantage of the many amenities we offer, such as the heated salt-water pool, mineral bath and labradorite steam bath.
  • Includes continental breakfast and snacks and a picnic lunch during the tour.
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Day 5

Cow Head

  • While in Cow Head you can enjoy the Gros Morne Theatre Festival, a mixture of drama and music representing local history and life today in Newfoundland.
  • Just beyond Cow Head and the boundary of Gros Morne Nat’l Park, beautiful Shallow Bay Beach stretches northward for 10 km. Ocean winds push the fine sand dunes far into the coastal tuckamore that fringe the coastal plain. It’s a place to swim, stroll, beachcomb and sunbathe.
  • There is the Cow Head Lighthouse trail to view the enigmatic shapes of the famous Cow Head breccia. These rocks are highly unusual in composition as well, believed to be redeposited fragments of reef mounds and the concretion of Paleozoic marine organisms of half a billion years ago.
  • At the conclusion of the Day 5 tour, you arrive at the Shallow Bay Motel for the night. Before shut-eye, you may wish to make yourself familiar with the town or continue your exploration of nearby coastal features.
  • Return to Marble Inn Resort. Relax in your suite, or take advantage of the many amenities we offer, such as the heated salt-water pool, mineral bath and labradorite steam bath.
  • Includes continental breakfast and snacks and a picnic lunch during the tour.
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Day 6

Green Point / Rocky Harbour

  • The Park’s geological story, evident in the 500 million year old fossils of the sedimentary layers of the coastal cliff, augments the lovely ocean view as you make your way from the nearby campsite.But to inspect the zone, it must be approached along the shore when the tide and sea conditions permit.
  • Before leaving the Park, you will stop for lunch in Rocky Hr. The town has any number of artisan/craft shops to visit, including a factory that produces handmade glass.
  • At this point we say farewell to Gros Morne and Newfoundland’s west coast and drive to Deer Lake to catch your afternoon or evening flights home.
  • Includes continental breakfast and snacks and a picnic lunch during the tour.

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