The province of Newfoundland, short NL, is the easternmost of the Canadian provinces. Newfoundland is located in the Gulf of St. Lawrence and the larger Labrador portion is on the eastern part of the Canadian mainland. Even though Newfoundland and Labrador make up one political entity, both areas are geographical distinct. Newfoundland is the island section of the province while Labrador makes up the larger northern mainland portion. Most of the population lives in the more accessible Newfoundland which is also the area most often seen by visitors.
Newfoundland has a unique character, heavily influenced by the sea. It is a rugged, weather beaten land defined by the Atlantic Ocean that has attracted generations of fishermen fishing for cod and other fish. Come to St. John’s the headquarters of the distinctive Newfoundland culture and take a walk on Water Street, North America’s oldest street. Enjoy Gros Morne National Park, recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage site for its exceptional beauty and unique geological features. Visit the Tablelands, a 600-metre high plateau, offering a glimpse of the earth’s insides, one of the world’s best examples.
Visit the Avalon Peninsula where you can photograph herds of caribou or seabird colonies, icebergs, or whales. Besides natural beauty the Avalon Peninsula offers fine wining and dining, as well as arts, entertainment and Newfoundland and Labrador crafts and artwork.
Labrador is one of the last great wilderness areas on earth, with more than 300,000 square kilometres of unspoiled land. Labrador’s mountain ranges contain some of the oldest exposed rock on the planet. The Torngat, the Kaumajet, and the Kiglapait mountains feature sheer walls that soar 1,500 breathtaking metres (5,000 feet) out of the ocean. Wildlife enthusiasts will enjoy an abundance of wildlife including moose, wolves, lynx, porcupines, and polar bears. Marine wildlife includes whales, seals and giant arctic hares.
Anglers find lots of opportunities with an abundance of fish. Try your luck fishing for brook trout and Atlantic salmon. Visitors interested in history can explore 9,000 years of history. Discover the lives of Indians living in Labrador long before Europeans were to arrive. Enjoy the interesting whaler history that dates back to the 1500s at Red Bay.
Wherever you go, you will also find warm, fun-loving people with high regard for friendliness and hospitality.
Newfoundland and Labrador in Figures
Newfoundland and Labrador has a population of about 512,930; 27,864 of which live in Labrador.
The province of Newfoundland and Labrador has a total area of 404,720 sq km.
The island of Newfoundland covers an area of 111,390 sq km, while the area of Labrador accounts to 294,330 sq km. The area of Avalon Peninsula has 9,700 sq km.
The island of Newfoundland features 9,656 kilometres (6035 miles) of coastline, the coast of Labrador adds another 7,886 kilometres (4929 miles) of coastline, bringing it to a total of 17,542 km (10,963 miles).
St. John’s is the capital of Newfoundland and Labrador with about 99,182 inhabitants, while the metro area population is about 172,918.
When you choose to travel to Newfoundland and Labrador by air, you can be certain you can reach all areas of the province. Airlines include Air Canada, Air Canada Tango, Air Canada Jazz, Air Transat, and Air Labrador.
St. John's International Airport was built in 1941 and is located north of St. John's. All airline tickets holders departing from St. John's International Airport are subject to a $10 Airport Improvement Fee.
For more information call (709) 758-8500
Rail service between Sept-Îles, Quebec, and Labrador is provided by Quebec North Shore & Labrador Railway. The trip takes 10 hours.
For more information call (709) 944-8205/2490
Trans-Canada-Highway (Route 1) leads from Port aux Basques on the west coast to St. John’s. Route 500 is a gravel road that crosses Labrador from Happy Valley-Goose Bay in the east to Labrador City/Wabush in the west. The road is however only passable by four-wheel drive vehicle.
Port aux Basques to St. John’s 905 km (566 mi)
Newfoundland’s weather is cool throughout the year. The temperate marine climate generates mild winters with normal temperatures around 0 degree Celsius. Summers are short with a normal temperature of 16 degree Celsius. Coastal areas see heavy precipitation all year, with sunnier and drier places in the central inland areas. Labrador winters are much colder than those in Newfoundland. While summers are shorter and generally cooler, extreme high temperatures are not uncommon in Labrador.
Means of payment
Besides the most common credit cards (Visa, Master Card and American Express) you might consider carrying some Traveler's Cheques in small denominations. Those are generally accepted like cash and have the advantage of being insured.
However you should always carry some cash, especially if you intend to push forward to more rural areas. Here cash is the only thing that counts, as most of the small shops do not have the equipment to accept credit cards. You should not bring Euro in order to pay your bills.
All prices are generally subject to applicable taxes, which might be uncommon for European travelers. Taxes are added when you pay. Usually you have to pay 15 per cent taxes (federal-provincial Harmonized Sales Tax - HST).
Waiters in a restaurant generally require a tip, which is added to the bill's total as this is sometimes the only pay they receive. It is up to you, how much you leave, but 10-15 per cent is fairly common. Usually you leave the tip on the table as you go. Tip is also given to cabbies, hairdressers, barbers, hotel attendants and bellhops.
