We left early this morning to make the 4 1/2 hour drive up to St. Anthony on the uppermost part of The Great Northern Peninsula of Newfoundland. It was gloomy and foggy for the first part of the drive and then cleared up and became very nice. Then the it turned foggy and gloomy again.
The fog and gloom was unfortunately in the area of Flower’s Cove where we planned to stop see the thrombolites, fossils that are estimated to be between 600 million to 1.2 billion years old and that exist only two places in the world. The other is in Australia.
With the wind, strong, wet and cold, blowing up off the sea was we decided to cut our visit short in favor of the warmth of the car and the promise of sunshine down the road.
Sure enough, the weather cleared a few miles down the road and it became a beautiful day.
We finished up the drive in St. Anthony where we had this afternoon and the full day tomorrow to explore. We checked into our hotel and then set out to Fisherman’s Point where we had read there’s a great view of the cove. What we didn’t expect was the three icebergs that had settled into cove which offered a nice, close up view.
We explored the point and then set off to find some dinner and then called it a night.
Tomorrow we take to the sea in search of more icebergs.
We left Twillingate pretty early, mostly because we’re old and we wake up pretty early, but also because it was going to be a long day of driving. Before getting out of town we took advanatage of the morning light to get a few parting shots of this charming little town.
The drive across this part of Newfoundland was pretty uneventful.
We arrived in the Gros Morne area and were greated by an interesting batch of fog that was coming in over the harbor.
It has been a long day. We had a nice dinner and are looking forward to a relaxing evening before heading north to St. Anthony, a town on the northern reaches of the Great Northern Peninsula of Newfoundland.
Today we woke up early to make the drive from Bonavista to Twillingate. This was a rather long drive, much of which was on the Trans Canada Highway. There was some construction and many signs warning of the dangers of moose. Cynthia was in charge of the highway photography.
We stopped in Gander for lunch, but it was a mostly unremarkable town so we quickly moved on to Twillingate. We got checked into our hotel and found our way to the harbour where we booked a tour with Iceberg Quest to go out on a boat and get a closer look at some icebergs.
Before the tour we drive up to Crow Nest for some nice views
Then it was off on a small boat to chase the icebergs at sea.
This first photo is by Cynthia and gives you a sense of the scale
The icebergs are really interesting up close. And they look completely different from different angles.
We really enjoyed the tour. It lasted about 2 hours and when we got back to shore we treated ourselves to a nice dinner. Tonight we rest and in the morning we drive to Gros Morne National Park.
We really managed to hit the high spots on day 1 in Bonavista yesterday. So today was very casual. We got up very early and walked about the harbor and then went back to Elliston to see if there might be more puffin activity in the early morning. Turns out, this was a VERY good time to see them as they had not gone out to sea just yet and there were dozens of them near the viewing cliff.
We cam back to town and drive around a bit to see the icebergs that were floating around the peninsula.
Later in the day we took a drive out to Trinity to see the small historical town, but the day began to turn a bit overcast and the drive, while pleasant, was not very photogenic with all the fog. We had some lunch and drove back to Bonavista and called it a day. Tomorrow, Twillingate for more icebergs!
This morning we got up an drive to Bonavista. On the way we stopped in the unfortunately named town of Dildo
Dildo is a very cute little fishing village and was a great place to stop for some coffee and some photos.
We drive on and stopped in Port Rexton for another short phto break
It was a fairly easy drive on into Bonavista and we checked into the hotel. While in Bonavista we wanted to see two things. The Bonavista Lighthouse. We ended up having fantastic light when we drive to the top of the peninsula
And the other thing we wanted to see was the puffins. There’s a place in Elliston where you can hike out and stand on the edge of a cliff next to a small island where they have their nests.
There’s about 6-8 icebergs floating around the peninsula, some are very close to land, but not always easy to get to the piece of land that they are close to due to the terrain.
Tonight we rest and prepare to do some exploring in Bonavista and the surrounding area tomorrow.
The time difference between Houston and Newfoundland is 2 1/2 hours. We’re adjusting well, but we’re already early risers and with the sun coming up around 5:00 am we’re out of bed by 6:00 am.
This let us get an early start on exploring as we went to Cape Spear which is the furthest east you can get in North America.
We saw our first icebergs!
And we had the entire site all to ourselves
After visiting Cape Spear we had some breakfast and made our way to Bay Bulls to take a whale and puffin watching tour with Gatherall’s
We say thousands of puffins and other seabirds as well as about 4 or 5 Fin Whales, the second largest mammals on the planet. Sadly, no good photos as they only briefly ever broke the surface.
I did manage to get some photos of the Common Murre
At one point thousands of them left their rocky perches and took to the sea
We drive for a bit more and headed up to Pouch Cove, a small and picturesque town north of St. John’s
After this we were pretty wiped. We had an early dinner and called it a day. St. John’s and the surrounding area has been just lovely.
Tomorrow we head to Bonavista.
We had a 7:00 am flight from Houston to St. John’s with a connection in Toronto. Flying Air Canada our bags were checked through to to our final destination without the need to claim them and recheck them. We grabbed our rental car and made our way to the hotel and got checked in. A great day of travel without incident.
After checking into the hotel we drive up to Signal Hill, the sight of the reception of the first transatlantic wireless transmission on 12 December 1901.
There’s a great view from up there of Fort Amherst, St. John’s
We even saw a giant Newfoundland dog
From there we went back to the hotel and had dinner and we’re calling it a night. Tomorrow we drive to Witless Bay to take a boat tour to see whales and puffins.
We made the drive from Lake Tekapo to Christchurch today. This drive was not all that spectacular. The landscape was pretty flat. The weather was very good and we made good time and were able to check into our hotel early.
We found some lunch and then went walking around the city center. I’d forgotten that Christchurch was hit by an earthquake in 2011. They are still restoring the Christchurch Cathedral and the repairs look like they will take another several years.
We fly home tomorrow and we’re looking forward to being home. We’re tired after logging well over 3,000 miles of driving. It has been an amazing trip.
All photos can be found on my Flickr page by clicking
We woke up to what looked like more rain, but as we drove on to our next destination, the weather turned fine and we had a glorious day.
Our first stop was to see the Moeraki Boulders, some unusually large and spherical boulders lying along a stretch of Koekohe Beach on the coast of Moeraki and Hampden.
I wanted to try some long exposure techniques so I brought out my tripod and filters and these are some of the results
I may have gotten a little wet in my efforts to get these shots
We continued up the coast and I spotted a sign pointing to something called Steampunk HQ in Oamaru so we stopped to have a look. It was pretty cool to see.
From there we turned inland and drive to Lake Pukaki and followed the coast to Mt. Cook. The scenery was just spectacular
Mt. Cook was covered in cloud and fog so we didn’t really get to see it. We turned around and drove on to Lake Tekapo and found our hotel.
Lake Tekapo and Lake Pukaki are the most amazing shade of turquoise blue I have ever seen. It’s due to the the glacier run off…something called glacial flour which is a term for the byproduct of the rocks being ground to powder by the glaciers.
The Lupins here are in full bloom and all over the place. It really is quite beautiful
Tomorrow we drive to Christchurch for our final day in New Zealand before flying home on Tuesday.