The Very Best of Newfoundland
This is where the sun rises first in North America. Where Vikings landed over 1,000 years ago. This place is home to the oldest settlement and the oldest city in North America, but is the youngest province of Canada.
A vast land, with a relatively small population, Newfoundland and Labrador has some of the friendliest people you'll ever meet. Here, you can immerse yourself in wilderness solitude one day and embrace a vibrant culture at the cutting edge of the contemporary western world the next.
This is a land of rich history and natural wonders: stunning coastlines, breaching whales, icebergs, and some of the most incredible skyscapes you'll ever see.
Why Come to Newfoundland With Me?
I have been travelling to Newfoundland and Labrador for many years now. From Rose Blanche to Gros Morne, north to Quirpon and Labrador, and up and down the south east coast. I have led trips for landscapes, wildlife, icebergs and those wonderful, cute little birds we all love, the Puffins.
In total I have been on six photography trips to Newfoundland, and over the years refined my trips with the best partners in the province to make them perfect for the photographer. My partners for whale and iceberg tours are experienced guides and will get us where humpback whales are each and every trip. My tour partner that owns the lighthouses we stay in make my trips some of my most memorable ones because of the staff, the experience, the fun we have, and most importantly to you... the photography opportunities.
Maximum number of spots: The first 8 days of this trip has a maximum of 6 people in attendance. But I can only take a maximum of 4 people on my entire journey through Newfoundland because of space restrictions. Therefore, I can only offer this 13 day trip to a maximum of 4 people.
Price of the workshop: $7995CDN plus applicable taxes ($5895USD plus applicable taxes)
Workshop Instructor: Kevin Pepper
All accommodation, meals at Quirpon Lighthouse and Cape Anguille Lighthouse Inns, breakfast at Marble Mountain, Unlimited mileage vehicle, four zodiac tours and any entrance fees during this trip.
What’s Not Included?
Items of personal nature, alcohol, meals not mentioned as included, flight from St. Johns to St Anthonys, international flights, visa to enter Canada (if required), anything not listed as included.
Photos from the locations you will visit
Day 1 - You will board your flight from St. Johns to At. Anthonys airport. There you will be picked up and taken to Quirpon Island. Here we visit the island’s unique sites and delicate biology. Take a walk along our cliff-top trails or explore the island following only your whims.
Our stay for these two nights is at the Quirpon Lighthouse Inn. Quirpon (pronounced kar-poon) offers a unique island experience at a 1922 light-keeper’s home on the shores of ‘Iceberg Alley’.
Fully restored, Quirpon Lighthouse Inn features ten beautiful rooms at the base of a still-operating lighthouse and is a Registered Heritage Building.
Located off the northernmost tip of Newfoundland, Quirpon is the province’s best location for viewing icebergs as the Labrador Current carries them south. Quirpon Island boasts the longest iceberg-viewing season in Newfoundland, with the last melting in the fall during a good year.
Whales are constant companions off the shores of Quirpon, often coming close enough to the rocks to be touched. Whale experts ascribe this phenomenon to the underwater topography and ample food supply. In addition to Humbacks and Minke - the presence of which is virtually inevitable - you may spot as many as 27 more species, including Orca, which are being spotted with increasing frequency around Quirpon Island despite becoming a rarer sight elsewhere in Newfoundland.
Quirpon is located on a private island and we have full access to the entire property and have our own lighthouse to photograph
Overnight: Quirpon Lighthouse Inn
Day 2 - Now that you have wandered by land and taken Landscape and seascape photos, it is time to visit the whales and the dozens of icebergs by sea in our private zodiac.
Our guide will take you on an exploration of the coastline not only in search of the massive wonders of this area that float aimlessly down the coastline from Greenland, but also the more subtle beauty...
You will also photograph the Gannets, the Kittiwake colonies and Eider ducks nesting in tiny coves where you can pick mussels from the kayaks if the tide is low and tiny tickles which your boat can squeeze through ensure fun and dozens of photos.
