Western

“A Special Place Of Natural Beauty & Human History”

Spectacular landscapes, a thriving heritage scene, and an abundance of outdoor adventures await your western Newfoundland arrival. Stretching 750 kilometers (466 miles) from the southwest corner of the island to the tip of the Great Northern Peninsula, the region is a magnificent series of bays, inlets, jagged headlands, and islands. Along the way, you will trek ancient mountains, meander forested valleys and wetlands, and stroll through meadows of wildflowers and berries.

Western is a place of unique geographical history dating 1.25 billion years, as old as the planet itself, and a relatively young human history, a mere 4,500 years old that is still being uncovered today, including a 1,000-year-old Viking settlement in L’Anse aux Meadows.

Museums and historic sites here highlight the trials, tragedies, and triumphs of the peoples who settled Western. Famous South Seas explorer Captain James Cook mastered his surveying and mapping skills along these very shores during the 1760s. Aboriginal peoples from what is now Quebec and Nova Scotia trapped here long before the first Europeans arrived, including the Mi’kmaq, who remain a proud, vibrant cultural force in the region.

From the early 18th century onward, fishing has been the economic livelihood of Western. Today, the region also represents the cultural heart of Franco-Newfoundland where, for more than 300 years, French fishermen and their descendants have maintained a distinct culture and kept their language alive.

  • Northern Peninsula, Raleigh wooden fishing stage and boardwalk

Places To Visit


Experiences To Cherish

life’s little beauties

Visit this award-winning museum of nature, one of only three of its kind in all of North America. Situated in a restored historic building, this 3-floor exhibit features exotic insects and arachnids from all over the world including a working beehive, an active leaf-cutter ant colony, and a butterfly atrium garden for you to get up close and personal amongst thousands of fluttering butterflies.

the bog berry barrens

NL’s only economusee with products made of pristine, local wild berries. A guided boardwalk tour takes you to the bogs where thirty berry plants thrive including bakeapple, partridgeberry, blueberry, squashberry, and crowberry. Then you shall watch the transformation unfold inside their facility where jams, jellies, sauces, vinegars, teas, and drinks are made, afterwhich, you will have the opportunity to purchase the final product.

a night to remember

Your evening of top-notch Newfoundland entertainment and fun at a quaint pub in a tiny coastal town that boasts just 50 people. There is a great mix of tourists and ‘locals’ to mingle with here. You can get ‘screeched in’ (kiss a cod, then become a certified, honorary Newfoundlander), sample pub grub, and even try your hand on the ‘ugly stick’, a traditional Newfoundland musical instrument.

rustic newfoundland

Step inside this early 20th century merchant building and craft shop that is chalk full of local creations including sweaters, mitts, weavings, quilts, potteries, and carvings. Dine at the on-site loft restaurant which serves local dishes such as pan-fried cod, fish chowder, moose pie, seafood platters, and turkey dinners. A rustic ambience is to be discovered here with chairs crafted from barrels and patio dining overlooking a gorgeous bay.

evolution’s eras

A 90-minute guided walking tour to a Global Boundary Stratotype Section Point (GSSP), an official reference point for the world’s geologic time scale. This divide between the Cambrian and Ordovician systems (500 million year old) is a layered series of shale strata rock formed at the bottom of the ancient ocean Lapetus, and home to the earliest Planktic Graptolite fossils. A jaw dropping evolutionary experience.

feeling the history

Your guided tour of a restored saltbox heritage house filled with artifacts that narrate Newfoundland’s history since the early 20th century. A craft store with a wide selection of local, handmade works and a small cafe for your Newfie ‘mug-up’ (feed) of homemade bread and molasses, tea, and coffee are also on-site. Rounding out your experience are spectacular lookouts of neighbouring Bonne Bay and the Tablelands.

shadows and sagas

Step inside a reconstructed viking sod building at the only documented Norse site in North America for an enriching evening around the skáli ‘kitchen’ fire with Straumfjörð Vikings to toast the deeds of Leif Eriksson and crew. An intriguing retelling of the Vinland Sagas and Norse myths. Try partridge berry spiced juice and then raise your glass with a Viking.

art outside the box

Visit a contemporary art studio with a most unique style of folk art, 3-dimensional wooden pictures that are made of slats from recycled lobster traps and individually hand-carved characters. Each creation has a ‘from the heart’ story about Newfoundland and Labrador’s ‘outport’ people, past and present. This is an artisan preserving a piece of the past for future generations.

the dawn of life

Walk among 650 million-year-old gigantic bun-shaped grey rock fossils called thrombolites. Once living microorganisms, ancient bacteria, and algae, only two places on the planet experience them, NL and Australia. They are the first forms of life to release free oxygen into the atmosphere and the closest thing you will get to seeing what early life really looked like.

viking judgments

Step inside a Leifsburdir sod hut where a Viking chieftain holds high court to lay judgment on an accused. A hilarious, audience-driven show where one audience member will accuse another of a crime. Includes an ‘all you can eat’ Newfoundland buffet with jiggs’ dinner, peas pudding, moose stew, fish and brewis, salmon, muscles, lobster, calamari, cod, fish cakes, and more. Your evening of fun, feuds, and food.

peoples of the past

Guided tour that takes you to three active archaeological sites (Maritime Archaic Indians, Groswater and Dorset Paleo-Eskimos, and current occupants) which span 5,000 years of human history. Includes nearby interpretative centre with living and tool production sites, a heritage room, and a geological display. Craft shop of naturally produced works and a tea room offering local dishes are also on-site.

fishing footpaths

Explore a restored inshore fishery premises that was occupied by an early 20th Century fishing family for more than three decades (1941 to 1975). Site includes a fish store, home, cabin, beach house, boat house, and workshop, as well as, numerous other artifacts including handcrafted wood planked boats, nets, lobster traps, and other fishing gear. Before you leave, do not forget to try your hand at heading, gutting, and splitting a cod fish. 

a birding paradise

Escape to a 925-hectare (2,286 acre) natural habitat recognized internationally as an important wetland and bird area. This lush green valley and untouched estuary is sheltered by mountains, and home to over 150 species of birds, including 19 species of waterfowl. Keep your eyes peeled for songbirds, raptor species, the American bittern, the great blue heron, land fowl, and the red-winged blackbird.

underworld unearthed

Explore this little known, 1 kilometer (0.6 mile), world-class cavern system that has been featured on Discovery Channel. Led by experienced guides, you will walk along a subterranean stream and learn about the forces that created this intricate system of natural cathedrals. Caves are large enough to walk through with smaller passages if you are more adventurous. A thrilling adventure that gets you to the heart of the ‘world down under’.


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