Wild Newfoundland Self Drive

Wild Newfoundland Self Drive



starting fromUS $2,697per person

Star Rating 5

5 of 5 stars (9 reviews)

  • Get this trip plan customized to cover everything you want to see.
  • Learn which places to go and which areas are best during certain times of the year.

Discover Canada’s scenic maritime province Newfoundland on this 11-day trip. Travel through small towns steeped in history far from the bustle of big city life, and down roads with sweeping views of wave-battered headlands, steep cliffs, and tranquil beaches. Explore fjords bursting with marine life by boat, and watch massive icebergs on their yearly migration.

Trip at a glance

11 Days / 10 Nights

Arrive St. John’s 3 nights St. John’s 2 nights Trinity Optional Fogo Island Inn Stay 2 nights Twillingate 2 nights Gros Morne Park - Norris Point 3 night optional St. Anthony & Quirpon Island add-on 1 night in Gros Morne Park - Woody Point Depart Deer Lake

  • View Details Of Each Day

    Sample Itinerary

    Think of this itinerary as just a starting point. Our experienced Canadian Insiders will create a personalized experience for you that matches your schedule, travel style and budget.

    Day 1 Newfoundland Adventure Begins Arrive in St. John’s
    Upon arrival in St. John’s, pick up your rental car at the airport. After settling in, get out and explore the oldest city in North America. This historical, waterfront city sits on the steep slopes of a snug and sheltered harbor, with brightly colored row-houses lining the hilly streets. It is home to artists, Celtic musicians, unique eateries, and has the welcoming, small-town feel that Newfoundland is famous for.

    Day 2 – Explore Historic St. John’s
    You have an exciting day ahead! Explore the best of St John’s and enjoy its culinary delights. No early morning is required if you wish to sleep in.

    Today’s activity: St. John’s Sightseeing Tour
    The city will come alive as you discover Newfoundland’s culture, history, music, and language. This small group tour is a perfect overview to start your trip with!

    Day 3 Bay Bulls and the Southern Avalon Coast
    Today travel south along the Avalon Peninsula, to explore the beautifully rugged and wild coastline. See countless natural wonders comprised of stunning cliffs, sea caves, and waterfalls. Keep your eyes open for puffins, humpback and minke whales.

    We’ve included a choice of 1 of the following
    2 options today:

    • Option 1: Private Half Day Sea Kayaking
    Join an expert guide to explore Bay Bull’s hidden gems - at your own pace. No experience necessary, and all equipment is provided.
    Activity rating: Moderate to challenging

    • Option 2: Whale and Puffin Boat Tour
    Join a boat tour into Witless Bay, led by a senior naturalist guide. Get up close to whales, icebergs, and to marvel at the beauty of the coastline.
    Activity rating: Easy

    Optional Add-on: Ferryland Lighthouse Picnic
    After a morning kayak or boat tour, drive to the Ferryland Lighthouse (approx. 45 min) to experience an award-winning homemade picnic at beautiful Ferryland Head. Includes a serene 30-minute walk along a natural isthmus, surrounded by the sea.
    Activity rating: Moderate

    Insider tip: Prime whale watching season is mid-June to mid-August. Whales may be spotted after this time; however, it would be considered a bonus. Keep your eyes peeled!

    Day 4 St. John’s to Trinity
    Depart St. John’s along the scenic Conception Bay coastal drive – on a clear day you will be able to see the still active Bell Island Lighthouse. Continue to the charming town of Brigus – once the residence of the world famous northern explorer Captain Bob Bartlett. Continue north and then east to the Bonavista Peninsula and onto the cultural capital of Newfoundland – Trinity. Trinity is renowned for its unique historical architecture including the Ryan Store, Hiscock House and the Blacksmith Museum. Enjoy a delicious dinner at your accommodations this evening.

    Day 5 – Explore Trinity and the Bonavista Peninsula
    Get out and enjoy this magnificent and historic area today, with your choice of 1 of the following 3 options.

    • Option 1:
    Historic Interpretive Boat Tour
    Travel back in time, as you head out with a local skipper whose family have fished these waters for generations. You’ll explore enchanted and long-deserted fishing communities, plus beautifully remote scenery, whilst listening to fascinating stories.
    Activity rating: Easy

    • Option 2: Naturalist-Led Puffin Hike
    On a 3-km walk, learn about heathland plant ecology and be captivated by the rugged beauty of the Bonavista Peninsula. At Puffin Island, you’ll be greeted by a chorus of seabird sounds mingling with the sound of waves crashing against the cliffs. If you are lucky you will get very close to puffins - sometimes just a few feet from them.
    Activity rating: Moderate

    • Option 3: Zodiac Whale Watching
    Be amazed as you watch whales feed, play, and migrate through the waters of the Bonavista Peninsula. See fin, humpback, sperm, minke, and pilot whales and, although rare, orcas too.
    Activity rating: Moderate

    For the remainder of the day, you may like to independently hike one of Bonavista’s most sce
    nic trails the Skerwink, or visit the filming locations of The Shipping News and Random Passage.