Overnight: Quirpon Lighthouse Inn
Day 3 - Head South to Gros Morne. Just north of Gros Morne keep an eye out for The Arches. This unique rock formation is an ideal spot to stretch your legs. I can never resist the temptation to climb up on the top for a look but perhaps you will have more self-control! A few years ago an adventure race started at The Arches and then headed straight across the Great Northern Peninsula.
This was done on foot and was only the first leg of a multi-day adventure that had the participants hiking, climbing, kayaking and biking in some of the harshest terrain imaginable. If you have been out wandering in the Tuckamore and looking at the mountains, you will appreciate the endurance of these folks.
The white sand beaches near Cow Head which are wonderful and usually empty, very nice for a walk (or a swim, for hardier souls). Tonight enjoy some great local theatre at the Gros Morne Theatre in Cow Head, if you would like to experience the local culture.
Overnight in Gros Morne National Park
Day 4 - Head off to the south side of Gros Morne National Park. Start at the Discovery Centre for an interpretation of the natural and cultural history of the National Park. From the centre you were able to see the Tablelands, the remarkable stretch of Mars like geology that makes this park a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Wander “downtown” Woody Point to explore the shops and waterfront. After building an appetite it is time to head for a meal on a balcony overlooking Bonne Bay. I know the food will be great, but keep one eye on the ocean so you don’t miss whales that might be chasing the capelin into the bay, looking for their own seafood supper
To top the day off, before the sun goes down, it’s a great photoshoot at an impressive waterfall… but the waterfall is not the star of the show, it’s the Atlantic salmon that are jumping up the falls to their spawning grounds. These massive, 20-30lb fish throw themselves just meters from out feet and you can capture them in air, backs arcing… a photoshoot you only see on the Nat Geo channel.
Overnight: South side of Gros Morne
Day 5 - Feeling energetic? Today we will hike the Green Garden Trail that leads you through remarkable biological and geological wonders which are not equaled anywhere else on earth. This is approximately a 45-minute walk down a park trail to the coast. Wander along the coast as long as you like enjoying the seastacks, pillow lava, wild meadows, sea cave and semi-wild sheep. Then - more strenuous walking as you head back up the valley to our vehicle. You will be gone for a few hours, at least, so we will make sure we pack a lunch.
Trout River is a picturesque working fishing village wedged between the Tablelands and the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Take a gentle walk on the Boardwalk and visit the museum, interpretation centre and historic house of Jacob A Crocker, the first settler of Trout River. There are also some wonderful craftspeople so you may be able to get a new pair of socks directly of the clothesline.
A visit to the wharf is a must, not only for the photos, but because it gives you a chance to meet the local fishers and see what is destined for your plate later. Trout River boasts some beautiful walking trails and be certain to drive in back of the community to visit Trout River Pond. When you are overlooking it you have to realize that, as impressive as it is, you can only see about one third of it! There are several restaurants so we won’t go hungry eating local cuisine. After supper, time to drive around Bonne Bay to the north side of Gros Morne.
Visit some of the sites on the north side of the park including Lobster Cove Head Lighthouse, Norris Point Look-off, the Ethie shipwreck and Rocky Harbour.
If time permits we will do a return trip to Sir Richard Squires Provincial Park where the Atlantic Salmon jump the falls in their struggle to reach the headwaters of the Humber River. This is a great spot to relax and watch the salmon leaping while you try for the perfect photo of them in the air. This actually is the spot where National Geographic comes when they are looking for that ideal shot.
Overnight: South side of Gros Morne
Day 6 and Day 7 - This morning we head further south to Cape Anguille Lighthouse. The Inn at Cape Anguille is a restored century-old light-keeper’s home in a beautiful corner of western Newfoundland and is designated as a Registered Heritage Structure for Newfoundland and Labrador. The Atlantic Ocean provides the temperamental backdrop to the peaceful landscape, dotted with horses and sheep wandering the meadows and hills.
