When I started planning my Porter Escape to St.John’s, I knew that I wanted to visit Gros Morne National Park. This amazing national park is massive and diverse. Here, mountains, beaches, bogs, lighthouses and more can be found. The park also has some of the highest density of moose in the world. Alas, I didn’t see any moose, but maybe next time.
Gros Morne is considerably far from St.John’s. Over 600 kilometers away, to be exact. If you feel up for a road trip, you can get there within 6 hours driving from St.John’s. On the way, you can stop at Twillingate and go whale watching, or catch a glimpse of icebergs depending the time of year. If you’d prefer to fly, you can fly to Stephenville, Newfoundland and then drive for about 2 hours to reach the park. Or, you can fly to Deer Park, Newfoundland and driving for half an hour to the park.
What to see
The Tablelands: As you drive into Gros Morne, you see rolling green hills and a curious yellow hued mountain. Those are the Tablelands. They actually used to be part of an ancient sea bed that was pushed up when two ancient continents collided. Because of this, it’s one of the best places to see the Earth’s mantle. Unfortunately, when we were we had terrible weather. Even though it was July, it was bitterly cold, windy and raining. Despite that, we had already come so far so we decided to hike one of the smaller trails. We hiked the Tablelands Interpretive Trail (4km). It was a nice and easy hike, I just wish the weather had co-operated!
Lobster Cove Lighthouse is located at the other side of the park in Rocky Harbour. Trails around the lighthouse lead to tide pools when the tide is low, and you can walk along the coast if you follow the trail. Inside the lighthouse is a historic interpretation centre about the history of the lighthouse and lightkeepers.
Where to Stay & Eat in Woody Point:
Western Brook Pond
The next morning, we departed for the highlight of our trip. We had tickets to the Western Brook Pond Boat Tour in the park. To get to the boat launch, we had to hike for about 30- 45 minutes. It was a fairly easy hike with beautiful scenery.
Once you arrive, there’s an area with washrooms and food for sale. The boat arrived and we hopped in!
The tour was a guided tour that took us between the former fjords. Why are they former fjords? Because salt water no longer runs through them. The tour was one of the best I’ve been on. Our tour guide showed us fantastic waterfalls (Pissing Mare falls was memorable), told us legends of the area and pointed out where herds of caribou pass through. The entire time we were passing breathtaking scenery like incredibly high falls, lush green mountains, rolling hills and steep cliffs.. I took so many photos!
The experience can’t be beat.The boat was full, and tours were sold out ahead of time. I highly recommend booking this in advance here!
When we were in Woody Point, we stayed at the charming Bonne Bay Inn. We stayed in a Wharfside suite that was in town. It was like having a studio apartment. Our room was clean, large and super comfy. It had a small kitchenette and a huge bathroom. Oh, and this was the view across the street.
Perfection. In the morning, a continental breakfast was served in a room with a beautiful view.
For dinner, we went to The Old Loft for some homestyle food. I was excited to try Newfoundland style cod cakes and they didn’t disappoint. (After trying several from other restaurants during our trip, we realized that these were the best ones.) We also enjoyed fresh fried fish and homemade bread. The service was friendly as well. We liked it so much that we ate here for lunch and dinner!
Where to Stay and Eat in Rocky Harbour
The other side of the park is Rocky Harbour. Here we stayed at the Ocean View Hotel. The rooms here for comfortable, but the WiFi was awful. (Just a warning if you’re as addicted to the internet as I am.)
The onsite Oceans Room Restaurant has a lovely view, and everything that we ate there was amazing and super fresh. For breakfast, I had their breakfast sandwich on a buttermilk biscuit. It was one of the best biscuits that I’ve ever had (and I’m hard on biscuits) and the sandwich was perfect. Highly recommend! Did I mention that the prices were also affordable?
Thanks to Porter Airlines and Newfoundland Tourism for supporting my trip. Check out the first part of my trip in St.John’s!