By: Jessica Kilfoy & Lauren Dawe
There’s few places on earth that can match Newfoundland and Labrador when it comes to scenery. Two women explore one area and uncover scenic central
Central Newfoundland is known for its beautiful scenery, especially for adventurers who love the outdoors.
With endless hiking, whale and iceberg boat tours as well as guided backcountry journeys, there’s never a boring day spent in central. As local bloggers, we were brought out to explore another side of central Newfoundland, and some of its communities whose tourism industries are on the incline – and about to take off.
We made our way to Coffee Cove as the first stop on our weekend trip. Just a 20 minute drive from Springdale, the quaint town made an ideal first destination. As we approached the Coffee Cove Seaside Retreat, we were welcomed by grazing sheep and a crisp breeze off the bay. We took our bags to the lighthouse cabin at which we would spend our evening. It was easy to fall asleep in the loft bedroom with the sound of the rustling trees.
We awoke with the sun, as you would in such a serene and natural location. Sipping coffee on the patio, overlooking the bay alongside a sweet lighthouse cabin, is a memory we won’t soon forget.
Once we bid farewell to the Coffee Cove Seaside Retreat, we headed for Triton. We were greeted by local tour operator of Badger Bay Boat Tours, Skipper Mike, for a personalized tour on the history of the town. For being small and rural, there have been many successful entrepreneurs from the area, and the town couldn’t be prouder. From remnants of resettled communities, to bay-view borderline-mansions, Triton has undergone an incredible growth. A new addition to the town is an impressive Sperm Whale Pavilion featuring a 40-foot whale skeleton on display, paired with an informative interpretation by retired local teacher, Terry Whalen.
Our tour guide, Skipper Mike, a commercial fisherman by trade, has over 30 years experience and has been conducting boat tours out of the area for many of those. Once you hop in the open fishing boat, Skipper Mike will take you to see waterfalls, island beaches, sea caves and if you’re lucky, you may even see a whale or an iceberg. Giving us the five-star experience, Skipper Mike and his wife made us feel right at home with a boil up on his wharf featuring his own freshly caught lobster!
There’s something special about getting to know someone and have them share something they love so dearly with you – Newfoundlanders are especially good at that. With full bellies and new friends made, we bid farewell to Triton and made our way to Springdale to check into our next accommodations.
Not far off the highway in Springdale, we found our next home-away-from-home at the Indian Falls Chalets. Newly opened this past May, owners Michelle and Shawn Rowsell have created a series of 4.5 star chalets that would rival any high end hotel – with a whole lot more charm. With interior decor by SAM design, a perfect view of the Indian River and proximity to hiking trails, these chalets are a must-stay. Offering various experience packages, the owners are keen to show off the beautiful area they call home.
During our stay, we opted for the hiking and picnic experience along with the smoked salmon experience conducted by Shawn. We hiked along the Indian River admiring the lush forests and wildlife. At the end of our hike, they had prepared us a picnic which we ate as we watched the salmon jump up the falls.
We made our way up the stairs to the chalets and Shawn walked us through the fascinating history of smoking fish in Newfoundland. We watched as he prepared salmon at each step of the process, including a demonstration with a 28-year-old wooden smokehouse built by his father. The experience concluded with sampling the final product with a glass of wine – it was the best smoked salmon we’ve ever had.
Bright and early the next day, we set out to meet Rob Clarke of Rob Clarke Motorsports with whom we would spend the day zipping around backcountry trails, mud holes and scaling rocky mountains on a half-day side-by-side tour. During our guided tour around the wilderness of Springdale, we spotted multiple caribou, moose and a horned owl. By the end of it, we were full of dust and our stomachs were sore with laughter. Next time, we’re doing the full day!
The next morning, we packed the car and headed for King’s Point. Our top spot for this sweet sea-side town was King’s Point Pottery. Once named the #1 craft shop in Atlantic Canada, owners and artisans Linda and David have created a one-of-a-kind destination. With over 365 different artists’ work for sale, along with their own pottery studio, there’s much to see.
With pottery throwing demonstrations and workshops, you can learn directly from Linda and David and begin to understand some of the magic behind the pieces they sell. Once we had our own turns on the pottery wheel, we ventured to the Humpback Whale Pavilion. Here, David Hayashida, a member of the whale procurement team, walked us through the tale of how this whale came to be on display in the town.
Our visit to central Newfoundland was made complete with a stop at the By the Sea Inn & Café for toutons and coffee, in true Newfoundland fashion.
Finally, we began our drive back to St. John’s to dream of wharf boil ups, mountain climbs, and waterfall-view slumbers.