If you are planning your West Newfoundland Itinerary, you’re going to want to check out this Newfoundland & Labrador road trip. Newfoundland is located in the most eastern part of Canada. Western Newfoundland is known for its beautiful landscape and the Gros Morne National Park.
It is one of the most picturesque parts of Canada and full of beautiful landscapes and untouched wilderness. It’s also one of the best places in Canada to see Fall foliage. You’ll find charming waterfront and historic coastal towns, awesome boat tours, and a beautiful scenic road just waiting for you to explore them.
This road trip in Newfoundland & Labrador is a great vacation any time of year. If you want to be guaranteed the likelihood of sunny and slightly warm weather, you’ll want to visit in the late summer months. But in the fall and winter, the landscape is just as pretty, albeit a little colder. No matter when you visit, you’ll enjoy driving through this beautiful area of Canada.
So, let’s take a look at the ultimate Western Newfoundland itinerary!
Getting To West Newfoundland And Gros Morne National Park
The easiest way to get to West Newfoundland is to fly into the Deer Lake Regional Airport. It is a small airport, but we still had a great experience when we flew in.
If you are driving to Western Newfoundland from somewhere else in Canada, you can take a ferry to Newfoundland & Labrador. You can take the ferry from Nova Scotia to Newfoundland & Labrador. The trip runs twice a day, and the crossing usually takes 6-8 hours, depending on the weather. The ferry to Argentia takes around 16 hours. You can also access Newfoundland & Labrador from mainland Canada via Quebec.
Getting Around During Your Newfoundland & Labrador Road Trip
To get around Newfoundland & Labrador you will absolutely need a car. You simply won’t be able to see everything on this road trip itinerary without one. If you are flying into Newfoundland & Labrador, you can easily rent a car at the airport. In some of the larger cities, you may find rideshare services, but for the most part, your most reliable bet is to drive your own vehicle.
That being said, there are often rental car shortages, so it is best to book in advance! The airports are regional and smaller, so booking ahead ensures that you get the car you want!
Day 1: Intro To Gros Morne National Park
On the first day of your West Newfoundland itinerary, you’ll be exploring the historic waterfront town of Woody Point. You’ll also spend part of the day getting introduced to the beauty that is Gros Morne National Park.
Stop 1: Woody Point Historic Waterfront District
Start your Newfoundland & Labrador vacation itinerary with a morning exploring the Woody Point Historic Waterfront District. The small town of Woody Point is located right in the heart of Gros Morne. It’s a Nationally Registered Heritage District and there are several registered heritage buildings as well.
With a town population of only just over 280, it is the epitome of a small Newfoundland & Labrador town, known as “outports” in the province!
While you walk the Historic Waterfront District there are a few heritage buildings you’ll want to check out. The earliest buildings were built in the 1870s and the newer buildings were built in the early 1900s. There is an information center where you can find a map to take a self-guided tour of the heritage buildings.
Stop 2: Parks Canada Discovery Center
The Parks Canada Discovery Center is where you’ll first be introduced to Gros Morne National Park. While you’re there, you’ll be able to learn all about Gros Morne and what makes it a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Inside the center, there are also various displays that tell you about the local flora and fauna you may see while exploring the park.
At the Discovery Center, you’ll also be able to purchases passes for entry onto the National Park, talk with Park Rangers, and more. Just outside of the Discovery Center you’ll find a few trailheads that take you through that particular area of the park. It is a must-stop place on your West Newfoundland itinerary.
Stop 3: The Tablelands in Gros Morne
One of the trailheads just outside of the Discovery Park is the trailhead that leads you to views of the Tablelands. You’ll want to take the Lookout Trail. The trail is a moderate level of difficulty and is a 3.6-mile looping trail.
The Lookout Trail is a popular trail because it gives you some of the best views of the Tablelands in the park. It took the Earth over 400 million years to create the unique landscape of the Tablelands, and it is worth the hike. The Tablelands are a really unique landscape of orange rock that is truly amazing when you remember how it was created.
The Tablelands are part of the Earth’s mantel which is three layers below the surface of the earth. This is one of the few places on earth where you can see the Earth’s mantel. It was created through tectonic upheaval and Continental shifting. You can explore it in person today at Gros Morne National Park!
