Newfoundland and Labrador is the easternmost province in Canada. The mainland Labrador and the island of Newfoundland are in the Atlantic region of the country. The total area is just over four hundred thousand square kilometers. It is home to over half a million people with most of them residing in Newfoundland and other smaller islands around. Most of the populace lives on Avalon Peninsula. When you describe Newfoundland and Labrador in such typical manner, there is hardly anything exotic or quaint, special or even remotely enticing.
History of Newfoundland and Labrador
Newfoundland is named so for a reason. This is where the Europeans landed and established their first settlement in the New World. It is a different story that they wanted to find a sea route to India and not America. Almost half a millennium before the Europeans lead their expeditions and colonized the New World, the Vikings had arrived at Newfoundland and made it their home. Newfoundland and Labrador is hence the home to the oldest modern civilization in North America. It is the first to watch the sun rise across the Atlantic. It is a natural wonder that has managed to retain its splendor despite centuries of development.
The Unique Province of Canada
Come to think of it, Newfoundland and Labrador are closer to Greenland than it is to Toronto, which explains the stark difference in climate, the wondrous seasonal variations and the thrilling landscape. Newfoundland and Labrador is a friendly place. It is known for its solitary wilderness, but it also has a vibrant culture. The region is gifted with a rich history, mesmerizing natural wonders, marvelous coastlines, icebergs, and breaching whales.
Newfoundland and Labrador have a temperate climate. It is thus perfect during spring through summer and the fall. The winters are enticing too. You could embark on outdoor expeditions and indulge in kayaking and hiking through the cooler months. You can try your skills at skiing, snowmobiling,
and snowboarding when the landscape freezes during winter. The island and the mainland at the most easterly edge of the continent has vibrant cities, distinct mountains, historical ports, scenic rivers, picturesque waterfalls and long winding coastlines. If you are up for an adventure, there is no dearth of places to explore and activities to indulge in.
Natural Environment of Newfoundland and Labrador
Newfoundland and Labrador have vast stretches of barrens, rock formations that are perhaps as old as the world, boreal forests and captivating coastlines. The province is a haven for birdwatchers, wildlife enthusiasts and naturists. The wildness is at its natural best. While the moose, seabirds and caribou would keep you busy, there is a diverse marine life off the coast. The province has a National Park Reserve and as many as three National Parks. There are eighteen ecological reserves and several botanical gardens.
Road trip from Toronto to Newfoundland
Driving from Toronto to Newfoundland will take two days. You would need to stop and spend a night somewhere in Quebec. Make reservations for your en route needs as it gets busy during the high season. It is perhaps almost certain that you would be traveling sometime during spring through summer or fall so you will be during the high season. Don’t just reserve accommodations, book a ferry as well and make sure you have a cabin. It is best to choose the night crossing if you are heading for Port aux Basque. Check the ferry timings. Ferries to Argentia are scheduled every other day. Refer to the Marine Atlantic schedule. Avoid driving at night or after dusk when you get to Newfoundland. You may run into a moose.
You should drive as much as you can on your first day. You would be fresh and you can make good time with such a strategy. Go as near to Fredericton as you can and leave around six hours or so to get to North Sydney. You can stay at Travelodge Fredericton. It is along the highway and an affordable place to stay. Start early every day and rest as much as you can at night. This is also why you should take the nighttime crossing aboard an Argentia ferry. Take one that departs at half past five in the evening.
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