Western

“A Special Place Of Natural Beauty & Human History”

Spectacular landscapes, a vibrant cultural scene and an abundance of outdoor adventures await your Western Newfoundland arrival.

Stretching 750 km (466 miles) from the south west 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 mountain fjords, meander through forested valleys and wetlands and stroll across meadows of wildflowers and berries.

Western Newfoundland is a place of unique geographical history going back 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 the 1,000-year-old Viking settlement in L’Anse aux Meadows.

Many museums and historic sites in the region highlight the trials, tragedies and triumphs of the peoples who settled this part of the province.

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 here.

From the early 18th century onward, fishing has been the economic livelihood of Western.

Today, Western Newfoundland also remains 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 You’ll Visit


Experiences To Cherish

Nature’s Little Beauties

An award-winning, interactive museum of nature experience, one of only three such places in all of North America. Situated in a restored historic building, this 3-floor exhibit features a variety of exotic insects and arachnids from all over the world. Highlights include a working beehive, an active leaf-cutter ant colony and a live tropical butterfly garden where you can sit among thousands of fluttering butterflies.

Bog Berry Barrens

Visit NL’s only economusee with products made from our unique, wild berries. Your guided boardwalk tour takes you to bogs where 30 berry plants thrive including the bakeapple, partridgeberry, blueberry, squashberry and crowberry. Then watch the transformation unfold inside a facility where jams and jellies, sauces and vinegars and teas and drinks are made. Be sure you sit for a cuppa and sample some of these tasty delights.

A Night To Remember

An evening of live, top-notch Newfoundland entertainment at a quaint pub in a tiny coastal town of 50 people. A great mix of tourists and locals here for you to mingle with. Get ‘screeched in’ (kiss the cod and become an honourary Newfoundlander), sample pub grub and try your musical hand on the ‘ugly stick’. Your authentically fun night of rip-roaring music, dancing, great memories and new friendships.

Rustic Newfoundland

Early 20th century merchant building with craft shop chalk full of local hand-made items including sweaters, mitts, weaving, quilts, pottery and carvings. Loft restaurant on-site serving delicious, homemade NL meals like pan-fried cod, chowder, moose pie, halibut, seafood platters and turkey dinner. A rustic ambience with chairs crafted from barrels and a patio overlooking a quiet, gorgeous bay. Your slice of heaven.

Evolutionary Processes

A 90-minute guided walk takes you to a designated Global Boundary Stratotype Section and Point (GSSP), an official international reference point for the world’s geologic time scale. This divide between Cambrian and Ordovician systems (500 million year old) is actually a layered series of shale strata rock that formed the bottom of ancient ocean Lapetus. Home to earliest Planktic Graptolite fossils. A fascinating look into the process of plate tectonics.

Feeling The History

Guided tour of a brilliantly restored heritage house built in a traditional salt box style. This place is filled with artifacts that tells you the great story of Newfoundland history from the early 20th century. Putter in the craft store on-site with a lovely selection of local handmade works. After your walk-through, be sure you have a Newfie mug-up with some delicious homemade bread and molasses, tea and coffee. Then step outside for a spectacular lookout of neighbouring Bonne Bay and the Tablelands.

Shadows & Sagas

Step inside a reconstructed viking sod building at the only authenticated Norse site in all of North America. Spend your evening around the skáli ‘kitchen’ fire with Straumfjörð Vikings to toast the deeds of Leif Eriksson and his courageous crew. An intriguing retelling of the heroic and often tragic Vinland Sagas and Norse myths. Be sure you also try some spiced juice made from local partridge berries as you raise your glass with a Viking.

Art Outside The Box

Your visit to 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 and sculptured pieces. Each of these wonderfully colourful creations has a ‘from the heart’ story that tells you about rural ‘outport’ Newfoundland and its distinct people. An artisan preserving a piece of the past for future generations, these are great works done with love, originality and creativity.

Dawn Of Life

Walk among 650 million-year-old, gigantic bun-shaped grey rock fossils called Thrombolites. Once living micro-organisms, ancient bacteria and algae. Only two places on earth experience them, here and Australia. These are the first forms of life to release free oxygen into the atmosphere. A fascinating phenomena and the closest thing you will get to see to what early life really looked like.

A Viking Court Judgment

Inside a Leifsburdir sod hut, a role playing Viking chieftain holds high court to lay judgment on an accused. Hilarious audience-driven show as one audience member accuses 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 and fish cakes. Your cool evening of food, fun and feuds.

50 Centuries Living

Guided tour to active archaeological sites of Maritime Archaic Indians, Groswater and Dorset Paleoeskimos and current occupants. An amazing interpretative centre with living and tool production sites, heritage room and geological display also on site. An incredible look at 5,000 years of human history. Also drop by the craft shop located here with unique works made only of natural products. Stop a spell in the adjoining tea room and try some authentic, delicious local foods.

Fishing Family foothpath

Your authentically delightful trip back in time to experience traditional Newfoundland culture. A restored inshore fishery premises occupied by an early Twentieth-Century family for over 30 years including a fish store, home and cabin, beach houses, boathouse and workshop. Artifacts include hand-crafted wood planked boats and numerous fishing gear. Be sure you try your hand at heading, gutting and splitting a cod. An authentic connection to the people who made their living from the sea.

Birding In Paradise

A 925-hectare natural habitat and oasis recognized internationally as an important wetland and bird area. Lush green valley and untouched estuary sheltered by surrounding mountains. Home to over 150 species of birds and 19 species of waterfowl including Canada goose, song birds, raptor species, American bittern, great blue heron, greater yellow legs, land fowl and red-winged blackbird. This is your ultimate haven for wildlife and nature watching.

a World Down Under

Explore a little known, 1 km, world-class cavern system that has been featured on the 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. These caves are large enough to easily enter with smaller passages for the more adventurous explorer. A real caving trip that requires you to climb, crawl and stoop. Tours are individually tailored to each participant’s ability.