Nature lovers will enjoy the eagles patrolling the cliffs and silhouetted osprey carrying fish to their young as the sun sets on a limitless sea. Avid birdwatchers will delight at the variety and number of rare birds that call this place their home. Hikers and sightseers will revel in chance to walk the hills and coastline around the lighthouse, enjoying agreeable terrain and spectacular views, while those less inclined to hike can relax and enjoy the sights and sounds of the sea, birds hopping by your doorstep and the gentle seaside path that starts at our lawn.
Lovely white sand beaches at the provincial park lure you in for a stroll and perhaps even a swim, while the shopkeepers and craftspeople of the area are warm and welcoming.
This corner of Newfoundland is the most likely location for spotting blue whales, the largest animals ever known to have lived on the Earth. Keep an eye out for spouts on the horizon!
A very rare beluga whale has also called the area its summer home, providing exquisite company for swimmers and paddlers alike. With luck, our bubbly buddy will return to renew friendships.
During our time here we will also take a day long boat tour (weather permitting). This is a tour of the now-resettled remote communities of Grand Bruit and Petites, with a bonus stop in the still-active fishing village of La Poile. It includes a full day of boating with interpretation and close up views of sea birds, marine life and possibly whales. You will look for beach-combing critters like otters and wild game such as caribou, moose and bear which often frequent the shoreline.
La Poile is one of the last surviving isolated Newfoundland villages that is completely dependent on the commercial fishery for survival. Our skipper is from La Poile and knows the area intimately. You will learn about lobster and crab fishing, and you will try for a cod or mackerel.
If you long for fresh air and would like to feel as if you've stepped back in time, this is the excursion for you.
Overnight: Cape Anguille Inn
Day 8 - We travel back to Marble Mountain Resort. We will check into our hotel and then head to bay of Islands. You will want to make sure you camera is ready for 3 hours of breathtaking scenery and wildlife in the Bay of Islands. Bald Eagles are abundant in this area as well as other animals such as moose and sea birds.
Overnight at Marble Mountain Resort
Day 9 – We will drop the guests off at the Deer Lake Airport that have decided to just to the Viking Trail and Gros Morne route at lunch time.
From here you will continue with me to photograph more icebergs humpback whales, the largest puffin colony in North America and the Gannet colony.
Together we will head east towards Gander. One we arrive in Gander we will drop our luggage and head directly to Twillengate or Newtown (depending on iceberg flow and weather).
Stay in Gander, Newfoundland.
Day 10 and 11 - Its an early morning breakfast on the morning of Day 10 before we head south to Bonavista Bay. First, we head to Newtown. Newtown is called the Venice of Newfoundland. Imagine the past meeting the present! Meet characters from the past in our homes, school, fish stage, gardens, and Sealers Interpretation Centre. But best of all are the photographic opportunities of this spectacular colourful town as the sun rises during the golden hour.
Here you will see beautiful coastal Newfoundland at its finest. Our time here will be spent on two zodiac tours tracking down humpback whales and the cathedral icebergs as they travel down the coastal waters of iceberg alley.
You will also visit the largest puffin colony in North America in Elliston. When we are not on the water there is also plenty to see and photograph. From the charming town of Trinity, to the lighthouses of Bonavista and Trinity, and all the coastal jagged landscapes your camera can take.
Stay at Round da Bay Inn on both nights
On the morning of Day 12 - We head south towards our hotel in St. Johns. Our final destination, St. Johns. But before we get to our hotel, there is plenty to see and photograph. Our choices, depending on weather, and your appetite to photograph include, Hearts Content, Cavendish and a trip to see the gannet colony along the cliffs in Cape St. Marys.
Todays drive can see you photographing more lighthouses, icebergs, gannets, picturesque fishing huts and the every popular jelly bean row and the battery just outside of St. Johns.
Stay in St. Johns.
Day 13 - The best time to photograph Cape Spear is early morning as the sun rises. I will have you put in the right place to capture the first sunrise in North America. We will spend the morning at the lighthouse with a trip to the Battery and Jelly Bean row before returning you to the hotel to grab your bags.
I can have you at the St. Johns airport by between noon and 1pm so you can catch your flight home.
Contact me if this is of interest to you and we will get you registered with my tour company. Just click here and we will see you in Newfoundland