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Wild Newfoundland Self Drive

Wild Newfoundland Self Drive

12

days

starting fromUS $2,890per person

Star Rating 5

5 of 5 stars (9 reviews)

  • Choose your own activities and experiences to make the most of your trip.
  • Have all the details of your trip organized and arranged for you.

Road Trip To Canada’s Newfoundland

Discover Canada’s scenic Atlantic province Newfoundland on this road trip. Travel through small towns steeped in history far from the bustle of big city life, and down roads with sweeping views of wave-battered headlands, steep cliffs, and tranquil beaches. Explore fjords bursting with marine life by boat, and watch massive icebergs on their yearly migration.

Trip Outline

12 Days / 11 Nights

Arrive St. John’s 3 nights St. John’s 2 nights Trinity Optional 3 night Fogo Island Inn add-on 2 nights Twillingate 2 nights Gros Morne Park - Norris Point Optional 3 night St. Anthony & Quirpon Island add-on 2 nights in Gros Morne Park - Woody Point Depart Deer Lake

Wild Newfoundland Self Drive - Map

Availability

MayJunJulAugSep

Places Visited

St. John’sTrinityFogo IslandTwillingateGros Morne National ParkSt. AnthonyQuirpon IslandWoody PointDeer Lake

Accommodation Style

InnLodge

Activity Level

Easy

What you'll love about this trip

  • Unique culture of Canada’s friendliest province

  • Seeing Newfoundland’s rugged coastline and icebergs

  • Staying at Fogo Island Inn, or on Quirpon Island

  • Cruising the Atlantic Ocean

  • Seeing whales and puffins

  • Exploring historic Viking remains

  • Staying at charming inns

Common Questions

  • Is this an escorted tour?

    Our vacations are not typically 'escorted.' We combine the best of both worlds – the reassurance of seamless connections, customer service support, and scheduled activities, plus the freedom of 'independent' travel. You are not tied into a specific group, or a rigid daily itinerary. This allows us to personalize your trip to suit your occasion, interests, and timeframe.

  • Can this trip be made shorter or longer?

    Absolutely! We personalize all our clients' trips to fit their exact tastes and needs. You can add days at locations that you'd like to explore and spend more time at. Or leave out certain areas that don't interest you as much. Discuss your travel goals with our Canadian Insiders who make sure that your trip fits your needs and budget.

  • Can I customize this trip?

    Your trip can be as rich as you'd like, and completely arranged around your interests and needs. The greatest benefit of working with us is our local knowledge. You can get your FREE personalized trip plan and decide what you'd like to see and do.

    If your trip is a special occasion, we'll make sure it is unforgettable. Or if you're traveling with a group, we'll take care of the logistics so you can share time together stress-free.

  • Is it safe to drive in Canada?

    New visitors will drive with ease because of the wide and well maintained roadways. We'll ensure your trip includes the most spectacular and safest routes throughout your trip.

  • Where am I staying on this trip?

    You'll be staying at various local three to five star hotels or lodges along your route, some of which are very iconic properties with great locations, views and history. All our accommodations are carefully selected by our Canadian Insiders. We'll make sure that wherever you stay, you get the best value and comfort based on the seasonal availability.

  • How much does my trip cost?

    All our trips are personalized to fit our clients' schedule and budget. The price of your trip generally depends on the travel season, train service, accommodations, and the sightseeing tours you take. Please request your personalized quote which will provide you with the detailed information you need.

  • What is included in the price?

    Typically we include and pre-book all your main trip components so you don't have to worry about your connections, places to stay, or activities on your trip. You'll receive your detailed digital travel documents, and our Canadian Insiders remain at your disposal throughout your trip to answer any questions.

  • What are the best ways to travel around Canada?

    Canada has a network of spectacular roadways, train routes, ferry crossings, and float planes. We can arrange for you to travel by car or to sit back and relax.

  • When is the best time to see wildlife?

