Newfoundland and Labrador glow with a beauty unmatched and unsurpassed. More than 29,000 kilometres of pristine coast, three national parks, 18 wilderness and ecological reserves and countless kilometres of hiking trails ensure it’s easy for anyone to lose themselves amid the fjords, forests, valleys and villages that compose this magical place.
Whether you like sea kayaking in a sea of migrating whales, scaling jagged icebergs, or just kicking back to some foot-stomping fiddle music and fresh lobster tail, Newfoundland and Labrador promises an unforgettable time for any traveler.
18 Things You May Not Know About Newfoundland and Labrador
1. Go west young man: Cape Spear, NL, is the farthest East point of land in North America.
2. From 1857 to 1949, Newfoundland issued its own postage stamps–which are still valid for use anywhere in Canada.
3. St. John’s shares the same latitude as Paris, France…but has less crêpes.
4. St. John’s has no ragweed, snakes, skunks, raccoons, poisonous insects or poisonous spiders.
5. Newfoundland was England’s oldest overseas colony, the first English settlement having been made on The Rock by John Guy in 1610.
6. The provincial flower is the Pitcher Plant, a carnivorous plant that eats insects.
7. Newfoundland and Labrador have 510,000 people, 500,000 puffins, 120,000 moose, 25,000 gannets, 800 bald eagles and 7 million storm petrels.
8. St. John’s was the starting point for the first transatlantic flight, the first non-stop transatlantic flight, and the 7,821-kilometre long Trans-Canada Highway.
9. Labrador is home to the oldest known burial mound in North America–a Maritime Archaic Indian child buried some 7,500 years ago.
10. As there are no groundhogs in Newfoundland, on February 2nd, Newfoundlanders watch to see if bears emerge from their lairs and see their shadows.
11. In 1948, 52 percent of the population of the British Colony of Newfoundland voted for confederation and joined Canada in March 1949. Joey Smallwood was the first premier.
12. Has two UNESCO World Heritage sites: Gros Morne National Park, and L’Anse aux Meadows.
13. Has 22 species of whales, including the world’s largest migrating population of humpbacks.
14. Is renowned for its blueberries, partridgeberries, blackberries, crowberries and bakeapples (also known as cloudberries).
15. The capital city of St. John’s enjoys the third-mildest winter in Canada.
16. Great Big Sea–the great big rock group!–Rick Mercer, Gordon Pinsent, Mary and Christopher Pratt, were all born in Newfoundland.
17. The oldest known contact between Europe and North America was made by Leif Eriksson in Newfoundland in about 1000 AD.
18. Italian explorer and navigator Giovanni Caboto–also known as John Cabot–put Newfoundland on the map in 1497.