How To Get To Newfoundland

pale girls in swimming suits in newfoundlandTravelling to Newfoundland is a pain in the arse: flying costs too much if you want to take your family (plus you’ll need to rent a car), and driving requires a long ferry ride or a long car ride (if you’re traveling to the east of the island).

My wife’s family is having a family reunion on Fogo Island in the middle of August, and a couple days later my parents are celebrating their 40th wedding aniversary in Foxtrap. So, I have two options (I don’t think flying is an option, given that I would have to rent a car):

  1. Take the 6 hour ferry ride to Port aux Basques, driving 10 hours to Fogo Island.
  2. Take the 14 hour ferry ride to Argentia, driving 5 hours to Fogo Island.

An addition to the drive across Newfoundland, I’ll have a 6 hour drive to the ferry in North Sydney.

I wish I was rich. My investments in Atlantic Lotto are not paying off as well as I had hoped.

An unrelated fact about Newfoundland: There are no snakes, skunks, deer, porcupines or groundhogs on the island, although my brother and I DID try to import grass snakes once. They survived the trip there, but died a few days later after we let them loose, I think. (Or, there COULD be a thriving grass snake population in Kelligrews.)

(The image in this post is one of the first found when googling an image for Newfoundland.)

29 Replies to “How To Get To Newfoundland”

  1. My #1 complaint about living in Newfoundland is that it’s headache getting off the island. Some day they’ll build a tunnel to Nova Scotia, but I’ll be dead by the time that happens.

    The snake we tried to introduce to Newfoundland (when we were kids and didn’t know any better) was a ring-necked and orange-bellied snake, a type of garter snake maybe. The people we gave the snake to were supposed to just let it go, but instead they kept it out in their back shed in a bucket or some damn thing. Once day someone who didn’t know about the snake knocked over the bucket, got the crap scared out of them from the snake and stepped on the snaked and killed it. When they killed it, though, a little baby snake squooshed out alive and wiggling all over the place. The baby snake died a few days later. Had they let the snake go like they should have, who knows, there might be a small population of garter snakes in Newfoundland today. The place could use a few snakes.

  2. I get some excited when I see snakes around here. I saw one sleeping on a tree stump last year and hung around looking at it for about 20 mins when Hollywood got mad and was gonna leave me there.

    Another time I was driving my car at night and something ran into the road and I slowed right down. When I got close I saw it was a skunk and it started SCREAMING “AHHHHH!!!!” and ran off the road. Was funny. I like the smell of skunks.

    I saw a deer while driving to the north sydney ferry once, it poppped out of the bushes, saw me and hopped back in.

    I still haven’t seen a living porcupine.

    Groundhogs wouldn’t get very far on “the rock”. Unless their nails and nose were diamond tipped, maybe.

  3. Your driving estimates are a little off. It’s only 4.5 hours from Moncton to North Sydney. The drive from Port aux Basques to St. John’s (900 km) only takes me 9 to 10 hours including a stop for breakfast. I would imagine you’d get to Fogo Island in around 6 or 7 hours…. but I see there is another ferry run to Fogo Island itself… maybe you’re right.

    I had the same reaction as Pender when I saw a snake here in NB. I’ve seen porcupine alive twice and dead countless times. I’ve never seen a live skunk. We saw lots of of deer though, even saw one once when we were dirtbiking in the woods, which seems strange given all the noise we make.

  4. I’m going to be driving with a 5 year old and one year old, so I’m going to be making frequent stops to ensure we don’t go too stir-crazy, hence the high driving estimates.

  5. Will you get to the city? Kim is due next Friday and if you get chance you should come by the house. We will drink scotch and smoke cigars. Let me know when you will be around.


  6. Oh yeah, another time I was camping at some place near fredericton and a skunk ran right under my chair. When I saw it I jumped up and ran about 20ft away. Even though I like the smell of skunks, I didn’t want to be sprayed directly. Was cool, though a little scary. Like, what if it had rabies and wanted my sweet human blood? I tried to find the camera on the picnic table, but by the time I got it and ready it was out of sight and I didn’t really want to go running through the woods at it to take a picture.

  7. Change of plans: we’re flying.

    Driving there would have cost me around $800, not including gas.

    Flying is going to cost me around $1100 (that includes car rental), not including gas, but it will be a LOT more convenient. We’ll be flying from Halifax. Pender volunteered to keep my car at his place while we’re gone. What a nice guy.

