The 10 Best Places to Photograph in Newfoundland
1. St. John’s - is the capital of Newfoundland, it is the perfect combination of big-city luxury and traditional small-town charm. It is the oldest and most easterly city in North America, and has become a rare destination full of character and charisma, with a contemporary, sophisticated edge.
Wander down the narrow, criss-crossing streets naturally carved by horse and carriage. Pass the colourful jellybean row houses wedged together, lining the sides of steep hills and hidden alleyways. Once you've meandered down to the harbour, look towards the Narrows and imagine a time when the waters were brimming with fishing schooners. And visit Quidi Vidi, the charming village-within-a-city, which embodies the spirit of an old fishing outport.
Hike up nearby Signal Hill through the Battery, where tiny colourful wooden homes cling valiantly to cliff-sides ravaged by ocean waves. The hill is home to the unmistakable, iconic Cabot Tower, a castle-like structure built to commemorate the 400th anniversary of John Cabot’s discovery of Newfoundland. It was here that Marconi famously received the first transatlantic wireless message in 1901.
2. Cape Spear Lighthouse - Stark white Cape Spear Lighthouse pierces a sky swirling with seabirds atop a craggy headland. It overlooks a vast expanse of indigo ocean where glittering processions of icebergs glide by, Humpback whales breach and pods of porpoises send misty spouts into the Atlantic air. On Canada’s easternmost point of land, historic Cape Spear Lighthouse, the oldest surviving lighthouse in Newfoundland and Labrador, offers a glimpse into the lives of 19th century lighthouse keepers and their families.
3. Witless Bay Ecological Reserve - Comprised of four small islands, this reserve is one of nature's greatest wonders anywhere on earth. In summer it is home to millions of seabirds that come to shore to nest and raise their young on the four islands. Whales swim here, especially humpback and minkes. Best seen from a tour boat operating from nearby communities.
This is an absolutely amazing place to capture photographs of humpback whales and seabirds, especially Atlantic puffins. I cannot recommend Captain Wayne's Marine Excursion enough! He definitely caters to photographers and nature lovers, pulling his boat extremely close to the islands so that you can capture the perfect image in great lighting.
4. Gros Morne National Park - It took 485 million years for Mother Nature to create Gros Morne National Park, a place unlike any other on earth. A UNESCO World Heritage Site covering 1,805 square kilometres, the park is a never-ending series of wonders and delights, and a demonstration of the spectacularly raw and enigmatic beauty of the physical world. You can hike this amazing landscape along the earth’s mantle, or climb to life-changing summits. Travel along the water through fjords carved by glaciers millennia ago, leaving behind towering cliffs and thunderous waterfalls.
5. Quirpon Island - Is the province's best location for viewing icebergs as the Labrador Current carries them south. Because of it's location being the northernmost tip of Newfoundland, Quirpon can boast the longest iceberg-viewing season, with the last ones melting in the fall during a good year. Humpback 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 around the island.
Quirpon Lighthouse Inn is the only place to stay on this otherwise deserted island. The Inn features ten beautiful rooms at the base of a still-operating lighthouse and is a Registered Heritage Building. Included in the room price is a zodiac boat ride to and from the island, plus amazing homemade traditional meal.
6. Cape St. Mary’s Ecological Reserve - Cape St. Mary's is the most accessible seabird rookery in North America. Bird Rock is the third-largest nesting site and southernmost colony of northern gannets in North America. Cape St. Mary's is also the southernmost breeding area for thick-billed murres in the world and the southernmost major breeding site for common murres in the northwest Atlantic Ocean. The site is overflowing with perching, diving, and scrambling birds from edge to edge – melding together into an awesome moving, breathing spectacle of colour and sound.
7. Norstead - A Viking Village and Port of Trade on L'Anse aux Meadows, Newfoundland is a non-profit organization that was created to take history out of the exhibit case and place it in the hands of visitors. Join costumed interpreters in the dim light of the Viking-style Chieftain's Hall and listen to mysterious Viking tales. Check out the blacksmith hut forging iron, into weapons. Step aboard the full-scale replica of the Viking ship "Snorri," that made the long journey across the Atlantic Ocean. You can also, get your “runes” told by the wise women, shape clay, visit farm animals, and weave sheeps wool on the loom. This interactive village is great for both the young and old, as a look back into the viking age.
8. Dungeon Provincial Park - Located on the Bonavista Peninsula near the Bonavista Lighthouse. Its most notable feature is a large hole in the ground with two adjacent caves leading to the sea. The "Dungeon" formed when the waves began carving two caves into the sedimentary rock on the ocean side. As the caves got deeper they eventually carved out an area that could no longer support the overhead rock. This resulted in the roof collapsing forming the large sinkhole structure and two caves leading to the ocean. Eventually the roofs of the two caves will collapse and form a sea stack.
9. Elliston Puffin Site - Elliston was once known as Bird Island Cove and with good reason. It is home to numerous seabirds and also the Atlantic Puffin. In fact, we have one of the closest land views of puffins in North America.
10. Trinity Trail Loop Amusement Park - The Trinity Loop is an amazing spot to visit, both for its unique history, and for its modern ghost town feel. A theme park with restaurant, cabins, and petting zoo was developed in the center of the loop, with the tracks continuing to ring around the perimeter and through the hills, which passengers could enjoy from the working train. In 2004 the theme park closed down due to dropping attendance, and the property has seen substantial damage since then. The damages occurred from multiple vandals, and then when Hurricane Igor blew through, even more of the park became destroyed.
For many that live in the Trinity area, the loop is a site of fond memories of their childhood. It may have been their first ever horse-ride, their first ever job, the location for their first ever date, or perhaps just a symbol of summer.
NORTH OF 49 PHOTOGRAPHY: These photography workshops can show you the beauty of Newfoundland.
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