    That depends on the destination and type. As a rule, the main feeding and migration seasons are best for wildlife experiences. Tell us which animals interest you and we'll make your trip coincide with the best viewing season.

  • Will it be cold when I visit Canada in summer?

    The temperature varies from mild to hot, depending on location. Canada's west coast, mountain regions, and Maritimes enjoy milder summer temperatures. They range on average from 59°F to 77°F (15°C – 25°C). The interior of British Columbia, prairies, Ontario and Quebec can reach temperatures around 95°F (35°C). Northern Canada will range between 50°F to 64°F (10°C – 18°C) in summer.

This Trip in Pictures

Immediatley feel the warm Newfoundland atmosphere upon arrival.

Immediatley feel the warm Newfoundland atmosphere upon arrival.

Drive up to Twillingate to see picturesque coastlines.

Drive up to Twillingate to see picturesque coastlines.

Not to mention Icebergs on their yearly migration.

Not to mention Icebergs on their yearly migration.

Gros Morne Park will humble you.

Gros Morne Park will humble you.

As will the stunning fjords and inlets

As will the stunning fjords and inlets

Visit mysterious remains of viking explorers at L'Anse Aux Meadows.

Visit mysterious remains of viking explorers at L'Anse Aux Meadows.

Cuisine here is fresh from the sea, so indulge before heading home.

Cuisine here is fresh from the sea, so indulge before heading home.

Recommended Itinerary

Think of this itinerary as just a starting point. Our experienced Canadian Insiders will create a personalized trip plan for you that matches your travel style, schedule and budget.

Day 1 – Newfoundland Adventure Begins – Arrive in St. John’s
Upon arrival in St. John’s, get out and explore North America’s oldest city.  Rich in history and distinct Irish and British heritage, this colourful port sits on the steep slopes of a snug and sheltered harbor, with brightly colored row-houses lining its hilly streets.

Overnight in St. John’s.

Day 2 – Explore Historic St. John’s
You have an exciting day ahead! Explore the best of St John’s from history to its culinary delights. You have the following experience included to help orient you to this exciting city.

• Included Activity: Historical St. John’s and Cape Spear Tour
Discover Newfoundland’s culture and history on a half day guided tour. Walk through Cape Spear National Historic Site, then visit the oldest standing light house in North America. Other stops include Quidi Vidi Village, Government House, and the shops and restaurants of downtown St. John’s.
Activity rating: Easy

Insider tip: We recommend visiting The Rooms, Newfoundland and Labrador’s largest public cultural space. Immerse yourself in Newfie culture with rotating exhibits, events and exceptional dining!

Overnight in St. John’s.

Day 3 – Bay Bulls and the Southern Avalon Coast
Travel south along the Avalon Peninsula, to explore the beautifully rugged and wild coastline. See countless natural wonders comprised of stunning cliffs, sea caves, and waterfalls. Keep your eyes open for puffins, humpback and minke whales.

Today you have the choice from the following 2 options today:

• Option 1: Witless Bay Puffin and Whale Watch Cruise
Cruise through the spectacular coastal vistas of Witless Bay Ecological Reserve, in search of whales and puffins. Enjoy live interpretation interspersed with a colourful mix of local humour, stories and song
Activity rating: Easy

• Option 2: Private Half Day Sea Kayaking (Extra Cost)
Discover hidden caves, waterfalls, and wildlife along the beautiful Avalon coastline. With your private guide, you’ll have the chance to see puffins, whales, and in the early season – icebergs. No experience necessary, and all equipment is provided.
Activity rating: Moderate–Challenging

• Suggested Add-on: Ferryland Lighthouse Picnic (Extra Cost)
If you would like a true taste of the Avalon Peninsula, ask your Vacation Advisor about the Ferryland Lighthouse. Experience an award-winning homemade picnic at beautiful Ferryland Head and enjoy a serene 30-minute walk along a natural isthmus, surrounded by the sea.
Activity rating: Moderate

Insider tip: Prime whale watching season is mid-June to mid-August. Whales may be spotted after this time; however, it would be a bonus. Keep your eyes peeled!

