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My wife and I are planning a trip this summer and would appreciate any information about the roads on Newfoundland Island. We're considering taking the ferry from Sydney, Nova Scotia to Channel-Port aux Basques, Newfoundland and then take Rt. 1 to St. Johns. Does anyone know what the ride on Rt. 1 is like and the condition of the road? My wife and I don't want to ride on gravel roads. We want to make sure all our travel roads are paved. Can anyone shed some light on this? Any help will be much appreciated. Thanks. BOZ

Just from looking at maps, I was originally planning on going from Baie-Comeau, Quebec on Rt. 389 to Happy Valley-Goose Bay. Then I found out that a large part of that road is gravel and difficult to travel in a car - not suitable for a MC (for me anyway).

We really want to travel the area, but also want paved road under us. :)
 

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I would not travel to Labrador by MC. Go by the ferry system to Newfoundland. The roads are ok..mostly all two lane paved. Make certain you make reservations if possible and never miss a gas fill up. There are very few chain hotels/motels, mostly mom and pop places.
Lot's of trees, moose and various other wildlife. Great place to do whale watching..for sure!
Be prepared for some of the most unusual dialect you have ever heard in your life!

Just my 2 cents worth.

Shadow1

Hal
 

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Two thoughts.

First, take the ferry from North Sydney, NS to Newfoundland (pronounced like understand). There are two routes. One from North Sydney to Port aux Basques - about 5 hours - and it will drop you off at the southwest corner of the island. The other is from North Sydney to Argentia and is about 14 hours. It will drop you off a couple of hours from St. Johns. Either way, be SURE you make reservations well in advance. Summer is busy and there are almost always folks who haven't made a reservation who are left standing on the dock. They can handle the people, but have finite room for vehicles, thus the limit. Take your own tie down straps!!!!!!

Once tied down, you'll not be permitted to return to the vehicle deck to check on your tiedown, so be sure to get it right.

Some folks use Port aux Basques to get on, and off, the island. But that means it is about 500 miles by the most direct route from Port aux Basques to St. John's, and, of course, that many more back using the same road.

I prefer to go into Argentia and out of Port aux Basques.

Second, in my opinion, the interesting things to do on Newfoundland include:

Cape St. Mary's, Cape Spear lighthouse, Signal Hill in St. John's, Terra Nova Park, Gross Morne Park (take the boat trip back from the road), ride up the northern peninsula, the north shore towns, and more.

You need at least a week ON the island to enjoy it.

The people are wonderful.

As you ride down the road in the less developed areas, you'll find two things that are "different". First, folks go cut wood, haul it to the edge of the road, split it, stack it, and leave it. NO ONE touches another family's wood. It seasons, they go back and pick it up, take it home and use it to heat their home during the winter. If folks in the U.S. put wood by the side of the road, it'd be gone in short order. Not there. Second, is the same thing with vegetable gardens. The island is very rocky. So, some homes are built on top of the rock. Therefore, to have a garden, one must find some tillable soil. It is there, but may be some distance away. So families find a plot (usually on government land), till the soil, plant a garden, and everyone else leaves it alone. You plant it, it is yours.

Very interesting.

If you want to say "I've ridden in Labrador", then take the ferry from St. Barbe (on the northern pensinula) to Labrador - about an hour's trip - ride where you can on paved roads - about 50 miles, maybe - and take the ferry back to Newfoundland.

But, the route you suggested from Baie Comeau through Labrador City is dual sport (with extra gas) or 4x4 for most folks. And, the mosquitoes are TERRIBLE. Do a search on www.advrider.com for more. And, you still need to take a ferry back to Newfoundland from Goose Bay.

Newfoundland is a very delightful place, just be sure you allow enough time on the island.

And, if you like jellies and jams, be sure to try the GooseBerry jam. It is easy to find in Gander, and from folks sellig it by the side of the road. Very nice, and a local item.

Enjoy your trip.
 

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HWY # 1 / Transcanada is an excellent paved 2 & 4 lane road right across the province. Unfortunately most tourist attractions you have to take side roads , some are paved but most are hard gravel whitch can be traveled with caution. I also suggest you have your hotels, campsites prebooked. Be extremely cautious if riding early morning or evening. Watchout!! for moose. Stop by my hometown, Grandfalls, it has everything there you would need. Go an see the salmon ladder attraction. Interesting seeing the salmon go up the rapids. Voted one of the prettiest towns in Canada. Best weather is late July & August other times can be cool & wet.
 

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My Wife and I are going to Newfoundland this august We are taking the ferry from North Sydney to Port aux Basques and going up to the north tip - st Anthony- to visit family. Book your ferry NOW! we are going last 2 weeks in August and got the last berth - we are taking the night boat to avoid losing a day of riding each way. AS said Roads are fine people are great. give yourself at least a week on the island and you may want to get a Newfoundland dictionary! the dialect is one of a kind! Have great time
 

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We spent a little over a week there last year.
When you get off the ferry in Port-aux-Basques take a short ride to Rose Blanche. This will get you to one of the most scenic places, and let all the traffic clear.
Ride up to L'Anse aux Meadows and visit the Viking Village that was established 500 years BEFORE Columbus "discovered" America.
Gros Morne is not to be missed, the boat tour on Western Brook Pond is spectacular.
You can take a short ferry ride to Fogo Island and stand at one of the four corners of the earth (according to the Flat Earth Society).
Cape St Mary's bird sanctuary is truly amazing.
We were scheduled to take the Argentia ferry back to North Sydney but the sailing was delayed so we rode back to Port aux Basques. It is my understanding that there is a brand new ferry scheduled to be put in service soon, if not already, which should aleviate some of the scheduling problems.
We didn't make reservations for accomodations (camping, motels and B&Bs) and didn't have any major problems. We stopped at tourist info offices and got their help with local accomodation.
Have a great time on your trip.
 

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St Anthony

I did the Sidney to Port Aux Basques. It was great when that huge ship comes into the port and the captain spins it around and slids it into the slip. I thought Newfoundland was desolated until I took the ferry from St Barbie on Rte 430 over to Point Sablon in Labrador. Now that is desolation. If they have the same small ferry going across the Belle Isl straights, be prepared for a really interesting ride. Waves were 3' next to the dock and 8'-10' as soon as we cleared the point. Make sure weather will be decent as the ferry doesn't run when weather gets nasty. Too dangerous. Last paved road in Labrador ends in a place called Red Bay about 50 miles North of Pt. Sablon. In NewFoundland, Take 430 North to St. Anthony and the Viking settlement site. Very interseting. Look for a place called "The Lighthouse". It is a place for coffee and eats. You can sit there and use binos and look for icebergs out on the ocean. Take the whale watch trip from St. Anthonys. Look for all the eagles nesting on the cliffs. People are really great, but ALWAYS get fuel where and when possible. Be EXTREMLY carefull about any ridng at night or dusk. You will lose against a moose. Try the bed and breakfast. They are great. Look for places called Grenfields, spelling may be wrong, but they have a place in NewFoundland and also Labrador. He was a Doctor and had 2 orphanges/hospital for the Eskimos etc whose parents died on the ice. We stayed in a room in Labrdor that the Doctors nurse lived in for 45 years. Had the same furniture in it. The current owner was born on a couch in the living room. Really great places in both NF and Labrdor and the people are outstanding:bow::bow:.
 
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