    Day 6 – Trinity to Twillingate
    Depart Trinity and spend the remainder of the day meandering your way to Twillingate, along winding, coastal roads Explore Terra Nova National Park – a classic Newfoundland landscape of sheltered bays, rugged ocean coastline and rolling forested hills. Finally, arrive at the quaint fishing village of Twillingate and the 1876 Long Point Lighthouse – still active today.

    Optional add-on: Before leaving, spend your morning with a local historian, as you walk the lanes of Trinity and discover its 500 years of history.

    Suggested Fogo Island Add-On:
    Before visiting Twillingate, add-on a stay at the incredible Fogo Island Inn. Situated on a gorgeous rocky shoreline where slabs of granite meet the moody North Atlantic, the luxurious Fogo Island Inn is an innovative community project, with 100% of profits being reinvested in the local economy. The Inn features 29 rooms with panoramic ocean views, hand-crafted furniture and quilts, locally inspired cuisine, rooftop hot tubs, saunas, and a publicly accessible art gallery, library and cinema. The island’s still-wild world has caribou to track, hills of berries to forage, nature trails to explore, and countless birds and sea life to behold.

    Day 7 Explore Twillingate
    Relish the opportunity to explore Twillingate, which embodies the quintessential Newfoundland out-port character stunningly-rugged coastline, historical, picturesque streets, and lush countryside roads.

    • Today’s Activity:
    Nature Cruise
    Embark on an Iceberg-spotting boat tour to marvel at the sparkling, 12,000-year-old giants on their epic journey from Greenland. Even once prime Iceberg season is over, you’ll still enjoy seeing beautiful coastal scenery and a range of marine wildlife. Note: Peak iceberg watching runs from early June to early July.
    Activity rating: Easy

    Day 8 – Drive to Norris Point Gros Morne National Park
    Leave behind the Central Region of Newfoundland and head west through a vast expanse of lush forest and contrasting scenery. Drive north along the Viking Trail to Gros Morne National Park – designated an UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987 for its impressive geological features.

    • Optional add-on: Norris Point Tasting Tour
    Sample the top 4 restaurants in Gros Morne, and meet the owners of the establishments. Enjoy the freshest local seafood plus wine pairings. Cultural discovery and evening entertainment are also highlights.
    Activity rating: Easy

    Day 9 – Explore Gros Morne
    Get out and explore incredible Gros Morne Park today, with 1 of the following 2 options.

    • Option 1: Western Brook Pond Tour
    Take a spectacular Western Brook Pond Fjord Boat tour – the only way, other than by helicopter to see the spectacular Western Brook Gorge. Enjoy a 45-minute boardwalk stroll to the dock – then be humbled by nature as you see the dramatic ravine-like sides of the fjord tower 600 metres above you. The water here is some of the purest in the world.
    Activity rating: Moderate

    • Option 2: Full Day Cultural Explorer
    On this full day experience, discover life in a small, Newfoundland community. Each day trip features a scenic trail, lunch at a local hot spot, and an artist studio visit along with demonstration.
    Activity rating: Easy

    • Optional Add-On: Evening Moose Walk
    On a scenic trail, search for rare plants and try to catch a glimpse of a moose. Enjoy a local mug-up, while watching the sunset into the ocean.
    Activity rating: Moderate

    Day 10 Norris Point to Woody Point
    An hour-long drive brings you to Woody Point today. Although just across the Bay from Norris Point, you’ll find the scenery very different. Get out to explore nature hikes such as the dramatic Tablelands or spectacular Green Gardens, or visit the Parks Canada Discovery Centre.

    • Optional Add-On: Semi-Private Guided Hike
    Broaden your knowledge of Gros Morne’s unique flora plants, animals, and geology. Your guide will be an experienced wilderness leader, with a wealth of natural and historical knowledge. Enjoy stunning scenery and great company!
    Activity rating: Challenging. Sturdy hiking boots and outdoor clothing required.