  8. It wasn’t a fly, it was a cockroach and it was on my neck and got stuck to my pants and I was trying to swish it off. Plus jumping around and screaming like that just makes me look tough and intimidates the bug.

  9. i saw tour comment i am from nfld but live in ont. for guite awhile my friend and i are going to fogo tomorrow never been their i agree with yoy when you love in ont. or any part of canada it is a pain in the ass it is a long drive across the island if you ever go to heart,s delight it is a beautifull bed abd breakfast nfld. is a beautifull place to visit but when you have to fly it is a bit expensive and the the ferry is a pain their is alway,s something wrong with the ferry my husband and i did it for a good many year,s he died five year,s ago with cancer take care

  10. I do not live in Newfoundland, yet. I want very much to see it sometime. I know I cannot comment on the problems you may have up there, but believe me there is plently of boredom around everywhere, not just in NF!!! I live in a very over populated area and unless you are the type of people that live around here (I am not, I am a more rural loving person) it is hell. As far as snakes go, what is the big attraction up there with them? If you are really intrested in starting a snake population, PLEASE do not use ones from a totally diffrent part of the world to intoduce!!! You will ruin the land and other habitat of the native animals. You need to have the right food to support them as well. If you don’t have enough mice, rats, rabbits… your wasting your time. And as far as the comment at the beginning of this site regarding the person stating the unrelated facts about Newfoundland, he/she said there are no skunks there, but another person who wrote a comment a litte farther down the page said there was one outside their tent. So there must be skunks if she saw one. Don’t be mean about the place you call home. I’m sure it may have its bad points, but it has good as well. It is really beautiful!!

  11. Pender I think your sensitive, thoughtful and caring insights are required here in response to some recent comments….hey are you still alive…

  12. > I’m going to be driving with a 5 year old and one year old, so I’m going to be making frequent stops to ensure we don’t go too stir-crazy, hence the high driving estimates.

    On a road trip to montreal as a kid I was apparently given some surprise gravol in my food. Apparently it made for a pleasant trip for my parents, and a very quick trip for me and my sister.

    > If you are really intrested in starting a snake population, PLEASE do not use ones from a totally diffrent part of the world to intoduce!!!

    Yeah, that’s right, introduce a population of snake that really should have been introduced long ago, PLEASE oh PLEASE don’t introduce one from the other side of the world. We don’t want a population of homesick snakes snaking around newfoundland.

    > he/she said there are no skunks there, but another person who wrote a comment a litte farther down the page said there was one outside their tent

    Fredericton isn’t in newfoundland. But it’s close, so you get a silver star instead of one of these smelly stickers. *

    I’m really only posting to appease the tommyboy.

  13. Hi there, well I visited Newfoundland THE ROCK last year from London England and I fell in love with the place. After living amongst hustle and bustle for most of my life it is wonderful to be in the great outdoors with so much space. Even in the city we have a few snakes living in rubbish and also many foxes scavenging at night but I have yet to see a skunk!!
    I flew to St John’s spent 4 wonderful days there and then took the bus (5 hours) to Lewisporte. Breathtaking scenery.
    the food was excellent and not too expensive and the people I met so hospitable. I have now purchased a small property in Embree and intend to bring lots of my friends and family over from England. I hope you don’t mind sharing. I am looking forward to the snow at Xmas of which we in England have very little. I would not mind if it took me 10 days to drive it would most certainly be worth it but until we have a tunnel accross the Atlantic I shall stick to Air Canada – about $800-00 return. Then $120-00 return on the bus to Lewisporte or Gander. See you all in the summer.

  14. It costs less money to fly return to Newfoundland from Las Vegas as it costs to fly from Toronto to Newfoundland even though I have to flight through Toronto to get there from Vegas. Every flight I have ever been on to Newfoundland has been full, so it’s not like the airlines are not making a #$*&^ fortune. Everyone says the rosary when landing in the fog in St. John’s. I am sick of the heat of the desert. I wish Newfoundlanders appreciated the freedom they have, that my kids wish they had here. I think the Island has a lot of potention that the Tourism department needs to recognize. How come you can’t get a flight into Gander from anywhere but St. John’s.
    Tell Bill Gosse I said Hi too. He is the funny man in Newfoundland. Gary Tucker told me he was in Arabia somewhere teaching English. Boy those guys are going to have the funnies accent.

