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Nine things to do in Newfoundland

JAMES JONES
Last updated 05:00 16/02/2014
Newfoundland
TOP SPOT: The Newfoundland Coast.

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Known as The Rock because of its rocky landscape and spectacular soaring cliffs, Newfoundland and Labrador truly live up to its nickname.

If you are looking for an outdoorsy type of vacation, you will very much enjoy a trip here.

Whale watching, iceberg spotting and fishing rank high on most people's list of things, but there are many more:

1. Take a hike on the East Coast Trail

St. John's is the capital city of Newfoundland and Labrador, and boasts the beautiful East Coast Trail, on the east side of the Avalon Peninsula.

The East Coast Trail provides ample opportunities for hiking, whale-watching and bird-watching from one of the many vantage points along the trail.

2. See the lighthouses

One of the most popular lighthouses in the country is Cape Race, near Chance Cove Provincial Park. This lighthouse was the first one to receive the first distress signals from the Titanic.

The second lighthouse worth seeing in Newfoundland is Cape Spear Lighthouse, which is the oldest in Newfoundland and Labrador. This lighthouse can be easily reached by car from St John's (within 20 minutes drive).

3. Join a festival

Newfoundland and Labrador hosts many festivals throughout the year, so no matter when you visit you will find an exciting event to join. Three of the most popular celebrations in the country are:

George Street Festival: One of the largest street festivals in eastern Canada, and one of the most anticipated festivals of St John's calendar year.

This year's 2014 George Street Festival is from July 31 to August 5, and will feature Canadian rock bands Barenaked Ladies and Glass Tiger, as well as local folk band Shanneyganock.

Opera on the Avalon Festival: This is held in St John's and runs from May 29 to June 21. This year's 2014 festival will feature two full-length operas and an "Opera's Greatest Hits" Orchestral Concert.

The March Hare Festival: One of the largest poetry festivals in Canada and takes place over five days in March. This festival is great for networking with book authors, travel writers and musicians. This year's March Harare festival takes place between March 11 and March 16.

4. Take in the views from Signal Hill

Signal Hill offers some of the best panoramic views of St John's and is a great opportunity to spot whales and icebergs during the spring season.

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While you are up there, be sure to climb to the top of Cabot Tower for even better views of the Atlantic Ocean.

5. Pub crawl George St

St John's George St is the main entertainment and nightlife hub in the city. George St is littered with dozens of eateries and buzzing Irish/Celtic-themed bar and pubs playing live music.

6. Visit The Rooms museum

The Rooms museum is located on a hill overlooking St John's and offers a nice opportunity to learn more about the heritage of Newfoundland and Labrador.

7. Learn the art of cod jigging

If you are keen on fishing, try out cod jigging. It's a very popular pastime in this region of Canada. The cod jigging season is typically between July and September. Popular spots include Bay d'Espoir, Spaniard's Bay, Fortune Harbour and Trinity Bay.

8. Snorkel with humpback whales

Snorkelling with whales is a very popular thing to do in Newfoundland and Labrador. You don't have to venture too far from St John's to do it. Within 15 minutes drive south of St John's, you will find Petty Harbour, which offers a fantastic opportunity to snorkel with these majestic 40-tonne mammals.

9. Walk Skerwink Trail

The Skerwink Trail ranks as one of the top 10 hiking trails in North America and with good reason. This trail is a photographer's dream and offers unparalleled ocean views over the cliffs, the rocky shoreline and boggy woodland.

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