    Suggested St. Anthony & Quirpon Lighthouse Inn Add-On:
    Ask your Fresh Tracks Canada vacation advisor about adding days to drive north to visit St. Anthony and the Quirpon Lighthouse Inn. On the way, explore L’Anse Aux Meadows UNESCO site, showcasing mysterious Viking remains. On Quirpon Island, you will stay in a recently refurbished light-keeper’s residence, on the northernmost tip of the Great Northern Peninsula. In season Quirpon Island is one of Newfoundland’s best locations for iceberg viewing as they drift the Labrador Current on their journey south. The waters here are a rich feeding ground, meaning excellent whale viewing. Expect to see minke and humpback whales in season, as well as orca and right whales.

    Day 11 – Vacation Ends – Woody Point to Deer Lake
    Say goodbye to the awe-inspiring island you’ve come to know so well. Depart Woody Point and drive for an hour to Deer Lake airport where you will drop off your rental car.
Wild Newfoundland Self Drive  – Map



Places Visited

St. John’sTrinityFogo IslandTwillingateGros Morne National ParkQuirpon IslandCorner BrookDeer Lake

Accommodation Style


Activity Level


What you'll love about this trip

  • Unique culture of Canada’s friendliest province

  • Seeing Newfoundland’s rugged coastline and icebergs

  • Staying at Fogo Island Inn, or on Quirpon Island

  • Cruising the Atlantic Ocean

  • Seeing dolphins, whales and puffins

  • Exploring Viking remains

  • Staying at charming inns

Common Questions

  • Where am I staying on this trip?

    You'll be staying at various local three to five start hotels or lodges along your route, some of which are very iconic properties with great locations, views and history. All our accommodations are carefully selected by our Canadian Insiders. We'll make sure that wherever you stay, you get the best value and comfort based on the seasonal availability.

  • What is included in the price?

    Typically we include and pre-book all your main trip components so you don't have to worry about your connections, places to stay, or activities on your trip. You'll receive a complete travel package with detailed documentation and our Canadian Insiders remain at your disposal before and during your trip to answer your questions.

  • Can I customize this trip?

    Your trip can be as rich as you'd like, and completely arranged around your interests and needs. The greatest benefit of working with us is our local knowledge. You can request your free trip plan to decide what you'd like to see and do.

    If your trip is a special occasion, we'll make sure it is unforgettable. Or if you're traveling with a group, we'll take care of the logistics so you can share time together stress-free.

  • What are the best ways to travel around Canada?

    Canada has a network of spectacular roadways, train routes, ferry crossings, and float planes. We can arrange for you to travel by car or to sit back and relax.

  • Is it safe to drive in Canada?

    New visitors will drive with ease because of the wide and well maintained roadways. We'll ensure your trip includes the most spectacular and safest routes throughout your trip.

  • When is the best time to see wildlife?

    That depends on the destination and type. As a rule, the main feeding and migration seasons are best for wildlife experiences. Tell us which animals interest you and we'll make your trip coincide with the best viewing season.

  • Is this an escorted tour?

    With the exception of our guided wildlife trips, our vacations are not typically 'escorted.' We combine the best of both worlds – the reassurance of seamless connections, customer service support, and scheduled activities, plus the freedom of 'independent' travel. You are not tied into a specific group, or a rigid daily itinerary. This allows us to personalize your trip to suit your occasion, interests, and timeframe.

  • Will it be cold when I visit Canada in summer?

    The temperature varies from mild to hot, depending on location. Northern Canada will range between 50°F to 64°F (10°C – 18°C) in summer. The interior of BC, prairies, Ontario and Quebec can reach temperatures around 95°F (35°C). Canada's west coast, mountain regions, and Maritimes enjoy milder summer temperatures. They range on average from 59°F to 77°F (15°C – 25°C).

  • How much does my trip cost?

    All our trips can be customized to fit your schedule and budget. The price depends on travel season, train service, hotel level, and the sightseeing tours you choose. Request your free trip plan which will provide you with a detailed cost estimate.

  • What's Included

    What's Included in the Price

    These are the places and experiences to look forward to on this trip.

    Included Accommodations:
    • Accommodation for 10 nights in superior historic hotels, inns, and B&Bs
    • Most breakfasts at your accommodation
    • 1 dinner in Trinity

    St. John’s Experiences:
    • St. John’s historic tour

    Southern Avalon Experiences:
    • Choose 1 of the following 2 activities:
    1. Bay Bulls Wildlife and Puffin Cruise
    2. Three-hour Private Kayak Tour
    • Plus
    Optional Add-on: Ferryland Lighthouse Picnic (additional cost) - runs Wed to Sun

    Trinity Experiences:
    Choose 1 of the following 2 activities:
    1. Nature and history boat tour
    2. Zodiac whale watching
    • Plus
    Optional Add-on: Trinity Historic Walking Tour (additional cost) - runs Mon to Sat