Day 4 – St. John’s to Trinity
Depart St. John’s along the scenic Conception Bay coastal drive – on a clear day you will be able to see the still active Bell Island Lighthouse. Continue along the Bonavista Peninsula to Trinity – renowned for its unique historical architecture and thriving culture and arts.

Feature Dinner in Trinity
Enjoy a 3-course set menu described as “casual fine-dining” prepared by local chefs using only the freshest local ingredients and seafood. As more than just a place to eat, experience a uniquely Newfoundland atmosphere with relaxed and friendly service.

Overnight in Trinity.

Day 5 – Explore Trinity and the Bonavista Peninsula
Enjoy your choice of guided activity to explore the Bonavista Peninsula today. Then we recommend you hike one of Bonavista’s most scenic trails – the Skerwink, or visit the filming locations of The Shipping News and Random Passage.

Today you have the choice from the following 2 options:

• Option 1: Zodiac Whale Watching Tour
Learn to identify fin, humpback, sperm, minke, and pilot whales, as they play and migrate through a scientific study area of the Bonavista Peninsula. Keep your eyes open for species of porpoises, eagles and offshore sea birds including puffins and northern gannets.
Activity rating: Moderate

• Option 2: Trinity Bay History and Nature Boat Tour
Set off from New Bonaventure to the enchanting and long-abandoned communities of Kerley’s Harbour, Ireland’s Eye and British Harbour. Learn about the history of the area and the local wildlife. Be entertained by your skipper, to a backdrop of possible icebergs, whales, and sea birds.
  
Activity rating: Easy (return by boat) or Challenging (return by hike)

Overnight in Trinity.

Day 6 – Trinity to Twillingate
Drive along winding, coastal roads and explore Terra Nova National Park – a classic Newfoundland landscape of sheltered bays, rugged ocean coastline and rolling forested hills. Finally, arrive at the quaint fishing village of Twillingate and the 1876 Long Point Lighthouse – still active today.

Overnight in Twillingate.

• Suggested Add-On: Fogo Island Stay
Before visiting Twillingate, add-on a stay at the incredible Fogo Island Inn. Situated on a gorgeous rocky shoreline where slabs of granite meet the moody North Atlantic, the luxurious Fogo Island Inn is an innovative community project, with 100% of profits being reinvested in the local economy. The Inn features 29 rooms with panoramic ocean views, hand-crafted furniture and quilts, locally inspired cuisine, rooftop hot tubs, saunas, and a publicly accessible art gallery, library and cinema. The island’s still-wild world has caribou to track, hills of berries to forage, nature trails to explore, and countless birds and sea life to behold.

Day 7 – Explore Twillingate
Relish the opportunity to explore Twillingate, which embodies the quintessential Newfoundland out-port character – stunningly-rugged coastline, historical, picturesque streets, and lush countryside roads.

• Included Activity: Iceberg & Nature Zodiac Tour
If you haven’t already spotted an Iceberg, you may be in luck today! Head out on a zodiac to marvel at these sparkling, 12,000-year-old giants as they float on their epic journey from Greenland. Even once prime Iceberg season is over, you’ll still enjoy seeing beautiful coastal scenery and a range of marine wildlife from whales and dolphins to seabirds.
Activity rating: Easy

Insider tip: It’s no secret that the people of Newfoundland are talented musicians and gracious hosts. Ask your Vacation Advisor about arranging an evening of fantastic music, comedic skits, and delicious Newfoundland cuisine while in Twillingate.

Overnight in Twillingate.

Day 8 – Drive to Norris Point – Gros Morne National Park
Leave behind the Central Region of Newfoundland and head west through a vast expanse of lush forest and contrasting scenery. Drive north along the Viking Trail to Gros Morne National Park – designated an UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987 for its impressive geological features.