We recommend saving all receipts, as tourists who have their place of residence outside of Canada might be eligible for tax refund. However, this only applies for amounts over CAN $50,00 per receipt (except accommodation receipt where no minimum amount applies) and a minimum of CAN $200,00 in total. Not eligible for tax refund are bills paid for gas or transportation. In any case it might be worthwhile to save receipts for accommodations or larger purchases that are exported. The application for tax refund can be found at the website address shown below. You can file your application up to six months after you have left the country and has to be in writing. A refund cheque will than be mailed to your home address. If you came by plane you are required to send your bording pass with your application. Receipts for goods have to be validated by Canada Customs as you leave Canada.
For further information visit
Visitor Tax Refund.
Gros Morne National Park
Location: On the west coast of Newfoundland
Gros Morne National Park, an 1805 sq. km park, is a must for its spectacular and varied geography and great natural beauty offering an abundance of wildlife, scenery and activities. Set aside as a National Park in 1973, Gros Morne is popular with hikers who enjoy the wild, uninhabited mountains and camp areas by the sea. The park was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987.
For more information call (709) 458-2417
Terra Nova National Park
Location: 240 km west of St. John's and 80 km east of Gander.
Terra Nova, Canada’s most easterly national park, offers a special blend of land and sea. Officially recognized as national park in 1957, Terra Nova features long bays, inland lakes, ponds and lots of wildlife. Spot moose, bear, beaver and bald eagles while hiking or bicycling through the park. Icebergs can be seen offshore from May to August. There are 14 trails totalling 56 km, offering some excellent day hikes.
For more information call (709) 533-2801
There are 13 Provincial Parks in Newfoundland and Labrador where one can camp overnight. These parks range in size and in the services provided. They are located throughout Newfoundland and in southern Labrador.
Cape Spear National Historic Site
Location: 15 minutes southeast of St. John’s
Cape Spear National Historic Site marks the most easterly point in North America and is home to the oldest surviving lighthouse in Newfoundland. The lighthouse has been refurbished to its 1839 appearance. Explore an interpretive center and the heavy gun batteries and magazines dating back to WWII. The site is surrounded by spectacular scenery and wildlife such as whales, seabirds and icebergs in season.
For more information call (709) 772-5367
Hawthorne Cottage National Historic Site
Location: in the scenic community of Brigus, Newfoundland, approximately a one-hour drive from St. John's.
Hawthorne Cottage National Historic Site is home to one of the foremost Arctic explorers in the 20th century. Captain Bob Bartlett, who made more than 20 expeditions into the region, was the former resident of this picturesque building. The cottage is furnished with artefacts and memorabilia from Captain Bob’s voyages.
For more information call (709) 528-4004
L'Anse aux Meadows National Historic Site
Location: On the tip of the Great Northern Peninsula, 433 km north of Deer Lake along the Viking Trail (route 430).
L'Anse aux Meadows National Historic Site marks the earliest known European settlement in the New World. The site looks pretty much like it did in 1000 AD when Vikings from Scandinavia and Greenland landed in North America. The exhibits bring alive the Viking lifestyle with artefacts and archaeological discoveries. Replicas of the sod buildings add to the experience. The site was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1978.
For more information call (709) 623-2608
Red Bay National Historic Site
Location: In the Labrador Straits region of Labrador.
Red Bay National Historic Site showcases the region’s whaling history that dates back to the 1500s. During the late 16th century it was the largest whaling port in the world when the waters of coastal Labrador attracted whalers from the Basque country. There are three well-preserved Basque whaling galleons from the 1500s in an underwater museum.
For more information call (709) 920-2142
Signal Hill National Historic Site
Location: East of St. John's.
Signal Hill National Historic Site offers a superb view of the town and out to the sea, which alone is worth coming here. The site has a rich military history. From July to mid August visitors can witness British 19th century military drills called a Tattoo. This takes place every afternoon Wednesday through Sunday.
For more information call (709) 772-5367
Newfoundland has most probably been the first part of the New World to be explored by Europeans. Strong evidence suggests that Norse voyagers reached Newfoundland and Labrador as early as 1000 AD. In 1497, John Cabot walked on Newfoundland’s soil during his first voyage to North America. The 15th and 16th century saw fishermen from France, Portugal, and Spain harvesting the rich cod grounds. It was not, however, until the second half of the 18th century that a considerable population came to live permanently in Newfoundland.
In 1583, Sir Humphrey Gilbert claimed Newfoundland for England. Only after 1760, did a combination of circumstances rooted in the disruption of European fisheries as a result of the American and French Revolutions and the Napoleonic Wars make Newfoundland seem like an attractive place to settle permanently. Migrants from England's West Country and from southeast Ireland moved here during those years, and created the basic population mix that persists in Newfoundland and Labrador to the present day. The permanent population remained small and unstable until the middle years of the 18th century. The population was approximately 20,000 by the 1790s, and double that by 1815.
The growth of permanent settlement led to the introduction in the early 19th century of political institutions suitable for a stable colony. From 1818, these governors resided year round in St. John's. The first popularly elected legislative assembly in Newfoundland and Labrador was convened in 1832. The province was the last to join Canada, doing so as recently as 1949.