Gros Morne National Park, Newfoundland
We sent Sarah, one of our Travel Specialist’s to Newfoundland’s Gros Morne National Park, to find out why the locals say that photographs just do not do this area justice.
Sense of Space
We are driving our way along the coastal Viking trail, with the sea lapping on the pink pebbles on one side and the rolling fjord range of Gros Morne on the other. You won’t get the majestic mountains of the Rockies here, but Gros Morne makes up for it in other ways.
We are the only drivers on this stretch, not another tourist in sight and we pass by small shackle beachside houses, little communities scattered in this great wilderness. For Gros Morne, the people are few and it is time to embrace nature’s marvels in this unique place.
With Discover the World, you stay at Neddies Harbour Inn at Norris Point, in the heart of the park. Take a guidebook out in the sunroom, with a view of the bay….This is your centre point for exploring.
UNESCO World Heritage Site
The first point of call has to be the Visitor centre on the south side of the park near to Tablelands. The rocks are orange and crumbling. Large boulders, covered by slat pieces shattered into pieces amongst your feet. This is one of the few places where the earth has flipped over like a pancake, the earth’s mantle revealing itself. We took an off-track hike up to the first viewpoint, and for enthusiasts, I recommend the guided tour at 11am each day for some expert knowledge.
For an extra challenge and energetic climb, there is the Lookout Trail from the centre, a steep climb but well rewarded with a view that scales out into the distance. A great vantage point to see the highest mountain, Grouse Mountain across the bay.
North of the park, you can weave your way through the aptly named Rocky Harbour (above), Lobster Cove, and Sally Cove (below), the water so pristine, it’s hard to believe the next land north is Greenland, although the floating icebergs may give this away….keep your eyes peeled.
Like a hidden chasm inside the cliffs, Western Brook Pond, carved out by the glaciers provides an epic backdrop for this land before time. Beautiful flowing waterfalls glistening out of the rocks. – The brook is the gateway for exploration – For the true adventurers, several backcountry trails start from this point, the longest being a multi-day hike into the depths of the park, where you hope the boat returns to pick you up at the end.
Other options allow yourself to go into the park interior near the Brook Falls area. Set trails venture into the territory of the Moose, numbers at 120,000 for Newfoundland, my eyes were on the lookout in anticipation but alas! Ah well there’s always next time.