Suggested Add-On: Norris Point Food Tour with Wine Pairings (Extra Cost)
Enjoy Gros Morne’s freshest local seafood and wine pairings during a fun, four course dinner tour. Meet the owners of the establishment, enjoy cultural discovery, and evening entertainment as part of your experience.
  
Activity rating: Easy

Day 9 – Explore Gros Morne National Park
Discover Gros Morne’s towering cliffs, dramatic fjord valleys, glacial lakes, and highland plateaus. This is sure to be a highlight of your Newfoundland adventure.

• Included Activity: Western Brook Pond Tour
Included today is a spectacular Western Brook Pond Fjord Boat Tour – the only way, other than by helicopter to see the spectacular Western Brook Gorge. Enjoy a 45-minute boardwalk stroll to the dock before enjoying a leisurely cruise into the gorge – be humbled by nature as you see the dramatic ravine-like sides of this inland fjord tower over 600 metres above you. The water here is some of the purest in the world.
Activity rating: Moderate

Insider tip: If you haven’t had a chance to hear live music in Newfoundland, this is the time. Let us make a reservation for you to Anchors Aweigh, for an evening of comedy and music. This show is often sold out! Runs Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays.

Overnight in Norris Point.

Day 10 – Norris Point to Woody Point – Explore the South Side
A short hour-long drive brings you to Woody Point, a vibrant and beautiful seaside town with The Tablelands as its backdrop. Stop by the Discovery Centre for help in making the most of your day on the southern side of Gros Morne National Park.
 

• Suggested Add-On: St. Anthony & Quirpon Lighthouse Inn
Ask your Fresh Tracks Canada Vacation Advisor about arranging additional days to drive north along the Viking Trail to visit St. Anthony and the Quirpon Lighthouse Inn. On the way, explore L’Anse Aux Meadows UNESCO site, showcasing mysterious Viking remains. On Quirpon Island, you will stay in a refurbished light-keeper’s residence, on the northernmost tip of the Great Northern Peninsula. In season Quirpon Island is one of Newfoundland’s best locations for iceberg viewing as they drift the Labrador Current on their journey south. The waters here are a rich feeding ground, meaning excellent whale viewing. Expect to see minke and humpback whales in season, as well as orca and right whales.

Overnight in Woody Point.

Day 11 – Discover Gros Morne National Park
Immerse yourself in the spectacular beauty of the land and the charm of its people on one of the memorable experience available to you today. Your local guide will bring to life the nature, culture and history of Gros Morne National Park. 

Explore Gros Morne today by choosing from the following 2 options:

• Option 1: Gros Morne Privately Guided Hike
With just a guide head out for a full day of adventure. This experience is perfect for those seeking local knowledge of plants, animals, or geology – your guide will be an experienced wilderness leader, with a wealth of knowledge. Hiking destinations vary including a 9-hour hike along the earth’s inner mantle on the Tablelands or an easier 4-hour hike to the coastal wonder, Green Gardens. Ask you Vacation Advisor to help pick the ideal hike for you. A picnic lunch is included.
Activity rating: Moderate–Challenging

• Option 2:  Cultural Explorer Tour
On this full day experience, explore a specific community in the park and dig deeper to unravel life in a small, Newfoundland community. Each day trip features a scenic trail, lunch at a local hot spot, and an artist studio visit along with demonstration.
Activity rating: Easy

Overnight in Woody Point.

Day 12 – Vacation Ends – Gros Morne to Deer Lake
Say goodbye to the awe-inspiring island you’ve come to know so well as you make the 1-2-hour drive to Deer Lake for your journey home.

Insider Tips: Ask your Vacation Advisor about adding a hotel night near the airport to avoid an early wake-up and driving in the dark, as most flights depart at dawn.  

Start Dates

2020 Trip Start Dates
Daily from late May to late-September*

2021 Trip Start Dates
Daily from late May to late-September*

*Note:
Some activities run on certain days, or at certain times during the season
• Icebergs are best viewed through late May and June

Pricing

Prices of this trip vary by departure date, hotel class and the choice of activities. Request your quote to check availability or to book this trip.

