Exploring Newfoundland in an RV: A Road Trip Adventure
Exploring Newfoundland in an RV: A Road Trip Adventure

Exploring Newfoundland in an RV: A Road Trip Adventure

Newfoundland, Canada‘s easternmost province, is a land of rugged beauty, vibrant culture, and untamed wilderness. While it may not be the first destination that comes to mind for an RV or campervan road trip, it’s an increasingly popular choice for adventurous travelers looking to escape the crowds and immerse themselves in the wild landscapes of the Atlantic coast. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll take you through the highlights, best time to visit, key stops, route details, and places to stay while exploring Newfoundland in an RV.

Highlights of a Newfoundland RV Road Trip

Before we delve into the nitty-gritty details, let’s get a taste of what makes Newfoundland such a captivating destination for an RV road trip.

Gros Morne National Park

Gros Morne National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a natural wonder that should not be missed. The park boasts stunning fjords, ancient mountains, and a variety of hiking trails. Marvel at the Tablelands, where you can witness the Earth’s mantle exposed to the surface, creating a surreal, Martian-like landscape. Hike the Gros Morne Mountain trail for panoramic views or take a boat tour through Western Brook Pond to explore its pristine waters.

2. L’Anse aux Meadows

Step back in time at L’Anse aux Meadows, the only authenticated Norse settlement in North America. Explore the reconstructed Viking village and learn about the history and culture of the Norse people who arrived here over a thousand years ago. It’s a fascinating glimpse into the past and a testament to Newfoundland’s rich heritage.

3. Iceberg Alley

Newfoundland is famous for its Iceberg Alley, where colossal icebergs drift down from the Arctic each spring and early summer. Witnessing these massive ice giants from the comfort of your RV or campervan is a breathtaking experience. The best time to catch a glimpse of icebergs is from late May to early June.

4. Signal Hill

For panoramic views of St. John’s and the Atlantic Ocean, make your way to Signal Hill. This historic site offers hiking trails, the iconic Cabot Tower, and a rich history tied to Marconi’s first transatlantic wireless transmission. It’s an ideal spot for a picnic and a dose of Newfoundland’s history.

5. The Viking Trail

The Viking Trail takes you on a journey through the western coast of Newfoundland, offering picturesque views, charming fishing villages, and access to Gros Morne National Park. Along the way, you can explore the coastal communities, try local seafood delicacies, and immerse yourself in the province’s unique culture.

Best Time to Visit Newfoundland in an RV

Newfoundland’s climate can be challenging, with cool summers and the possibility of unpredictable weather, so choosing the right time to visit is crucial for a comfortable and enjoyable road trip. The best time for an RV adventure in Newfoundland is during the late spring to early fall months:

Late May to Early June

This period offers the advantage of fewer tourists, allowing you to explore the island’s attractions without the crowds. The weather is generally cool, with temperatures ranging from 5°C to 15°C (41°F to 59°F), so pack accordingly.

July and August

Summer in Newfoundland brings milder temperatures, with highs around 20°C to 25°C (68°F to 77°F). These months are ideal for hiking, wildlife watching, and enjoying outdoor activities. However, keep in mind that this is the peak tourist season, so campgrounds and popular spots may be busier.

September to Early October

As the summer crowds disperse, September and early October provide a quieter and more peaceful experience. The fall foliage adds a splash of vibrant colors to the landscape, making it a fantastic time for photography and hiking. Be prepared for cooler temperatures as autumn sets in.

Key Stops on Your Newfoundland RV Adventure

To make the most of your RV road trip in Newfoundland, plan your route carefully and include these must-visit destinations along the way:

1. St. John’s

Start your journey in the provincial capital of St. John’s, known for its colorful row houses, vibrant arts scene, and historic sites like Signal Hill. Enjoy fresh seafood at local restaurants and explore the city’s unique charm.

2. Gros Morne National Park

Gros Morne National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage site and a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. Hike the Gros Morne Mountain, explore fjords, and take in the stunning scenery of Western Brook Pond.

3. Twillingate

Known as the “Iceberg Capital of the World,” Twillingate is a must-visit for iceberg and whale watching. The town’s rugged coastline and charming fishing villages make it a picturesque stop on your journey.

4. Bonavista Peninsula

The Bonavista Peninsula offers dramatic coastal views, lighthouses, and opportunities for bird watching. Don’t miss a visit to Cape Bonavista, where you can spot puffins and explore the historic Ryan Premises.