Stop 4: Sunset at Eastern Point Trail
After hiking to see the view of the Tablelands, head near the Trout River area of Gros Morne. There you’ll find the trailhead for the Eastern Point Trail. This is one of the best places on your West Newfoundland itinerary to enjoy a beautiful sunset.
The hike itself is fairly easy. At only 1.5 miles, you can stop at any point along the trail to enjoy the sun as it sets over the rocky shore. It is also an incredibly scenic trail. You’ll wind through various landscapes of rock, grassy hills, and even coastal views.
Where To Eat:
Merchant Warehouse and Wine Bar, Located on Waterfront
The Merchant Warehouse and Wine Bar is a fun way to get to experience Woody Point. The restaurant offers its own little nightlife scene and is the newest restaurant in the area. A few times a week you’ll be able to enjoy live music while you enjoy your meal.
When the weather is nice you can dine on the outdoor patio and get full views of the coast. Even if the weather isn’t the best, the dining room is full of large windows that look out onto the view year-round. The menu is classics like burgers, sandwiches, fries, salads, and even shakes. There is also a full alcohol menu and wine bar.
The Old Loft Restaurant, Located on Waterfront
The Old Loft Restaurant is also in the Waterfront District of Woody Point. They serve both lunch and dinner. On their lunch menu, you can find meat pies, fish, sandwiches, soup, and more.
For dinner, they have a slightly elevated menu. You’ll find halibut, prime rib, and surf and turf as delicious options. One thing to keep in mind though is that the Old Loft is only open during the summer tourist season.
Seaside Restaurant, Trout River
The Seaside Restaurant is located in the Gros Morne National Park town of Trout River. It is a small town, and the Seaside is one of the best restaurants there. The restaurant has been featured in several travel magazines and is open for the summer tourist season.
It highlights the local fishing heritage and offers incredibly fresh options. On their menu, you’ll find fresh mussels, scallops, lobster, halibut, and more. Seaside also offers delicious options for dessert as well.
Elements Pub and Blue Ocean Dining Room, Located at Bonne Bay Inn
The Elements Pub and Blue Ocean Dining Room is actually located in the Bonne Bay Inn, in Bonne Bay. The restaurant and pub offers 270-degree views of the beautiful bay while you enjoy a delicious meal. They have a seasonal menu and are open all year round.
On the menu, you’ll find traditional Newfoundland & Labrador cuisine like halibut, salmon, and cod. Because the menu changes seasonally, they have no permanent menu, but you can ask to see a menu ahead of time if you’d like to plan your meal a bit more.
Please make sure to call ahead to see if this restaurant is open! Sometimes it is only open for special events such as the Writer’s At Woody Point Festival, sometimes it is closed for the season!
Where To Stay:
Bonne Bay Inn
The Bonne Bay Inn is a small and charming Inn on the coast of Western Newfoundland. It is located within the Gros Morne National Park, so it’s a great place to stay on your West Newfoundland itinerary.
Make sure to book the Inn in advance. It is one of the few places to stay in the area, so it can get booked up quickly, especially in the summer. There are only 10 rooms in the Inn, so it is also a very quiet place to stay during your Newfoundland & Labrador vacation.
Day 2: Explore The Historic Coast
For the second day of your road trip in Newfoundland & Labrador, you’ll explore more of the Historic Coastal area.
Stop 1: Tablelands Trail
Near the Bonne Bay Inn, you’ll find the trailhead for the Tablelands Trail. The Tablelands Trail is fairly easy and a little over 2 and a half miles long. It is an out and back trail, meaning you’ll reach the end of the trail and then turn around to walk out.
You’ll get to enjoy lovely views of the Tablelands and the surrounding landscape. It’s a great way to start your day before you continue enjoying your West Newfoundland itinerary.
Stop 2: Boat tour Of Bonne Bay
In the summer tourist season, you can take a boat tour of Bonne Bay. The catamaran leaves daily at 2 pm for beautiful tours of the bay. The tickets are typically around $45-50 per person, but there are discounts for youth and children.
On your tour of the bay, you may see whales, bald eagles, and moose. You’ll also learn more about Bonne Bay, including its cultural history and natural history. It is a really cool way to get to see some spectacular views and learn about the area.