  • Accommodations

    Accommodations

    Below are examples of the places you can stay on this trip. Please get in touch to discuss your options and to check availability.

    Fisher’s Loft Inn

    Fisher’s Loft Inn

    Nestled amid the hills on a winding, quiet back lane, Fishers’ Loft is a 4½ star inn, overlooking the old fishing and boat-building harbour of Ship Cove. A picturesque fishing port in Port Rexton, the inn is in the perfect spot to enjoy nearby Skerwink Trail, Trinity Bay or head to Terra Nova National Park and Golf Course.

    Bluewater Lodge

    Bluewater Lodge

    BlueWater Lodge and Retreat is a secluded lakefront property overlooking the surrounding landscape. Nestled in its natural setting surrounded by forest, marsh and water, this is the ideal place to experience a unique and special environment.

  • What's Included

    What's Included

    These are the places and experiences to look forward to on this trip.

    Accommodations:
    • Accommodation for 11 nights in historic hotels and inns

    St. John’s Activity Included:
    • Historical St. John’s and Cape Spear Tour

    Southern Avalon Activity Options:
    Choose 1 of 2:
    1. Witless Bay Puffin and Whale Watch Cruise
    2. Private Half Day Sea Kayaking (Extra Cost)
    Suggested Add-on:
    • Ferryland Lighthouse Picnic (Wed-Sun – Extra Cost)

    Trinity Activity Options:
    Choose 1 of 2:
    1. Zodiac Whale Watching Tour
    2. Trinity Bay History and Nature Boat Tour

    Twillingate Activity Included:
    • Iceberg and Nature Zodiac Tour

    Gros Morne Activity Options:
    Day 1: Included Activity
    • Western Brook Pond Tour

    Day 2: Choose 1 of 2:
    1. Gros Morne Privately Guided Hike
    2. Full Day Cultural Explorer Tour

    Gros Morne Suggested-Add-Ons:
    • Norris Point Food Tour with Wine Pairings (Tue, Thu, Sat, additional cost)
    • Anchors Aweigh Music and Comedy Show (Mon, Wed, Fri – Extra Cost)

    Meal Inclusions:
    • Feature Dinner in Trinity
    • Most breakfasts at your accommodation (varies by location)

    Car Rental Inclusions:
    • Intermediate sized car rental
    • Loss Damage Waiver (LDW) on car rental
    • Airport surcharges
    • Unlimited Kilometres
    • Third Party Liability Insurance Coverage
    • Fee for 1 additional driver
    • Vehicle licensing fee

    Other Inclusions:
    • National Parks Pass (valid for National Parks, National Marine Conservation Areas and National Historic Sites)
    • Digital Travel Documents
    • Fresh Tracks Canada customer service – from the time you book, you are assigned your own personal Vacation Coordinator whom you can reach out to with any questions or requests.

    Suggested Add-On: Fogo Island Inn
    • 3 nights at the Fogo Island Inn
    • Full Meal Plan
    • Welcome Island Orientation
    • Additional car rental time

    Suggested Add-On: St. Anthony & Quirpon Island
    • 1 night of accommodation in St. Anthony
    • 2 nights accommodation at Quirpon Lighthouse
    • Admission to Norstead Viking Village
    • Visit to L’Anse aux Meadows
    • Boat transfers to and from Quirpon Island
    • All meals while at the Quirpon Island Lighthouse
    • Day tour while on the island
    • Additional car rental time

    Important Schedule and Trip Notes:
    • All tours and activities are subject to availability. Some tours run on certain days of the week or may run seasonally. Ask your Fresh Tracks Vacation Advisor for more help.


    Not Included

    • Meals, other than those mentioned
    • Gratuities
    • Airfare
    • Car rental exclusions: Fuel and refueling fees, Personal Accident Insurance (PAI), Personal Effects Coverage (PEC), One way drop fee for car rental ($275 payable at counter) from St. John’s to Deer Lake, LDW deductible of up to $500 depending on car type, Fee for drivers under the age of 25
    • Trip Cancellation and Travel Medical Insurance (highly recommended, ask us for a quote)
    • Canadian Federal Taxes

    Ideas to customize your trip

    Think of this itinerary as just a starting point. These are some of the experiences you can add-on to personalize your trip.