    Twillingate Experience:
    • Twillingate Nature and Iceberg Cruise

    Gros Morne Experiences:
    Choose 1 of the following 2 activities:
    1. Western Brook Pond Tour
    2. Full Day Cultural Explorer Tour (additional cost)

    Add-on Gros Morne Experiences:
    • Finer Things Tasting Tour with wine pairings (additional cost) - runs Tue, Thu, Sat, Sun
    • Semi-Private guided hike (additional cost)
    • Evening Moose Walk (additional cost) - runs Mon, Wed, Fri

    Additional Inclusions:
    • National Parks Pass (valid for National Parks, National Marine Conservation Areas and National Historic Sites)
    • Intermediate car rental including: Loss Damage Waiver (LDW) on car rental, airport surcharges, Unlimited Kilometres, Third Party Liability Insurance Coverage (up to $1 million), fee for 1 additional driver, and vehicle licensing fee
    • A personalized documentation Kit, containing essential travel information and driving directions

    Fogo Inn Add-on inclusions:
    • 2 nights at the inn (May 24 & 25 start dates) or 3 nights at the Inn (remainder of season)
    • Full Meal Plan
    • Welcome Island Orientation
    • Additional car rental time

    Quirpon Island & St. Anthony Add-on Inclusions:
    • 1 night of accommodation in St. Anthony,
    • 2 nights accommodation in a restored lighthouse inn
    • Boat transfers to and from the island,
    • All meals at the inn, day tour while at the island,
    • Additional car rental time

    Seasonal Notes:
    • Ferryland Lighthouse picnic starts running on June 1
    • Puffin Hike operates until August 31
    • Trinity Historic Walking Tour starts running on July 1
    • Twillingate Iceberg Tour runs until September 15
    • Cultural Explorer Tour begins running on June 15
    • Evening Moose Walk runs until September 1

    Not Included
    • Meals, other than those mentioned
    • Gratuities
    • Airfare (but please don’t hesitate to ask for help)
    • Car rental extras: Fuel and refueling fees, Personal Accident Insurance (PAI), Personal Effects Coverage (PEC), One way drop fee for car rental ($250 payable at counter) from St. John’s to Deer Lake, LDW deductible of up to $500 depending on car type, Fee for drivers under the age of 25
    • Trip cancellation insurance (highly recommended, ask us for a quote)
    • Canadian federal taxes

    Ideas to customize this trip

    Think of this trip as just a starting point. These are some of the experiences you can add-on to personalize your trip.

    • For those who are feeling adventurous, ask about including things such as sea kayaking, day hikes in Gros Morne Park or the East Coast trail
    • Add a stay on Quirpon Island, for a once in a lifetime Newfoundland experience
    • Combine this trip with our Charming Inns of Nova Scotia self drive adventure
    • Add on a few nights in St. Anthony and explore L’Anse Aux Meadows National Historic Site
    • Add on a boat ride to Nova Scotia and keep exploring Canada!
  • Prices & Dates

    Trip Start Dates

    2018 / 2019 Trip Start Dates
    Daily from May 24 to September 15

    Trip Notes:
    Some activities run on certain days, or at certain times during the season
    Fogo Island Inn add-on is 2 nights for May 24 & 25 trip start dates, and 3 nights for remainder of the 2018 season.

    Pricing For This Trip

    Prices listed may vary by departure date, hotel class and degree of personalization. Please speak with one of our travel advisors to get a personalized quote.

    Wild Newfoundland Self Drive Vacation
    from US $2,697to US $2,913per person

    On our Self Drive Adventures, you'll enjoy hand picked accommodations, unique Canadian experiences with our favorite guides, car rental, a custom documentation package and our ongoing customer service as you travel. These prices and itineraries are just a guide - our team of friendly Canadian experts are standing by to personalize your ideal vacation.

  • Accommodations

    Accommodation Options

    These are examples of this trip's accommodation choices. Please call us for the full list or advice on how to customize your experience.

    Fisher’s Loft Inn - View of Fishers Loft Inn

    Fisher’s Loft Inn

    An example of our Inn accommodations

    Nestled amid the hills on a winding, quiet back lane, Fishers' Loft is a 4½ star inn, overlooking the old fishing and boat-building harbour of Ship Cove. A picturesque fishing port in Port Rexton, the inn is in the perfect spot to enjoy nearby Skerwink Trail, Trinity Bay or head to Terra Nova National Park and Golf Course.

  • Customer Reviews  (9)

    We were both pleased with all the side trips you had scheduled for us

    Star Rating 5
    August 16, 2017

    Read full review...