Stop 3: Parks Canada Lobster Cove Lighthouse
The Lobster Cove Lighthouse is located in Lobster Cove Head, Western Newfoundland. You can take a tour of the lighthouse and learn more about its important history related to Bonne Bay. If you plan to tour the lighthouse, make sure to plan ahead and confirm that the lighthouse is open. It is not open every day for tours and does have a seasonal schedule.
Near the lighthouse, you’ll also find trailheads where you can walk through both forests and along the shores of the bay. Make sure you also take a look at the tide pools and see what sort of critters call the area home.
Where To Eat:
Java Jacks, Main Street, Rocky Harbour
Java Jacks is in Rocky Harbour and is open from mid-May to early September for the summer tourist season. It has been featured in several travel magazines and is a delicious option for breakfast, lunch, and dinner in Rocky Harbour.
For breakfast, they serve coffee and a selection of muffins starting around 8:30. You can also order a ‘bagged lunch’ to take with you if you plan on spending the day hiking and need a lunch that will hold.
If you are planning on eating in, their lunch and dinner menu includes soups, salads, sandwiches, and large plates with fish and other proteins as the main dish.
Ocean Dining Room or Anchor Pub, Ocean View Hotel
Whether you choose to enjoy the Ocean Dining Room or the Anchor Pub, you will enjoy your meal at the Ocean View Hotel. The Ocean Room is a luxurious dining room that has beautiful views of the Rocky Harbour waterfront. On the menu, you’ll find fresh seafood, a full wine menu, and more.
At the Anchor Pub, you’ll find a more relaxed dining experience. The Anchor Pub has both outdoor and indoor dining. While you enjoy your meal, you’ll also get to enjoy live music by the Ocean’s View house band, Anchors Aweigh. On their menu, you can find classic pub fare and a full beer menu.
Black Spruce Restaurant, Neddies Harbour Inn
The Black Spruce Restaurant is located in the boutique hotel, the Neddies Harbour Inn. You’ll find incredibly fresh ingredients in the delicious menu crafted by the Black Spruce’s chef. They strive to source primarily local ingredients, which ensures they are the freshest you can get.
On their menu, you’ll find soups and salads, a selection of main dishes like fish of the day, pork cordon blue, and vegetarian Bastilla. The Black Spruce also has a small dessert menu and a full bar menu.
Chanterelles Restaurant, Sugar Hill Inn
In the Sugar Hill Inn, you will find the Chanterelles Restaurant. The Chanterelles serves a fine dining menu with an extensive wine list to go along with it.
For main courses, they offer ribeye with stuffed Yorkie, island chicken, and their signature cod recipe. There is also a daily vegetarian option and fresh fish caught that day.
Cat Stop Pub and Grub, Norris Point
If you are looking for a more relaxed or budget-friendly dining option, check out the fun Cat Stop Pub and Grub in Norris Point. They have a menu full of classic pub fare, a full beer menu, and more. With a large dining room and patio, you can enjoy a delicious meal while also getting a great view.
In the summer season, you can enjoy live music with your meal every Thursday through Sunday night. On Thursday nights they host a fun happy hour as well. The Cat Stop Pub and Grub is one of the best dining options for a relaxed atmosphere on your West Newfoundland itinerary.
Where To Stay:
Ocean View Hotel, Rocky Harbor
The Ocean View Hotel is a pretty hotel in Rocky Harbor. They have several room-type options and it is actually a fairly large hotel for the area. You’ll still want to make sure you book ahead of time, just because it can quickly get booked up during the busy season. You’ll be right by Gros Morne, the Lobster Cove Lighthouse, and plenty of trailheads. It also has two delicious dining options on the property.
Day 3: Drive The Viking Trail Route #430
On the third day of your West Newfoundland itinerary, you’ll get to enjoy a scenic drive in Newfoundland & Labrador. The Viking Trail Route #430 is a route that goes through Newfoundland & Labrador and has several historic and heritage sites along the route.
Stop 1: SS Ethie Shipwreck Site
You can find the SS Ethie Shipwreck Site at Martin’s Point in Gros Morne National Park. The site is located along the Viking Trail between Sally’s Cove and Western Brook Pond. That is where you can see the remains of the SS Ethie where it crashed onto the shore and ran aground on December 11, 1919.