  15. 900 kms in 9 hours?????? you have to keep at least a constant speed of 100 kph from one side of the island to the other. around every turn, rip thru every speed reduction zone and pass every one else that going under 100!!! for every second u spend at a speed under 100 (ie 70) u would have to make it up by holding (ie 130)for the same amount of time… u have to stop for fuel too and its amazing that you get to have breakfast too!!!! too be honest with you steve-o….. ur full of shit

  16. Rick… I’m NOT full of shit. I drive the island twice a year at least. I came home for Christmas this year and got from Port aux Basques to Ocean Pond (70 km outside St. John’s) in 7.5 hours. Got off the boat @ 8:00 am and reached Ocean Pond at 3:35 pm. Stopped for fuel in Deer Lake and Gander. Didn’t need to stop, but needed to pee anyway.

    Here’s how you do it. Set cruise control to 120. Mathematically, that’s 7.5 hours for 900 kms. Occasionally slow down for traffic or lowered speed zones, but also occasionally speed up to pass several cars.

    Oh, and I DID say 9 or 10 hours. Hmmm… let’s say set cruise control to 110 km per hour. In just over 8 hours, you can do the 900 kms across. That leaves almost two hours for slight delays, gas fill-ups, and breakfast.

    Either way, you are right… I AM full of shit, but not about this.

  17. haahah, so funny! I came across this here, I’m the red head in the swimsuit pic and I been finding it so funny to see that a bunch of different people have used this picture for various things!

  18. > I’m the red head in the swimsuit pic

    Haha. Cool. This photo is on google’s top 10 list of hits for “newfoundland”. Go figure.

  19. I wish I could go to Newfoundland and visit!!! Seems to be at the world’s edge: so beautiful. I tried to go to P.E.I. one spring, but that fantasy came to screeching hault when my Canadian co-worker told me how miserable the place is until like July – August.

    Now that we have a little one (and maybe anothe one coming soon), I can’t imagine flying 5 hrs. in a plane AND THEN having to drive 6 to 8 hrs. by car with kids. I would rather slit my wrists and pour Tobasco sauce on them.

    BTW, does it really get hot enough in Newfoundland for these hoochies to wear swim suits????

    Think of me when you’re at the World’s Edge….

  20. Pender….Pender where are you….you are needed here…now…oiy…Pender could be like the comment dog…like an evil junk yard dog..just let him loose when required but be aware that he bites everyone and everything….are illamas vicious….

  21. I have always wanted to visit NFL & NS, and this aug/sept my wife and I will make it.
    I have read what people have been saying about travelling to and around the
    provinces,with great interest. We will fly from Sydney Australia, to Honolulu, then on to
    Phoenix AZ, get our Ford Conversion van out of storage, stock it up with provisions and
    drive for many days, as we sightsee and the route, and eventually about 3 weeks after leaving home, we should be in the area. We are very excited about visiting this part of the world and looking for ward to meeting as any people as we can.
    See you all soon.

  22. I miss Newfie-Land so friggin’ much its insane. I grew up in St.John’s but the only family I’ve met is my immediate family. I know there are a shitload of Walbourne’s on Fogo Island but I’ve never been there. If there are any Walbourne’s reading this my grandfather was Leonard Walbourne, unfortunately he died before I was born but I am very interested in learning about my family name and its roots. I moved to Vancouver 3 years ago for work but go home every year for christmas.

    If anyone knows anything about my families history you can contact me at

  23. You know what…….there is a place on this planet, so endless beautiful, so endless far, nature as far as the eye can reach………..

    ………..from the west where the sun hits you day in, day out through the middle with its never ending fields of gold, idyllic mountain landscape and not less than a vast number of lakes.

    Up head north…..coldness and so clear air, far away from stress, trees everywhere and the whistling in the dark what sings you to sleep.

    With the finger on the map over to the east part, with its hundreds of years old history and its colorful villages…..further east where the cod and swordfish has its home, where the Gulf Stream hits the Grand Banks and the lighthouse keepers kid is the last who waves goodbye when you leave the island and move out towards to the Flemish Cap…… is there anything better in the world?

    Usually only to visit in dreams, but you know what….. there is a place on this planet, so endless beautiful, so endless far, nature as far as the eye can reach……..

    ……..its called great Canada.

    I am European, 24 years old and fallen totally in love whit Canada after I’ve been a couple times over there. Many people can only visit this pearl, this extraordinary country in their dreams. Be proud of it, keep it clean and save your environment for your kids and their kids.

    Greetings to all Canadians from Austria!

    P.S. Please, excuse my English cause actually we speak/write German in Austria:-)

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