    My favorite part of the trip was seeing so many puffins. My husbands was the Viking Village. We were both pleased with all the side trips you had scheduled for us.

    We loved the east coast

    Star Rating 4
    July 12, 2017

    Read full review...

    We loved the east coast, especially St. John's. It was a fun area. The Ferry Lighthouse picnic was wonderful. We could have used an extra day in this area. We also loved Trinity, the Artisan Inn was wonderful. The Rugged Beauty Boat tour was a highlight of the trip and it was nice to have the time in this area.

    This was a great way to see Newfoundland

    Star Rating 5
    July 3, 2017

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    This was a great way to see Newfoundland. Small villages like Trinity and Greenspond were an eyeopener on how things were and are.

    The service provided was first class

    Star Rating 5
    July 1, 2017

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    Seeing all the icebergs and the ice packed sea at Fogo Island was awesome. Everyone we met was very friendly and helpful. They are all very hard working people and some of the nicest people we have met. The staff at Fogo Island Inn were incredible. We had a health issue and the were very accommodating. It was also a thrill to be seated next to David Letterman and his family at dinner! Overall the service provided was first class. Seeing the various fishing towns was very stepping back in time. It was also a thrill to see the puffins, cariboo and moose.

    The whole trip was very enjoyable

    Star Rating 5
    October 5, 2016

    Read full review...

    The whole trip was very enjoyable. The additional tours that were arranged were mostly exceptional. Fresh Tracks were, and continue to be, very helpful. Our experience was excellent.

    It was a fabulous experience from start to finish

    Star Rating 5
    September 28, 2016

    Read full review...

    It was a fabulous experience from start to finish. There was never a question about our reservations when we turned over our vouchers which was very reassuring. The accommodations were first class and we felt confident each time we checked into a hotel that we would be happy with our room. The activities that were included were very worthwhile and we enjoyed them.

    One of our best trips ever

    Star Rating 5
    August 26, 2016

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    Our trip was a delightful and varied experience. From the luxury of Fogo, to the great geology and hiking at Gros Morne. The people we met were just great. There were excellent learning opportunities, including a top notch exhibit at The Rooms in St. Johns on the role of Newfoundland in WW1. One of our best trips ever.

    Thanks for arranging everything

    Star Rating 5
    July 24, 2016

    Read full review...

    All I can say is WOW! Newfoundland was like Maine on steroids. Overall a great itinerary. Thanks for arranging everything, I got to fulfill my lifelong dream of visiting L'Anse-aux-Meadows. Thanks again and cheers.

    Thank you for a fabulous trip

    Star Rating 5
    July 5, 2008

    Read full review...

    My husband and I wanted to go somewhere different, somewhere natural and unspoilt, where we could explore and journey and not be constantly fed the commercial fare of the standard tourist locations. We found the perfect venue for our travels. Newfoundland is beautiful and very natural. A visit to this part of Canada is bound to be an adventure. If you yearn for open space, clean, fresh air, a rugged landscape and the opportunity to experience life as it is lived in isolated communities that are steeped in history, this is the place! This is a very special place and one we will never forget. In short, if you like Fresh Tracks adventures you will like Newfoundland. Don't just take my word for it, get out there and experience it for yourself. And thank you Fresh Tracks for a fabulous trip!

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This Trip in Pictures

A couple take stroll along the cliffs in Newfoundland
A couple take stroll along the cliffs in Newfoundland
Immediatley feel the warm Newfoundland atmosphere upon arrival.
Twillingate lighthouse in Newfoundland
Twillingate lighthouse in Newfoundland
Drive up to Twillingate to see picturesque coastlines.
A couple look at an impressive iceberg
A couple look at an impressive iceberg
Not to mention Icebergs on their yearly migration.
A couple sit on the rocks above a fjord in Gros Morne National Park in Newfoundland
A couple sit on the rocks above a fjord in Gros Morne National Park in Newfoundland
Gros Morne Park will humble you.
A woman takes a coastal walk in Newfoundland
A woman takes a coastal walk in Newfoundland
As will the stunning fjords and inlets
A viking loghouse at L'Anse Aux Meadows
A viking loghouse at L'Anse Aux Meadows
Visit mysterious remains of viking explorers at L'Anse Aux Meadows.
People enjoying a lobster boil on a beach in Newfoundland
People enjoying a lobster boil on a beach in Newfoundland
Cuisine here is fresh from the sea, so indulge before heading home.

Get your FREE trip plan organized and arranged for you

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Get your personalized itinerary
  • Get a trip that covers everything you want to see.
  • Know which places to go and which areas are best during certain times of the year.
  • Have someone local who knows the area to suggest trains, hotels, dining, sightseeing, etc.
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