It is now a popular stop along the Viking Trail as it is such a unique part of Gros Morne’s history. The SS Ethie Shipwreck is one of the coolest things to see on your West Newfoundland itinerary.
Stop 2: Broom Point Fishing Premises Heritage Site
The Broom Point Fishing Premises is a restored traditional fishing premise. While you are there, you’ll be able to experience a bit of what it would have been like to be a part of a Newfoundland & Labrador fishing family. The area highlights a specific inshore fishing family, the Mudge Brothers.
The three brothers lived with their wives and children shared a cabin from mid-April to early September every year. It is a really cool stop on your Newfoundland & Labrador vacation itinerary to learn about life in a fishing family.
Stop 3: Shallow Bay Beach
End the third day of your West Newfoundland itinerary with a stroll on Shallow Bay Beach. Shallow Bay Beach is about three miles of beautiful pale sandy coastline. In the summer, the water is typically warm enough for you to swim, and it is never very deep thanks to the rocky islands that protect the beach.
On the remote part of the beach, which is in the northern section, you will find tall sand dunes. During storms, the northern section of Shallow Bay Beach is the best to see massive storm waves. No matter where you choose to walk, you are sure to enjoy some stunning beach views.
Where To Eat:
Shallow Bay Family Restaurant, Shallow Bay Motel
We suggest staying in the Shallow Bay Motel on your third day, which also has its own restaurant. The Shallow Bay Family Restaurant has gorgeous views of the bay from the massive windows inside the dining room.
On the menu, you’ll find fresh fish, with Lobster being served from May to July. They also have Grecco pizza, Viking chicken, and a few vegetarian options. It’s a great spot for a bite to eat after a day spent on one of the best scenic drives in Newfoundland & Labrador.
Where To Stay:
Shallow Bay Motel
The Shallow Bay Motel is a small hotel in West Newfoundland that sits on the shore of the ocean. Many of the rooms offer beautiful ocean views. You’ll also find an outdoor pool and hot tub, a restaurant on-site, and plenty of room options. It is a charming little seaside motel in beautiful Shallow Bay.
Day 4: Western Brook Pond
For your last day on your West Newfoundland Itinerary, you’ll briefly head farther north before making your way back down south and towards Deer Lake.
Stop 1: Arches Provincial Park
From Shallow Bay, head about 20 minutes north to the Arches Provincial Park. The Park is a public park that is along the coastline that has some really cool rock formations. It is along the Viking Trail, so you’ll get to spend a little bit more time on the scenic drive in Newfoundland & Labrador.
While you’re there take the time to walk on the boardwalk and the shore. You’ll see a few rock archways that were created naturally over millions of years thanks to water erosion and tidal action. It’s a cool little area and worth the short drive north.
Stop 2: Gros Morne Coastal Trail
As you head back down south along the Viking Trail towards Deer Lake, stop at the Gros Morne Coastal Trailhead. The Gros Morne Coastal Trail is just under 4 miles long and is an out and back style trail. It is a popular trail and winds along the gorgeous coastline of Gros Morne near Rocky Harbour.
It’s a great stopping point along your drive to get out and stretch your legs for a bit. You’ll find that the trail is the prettiest from May to October, but you can enjoy it all year round. It’s even beautiful in the snow!
Stop 3: Western Brook Pond Fjord Tour
To end your West Newfoundland itinerary, we suggest taking a Western Brook Pond Fjord Tour. The Western Brook Pond Fjord is a landlocked fjord and is fairly rare to Newfoundland & Labrador. It was created over millions of years due to glaciers carving into the land.
The tour typically takes off daily at 12:30 starting around the middle of June. The price can range from $60-65 per person, and there are discounted tickets for youth and children. If you want to see a really unique glacier-formed piece of land, it is a must-see, and worth the price.
Return To Deer Lake Or Your Airport For Overnight And Returning Home!
We hope you enjoyed this awesome West Newfoundland itinerary. Western Newfoundland & Labrador is a beautiful part of Canada and is a perfect Newfoundland & Labrador road trip, especially for outdoor lovers. It’s a vacation where you’ll get to see some of the most beautiful natural landscapes in Canada.