5. L’Anse aux Meadows

Step back in time at L’Anse aux Meadows, where Viking settlers established a presence over a thousand years ago. Explore the archaeological site and learn about Norse history in North America.

6. Terra Nova National Park

Terra Nova National Park is an outdoor lover’s paradise, with hiking trails, kayaking opportunities, and pristine lakes. It’s an excellent place to reconnect with nature.

Now that you have an idea of the key stops, let’s map out the route for your Newfoundland RV adventure.

Route Details for Your Newfoundland RV Road Trip

Planning your route is a crucial step in ensuring a smooth and enjoyable road trip in Newfoundland. Here’s a suggested itinerary that covers the major highlights of the island:

Day 1-3: St. John’s

  • Start your journey in St. John’s.
  • Explore the city, visit Signal Hill, and enjoy fresh seafood.
  • Stock up on supplies and essentials for your RV trip.

Day 4-5: Gros Morne National Park

  • Drive west to Gros Morne National Park.
  • Spend a couple of days hiking, exploring fjords, and taking in the stunning landscapes.

Day 6-7: Twillingate

  • Head north to Twillingate.
  • Take boat tours to see icebergs and whales.
  • Explore the charming town and its coastal beauty.

Day 8-9: Bonavista Peninsula

  • Drive to the Bonavista Peninsula.
  • Visit Cape Bonavista and the historic Ryan Premises.
  • Enjoy coastal walks and bird watching.

Day 10-11: L’Anse aux Meadows

  • Continue north to L’Anse aux Meadows.
  • Explore the Viking settlement and the surrounding area.
  • Learn about the history of Norse exploration in North America.

Day 12-14: Terra Nova National Park

  • Head southeast to Terra Nova National Park.
  • Spend your final days hiking, kayaking, and enjoying the park’s natural beauty.
  • Wrap up your Newfoundland RV adventure with a memorable outdoor experience.

Places to Stay with Your Campervan

When it comes to RV camping in Newfoundland, you have a variety of options, from well-equipped campgrounds to more remote and off-the-grid locations. Here are some recommended places to stay:

1. Pippy Park Campground, St. John’s

  • Located in the heart of St. John’s.
  • Offers full hookups, showers, and laundry facilities.
  • Convenient for exploring the city.

2. Gros Morne National Park Campgrounds

  • Several campgrounds within the park, including Green Point and Shallow Bay.
  • Limited facilities, but you’ll be surrounded by nature.
  • Make reservations well in advance, especially in the summer.

3. Dildo Run Provincial Park, Twillingate

  • Picturesque campsite with ocean views.
  • Limited facilities, but a peaceful and scenic location.
  • Ideal for those seeking a quieter camping experience.

4. Trinity Eco-Tours Campground, Bonavista Peninsula

  • Offers serviced and unserviced sites.
  • Stunning coastal views and proximity to hiking trails.
  • Eco-friendly campground with a rustic feel.

5. Pistolet Bay Provincial Park, L’Anse aux Meadows

  • Located near the historic site of L’Anse aux Meadows.
  • Basic amenities, but a convenient base for exploring the area.
  • A unique camping experience near Viking history.

6. Malady Head Municipal Park, Terra Nova National Park

  • Scenic campsites along the shores of Clode Sound.
  • Access to hiking trails and water-based activities.
  • A tranquil spot to unwind and connect with nature.

With these campgrounds as your options, you can plan your overnight stays along the route and enjoy the freedom of RV travel in Newfoundland.

In conclusion, Newfoundland offers a truly unforgettable RV road trip experience, with its stunning landscapes, rich culture, and unique wildlife encounters. From the bustling streets of St. John’s to the remote wilderness of Gros Morne and the historic Viking sites of L’Anse aux Meadows, this island province has something to offer every adventurer.

So, pack your RV, hit the road, and embark on a journey of discovery in Newfoundland. Whether you’re seeking breathtaking scenery, wildlife encounters, or a taste of local culture, you’ll find it all on this captivating island.

Here are some useful links to help plan your Newfoundland RV adventure:

Useful Links

  1. Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism
  2. Parks Canada – Gros Morne National Park
  3. Twillingate Tourism
  4. Bonavista Peninsula Tourism
  5. Terra Nova National Park

Plan your trip carefully, and you’ll be rewarded with an unforgettable RV adventure in one of Canada’s most scenic and culturally rich regions.