Western

“A Special Place Of Natural Beauty & Human History”

Spectacular landscapes, a vibrant cultural 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, Western 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 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

Little Beauties

An award-winning museum of nature experience, one of only three in North America. Situated in a restored historic building, this 3-floor exhibit features exotic insects and arachnids from all over the world like a working beehive, active leaf-cutter ant colony, and butterfly atrium garden to sit amongst thousands of butterflies.

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 watch the transformation unfold inside their facility where jams, jellies, sauces, vinegars, teas, and drinks are made. 

A Night To Remember

An evening of top-notch Newfoundland entertainment and fun at a quaint pub in a tiny coastal town of 50 people. A great mix of tourists and locals mingle here. Get ‘screeched in’ (kiss the cod and become an honorary Newfoundlander), sample pub grub, and try your musical hand on the ‘ugly stick’.

Rustic Newfoundland

An early 20th century merchant building and craft shop chalk full of local creations such as sweaters, mitts, weavings, quilts, pottery, and carvings. Loft restaurant on-site serving local dishes like pan-fried cod, chowder, moose pie, seafood platters, and turkey dinners. Rustic ambience with chairs crafted from barrels and patio dining overlooking bay.

Evolution’s Eras

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

Feel The History

Guided tour of restored saltbox heritage house filled with artifacts that narrate Newfoundland’s history since the early 20th century. Craft store with a selection of local handmade works and a small cafe for a Newfie mug-up of homemade bread and molasses, tea and coffee onsite, with spectacular lookouts of neighbouring Bonne Bay and the Tablelands.

Shadows & Sagas

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

Outside The Box

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

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 earth experience them, NL and Australia. The first forms of life to release free oxygen into the atmosphere and the closest thing to seeing what early life really looked like.

A Viking Judgment

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 accuses another of a crime. Includes ‘all you can eat’ Newfoundland buffet with jiggs dinner, peas pudding, moose stew, fish and brewis, salmon, muscles, lobster, calamari, cod, and fish cakes.

50 Centuries

Guided tour to active archaeological sites of Maritime Archaic Indians, Groswater/Dorset Paleo-Eskimos, and current occupants. Interpretative centre with living/tool production sites, heritage room, and geological display nearby. Craft shop of naturally produced works and tea room offering local dishes onsite.

Fishing footpaths

Step inside this restored inshore fishery premises occupied by an early Twentieth-Century family for over 30 years. Includes a fish store, home and cabin, beach houses, boathouse and workshop, as well as, numerous artifacts such as handcrafted wood planked boats and fishing gear. Be sure you also try your hand at heading, gutting, and splitting cod fish. 

Birding Paradise

A 925-hectare natural habitat recognized internationally as an important wetland and bird area. A lush green valley and untouched estuary sheltered by mountains, home to over 150 species of birds and 19 species of waterfowl including song birds, raptor species, American bittern, great blue heron, land fowl, and red-winged blackbird. 

Underworlds

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 easily enter with smaller passages for more adventurous explorers. 


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