    • For those who are feeling adventurous, ask about including things such as sea kayaking, day hikes in Gros Morne Park or the East Coast trail
    • Add a stay on Quirpon Island or Fogo Island, for a once in a lifetime Newfoundland experience
    • Combine this trip with our Exploring Nova Scotia & PEI self drive adventure
    • Add on a few nights in St. Anthony and explore more of the area and L’Anse Aux Meadows National Historic Site
    • Add on a boat ride to Nova Scotia and keep exploring Canada!

  • Customer Reviews  (9)

    We were both pleased with all the side trips you had scheduled for us

    Star Rating 5

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    My favorite part of the trip was seeing so many puffins. My husbands was the Viking Village. We were both pleased with all the side trips you had scheduled for us.

    We loved the east coast

    Star Rating 4

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    We loved the east coast, especially St. John's. It was a fun area. The Ferry Lighthouse picnic was wonderful. We could have used an extra day in this area. We also loved Trinity, the Artisan Inn was wonderful. The Rugged Beauty Boat tour was a highlight of the trip and it was nice to have the time in this area.

    This was a great way to see Newfoundland

    Star Rating 5

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    This was a great way to see Newfoundland. Small villages like Trinity and Greenspond were an eyeopener on how things were and are.

    The service provided was first class

    Star Rating 5

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    Seeing all the icebergs and the ice packed sea at Fogo Island was awesome. Everyone we met was very friendly and helpful. They are all very hard working people and some of the nicest people we have met. The staff at Fogo Island Inn were incredible. We had a health issue and the were very accommodating. It was also a thrill to be seated next to David Letterman and his family at dinner! Overall the service provided was first class. Seeing the various fishing towns was very memorable...like stepping back in time. It was also a thrill to see the puffins, cariboo and moose.

    The whole trip was very enjoyable

    Star Rating 5

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    The whole trip was very enjoyable. The additional tours that were arranged were mostly exceptional. Fresh Tracks were, and continue to be, very helpful. Our experience was excellent.

    It was a fabulous experience from start to finish

    Star Rating 5

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    It was a fabulous experience from start to finish. There was never a question about our reservations when we turned over our vouchers which was very reassuring. The accommodations were first class and we felt confident each time we checked into a hotel that we would be happy with our room. The activities that were included were very worthwhile and we enjoyed them.

    One of our best trips ever

    Star Rating 5

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    Our trip was a delightful and varied experience. From the luxury of Fogo, to the great geology and hiking at Gros Morne. The people we met were just great. There were excellent learning opportunities, including a top notch exhibit at The Rooms in St. Johns on the role of Newfoundland in WW1. One of our best trips ever.

    Thanks for arranging everything

    Star Rating 5

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    All I can say is WOW! Newfoundland was like Maine on steroids. Overall a great itinerary. Thanks for arranging everything, I got to fulfill my lifelong dream of visiting L'Anse-aux-Meadows. Thanks again and cheers.

    Thank you for a fabulous trip

    Star Rating 5

    Read full review...

    My husband and I wanted to go somewhere different, somewhere natural and unspoilt, where we could explore and journey and not be constantly fed the commercial fare of the standard tourist locations. We found the perfect venue for our travels. Newfoundland is beautiful and very natural. A visit to this part of Canada is bound to be an adventure. If you yearn for open space, clean, fresh air, a rugged landscape and the opportunity to experience life as it is lived in isolated communities that are steeped in history, this is the place! This is a very special place and one we will never forget. In short, if you like Fresh Tracks adventures you will like Newfoundland. Don't just take my word for it, get out there and experience it for yourself. And thank you Fresh Tracks for a fabulous trip!

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