Western

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

Stretching 750 km 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’ll trek ancient mountain fjords, through forested valleys and wetlands and across meadows of wildflowers and berries.

This 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, as well as a 1,000-year-old Viking settlement in L’Anse aux Meadows.

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 thriving cultural force in the region.

Many museums here highlight the trials and triumphs of the peoples who settled this part of the province.

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

Today, the region also remains the cultural heart of Franco-Newfoundland, where for more than 300 years, French fisherman and their descendants have maintained a distinct culture and kept their language alive!

Places You’ll Visit

Unforgettable Experiences

Nature’s Little Beauties

An award-winning, interactive museum of nature experience, one of only three such places in 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’ll sit among 1,000 butterflies.

Bog Berry Barrens

NL’s only economusee with products made from unique, wild berries. Guided boardwalk tour takes you to bogs where 30 berry plants thrive including 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 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 Newfoundland 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 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.

Live The History

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

Shadows & Sagas

Step inside a reconstructed viking sod building at North America’s only authenticated Norse site. Spend your evening around the skáli “kitchen” fire with Straumfjörð Vikings to toast the deeds of Leif Eriksson and crew. An intriguing retelling of the heroic and tragic Vinland Sagas and Norse myths. Try some spiced juice made from local partridge berries as you 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 made from recycled lobster traps, individually hand-carved characters and other sculptured pieces. Each extremely colourful creation has a ‘from the heart’ story to tell you about rural ‘outport’ Newfoundland and its distinct people. Preserving a piece of the past for future generations, these are exceptional works done with love, originality and creativity.

The 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 in the world to experience them, here and in Australia. First form of life to release free oxygen into the atmosphere. Fascinating phenomena and the closest thing you’ll ever see to what early life looked like.

Judgment In A Viking Court

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 Of Living

Guided tour to active archaeological sites of Maritime Archaic Indians, Groswater/Dorset Paleoeskimos and current occupants. Amazing nterpretative centre on-site with living and tool production sites, heritage room and geological display. An incredible look at 5000 years of human history. Also stop by the craft shop located here with unique works made of natural products. Stop a spell in the adjoining tea room and try some yummy, authentic local foods.

A Day In The Life Of A Fishing Family

Your trip back in time to experience traditional Newfoundland culture. A restored inshore fishery premises occupied by a early 20th century family for +30 years including fish store, home and cabin, beach houses, boathouse and workshop. Artifacts include hand-crafted wood planked boats and fishing gear. 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

925-hectare natural habitat recognized internationally as an important wetland/bird area. Lush green valley and untouched estuary sheltered by mountains. Home to 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. Your haven for wildlife and nature watching.

The World Down Under

Explore a 1 km, world-class cavern system that’s been featured on Discovery Channel. Led by experienced guides, you’ll 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. A real caving trip that requires you to climb, crawl and stoop. Tour individually tailored to each participant’s ability.

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