Whale and Iceberg Tours

 

Trinity Bay and Bonavista Bay serve as nature’s playground during the Spring and Summer months in Newfoundland.  

Twenty-two species of whales, dolphins, and porpoises swim the waters along the coastline of Newfoundland and Labrador during the months of May to August. The Bonavista Peninsula is a perfect location to see and appreciate these magnificent creatures of the sea.  

Some species spotted in Trinity Bay and Bonavista Bay include: Humpback Whales, Sperm Whales, Minke Whales, Pothead Whales and Killer Whales (Orcas).  White-sided dolphins and Bluefin Tuna are frequently spotted during the Fall.  

Boat tours also provide the opportunity to see the many majestic icebergs floating past Trinity during Spring and early Summer.  The prime time to see icebergs is between late May and late June.

Finally, the Peninsula’s unique geological features offer an added bonus on every trip.

A whale shows off during a tour with Sea of Whales Adventures
Marieke Gow Photography

Those who come to visit during the month of June and early July are sometimes lucky enough to spot icebergs, whales and various sea birds, including: the Atlantic Puffin and Bald Eagles all at once!

To see daily records of whale sightings in our area CLICK HERE.  

The two communities that offer boat tours with the focus of seeing wildlife are Trinity and Bonavista.

TRINITY

Three boat tours are located within walking distance of the Artisan Inn

A group of people wearing flotation safety suits sit in a zodiac operated by Sea of Whales adventures
Photo Taken on Sea of Whale Adventure Tours. The #1 boat tour on trip advisor for the town of Trinity

Sea of Whales Adventure  

Vessel Type: Zodiac
Phone: 1-709-464-2200
Address: 1 Ash’s Lane
Walking Distance from the Twine Loft: 2 minutes     

                                                                    

Atlantic Adventures                                                                                                                                  

Vessel Type: Trawller sailer
Phone: 1-709-464-2133
Address: 1 Dock Lane
Walking distance from the Twine Loft: 6 minutes                                           

Trinity Eco Tours   

Vessel Type: Zodiac
Phone: 1-709-464-3712
Address: 1 Stoneman’s Lane
Walking distance from the Twine Loft: 4 minutes

BONAVISTA

A boat tour returning at sunset to a flock of puffins

Discovery Sea Adventures

Vessel Type: Fast Rescue Craft
Phone: 1-709-470-0322
Address: Roper Street, Bonavista NL
Located in the parking lot of the Matthew Legacy site

Bonavista Puffin and Whale Tours

Vessel Type: Larger vessel type with indoor and outdoor seating and a washroom on board
Phone: 1-709-468-8438
Address: 15 Roper Street, Bonavista NL
Located in the parking lot of the Matthew Legacy site.

Places to Whale Watch From Land in Trinity Bight

While boat tours offer a first class whale watching experience, getting you up close and personal with wildlife, not everyone has the greatest sea legs.  We can never guarantee a whale sighting, however, we can tell you where the locals often go to watch Humpbacks feeding once they have arrived for the season.  Our staff receive updates from local boat tours and summer residents when pods are feeding close to shore in certain area’s.  We do our best to communicate anything exciting that we are aware of when we register guests at the inn or during morning breakfast.

Fort Point Lighthouse and Beach

Watch for humpback whales on the beach of Fort Point, Trinity

We recommend getting a lunch to go from Trinity Mercantile Coffee Shop and heading to Fort Point Lighthouse for a picnic.  Whales are often seen feeding during the month of July just off the point’s beach.

Driving Distance from Trinity: 19 Minutes

English Harbour / Horse Chops

Cliffs of English Harbour
Located 19 minutes from the Artisan Inn

This is the area many locals go to watch whales from the cliffs. The beach in English Harbour is also a popular spot to watch the capelin when they start to roll.  locals are often seen here with buckets to harvest the small silver fish for a meal.

Driving Distance from Trinity: 19 Minutes

Skerwink Trail, Trinity East/Port Rexton

Skerwink Trail
Marieke Gow Photography

Whales often feed below the cliffs, offering hikers a bird’s eye view.  One cannot drive up to these spots, but instead, must hike the outer trail for the best vantage points.

Driving distance from Trinity: 13 minutes

Please note that whales are wild animals and their feeding times and locations can never be guaranteed.

Find Driving Directions to all communities mentioned

COMMUNITIES AND DRIVING DIRECTIONS

Historic Sites

TRINITY

HISTORIC SITES PASS

We have an entire page dedicated to the historic sites of Trinity, all within walking distance of Artisan Inn accommodations.  Sites include:

The Lester Garland Building
The Hiscock House
The Green Family Forge
The Ryan Shop
The Trinity Museum
The Court House/Wooden Boat Museum
The Cooperage
St. Paul’s Church and the Holy Trinity Church

Visit our page HISTORIC SITES IN TRINITY to learn more.

NEW BONAVENTURE            

A laundry line is hung with clothing from the 19th century with a square green house in the background

Random Passage Site   

Ok, this is not a historic site, but instead, a movie set from the mini-series Random Passage.  It does, however, offer visitors the chance to understand the struggle many of the first Newfoundland settlers faced when they arrived on this barren isolated land from England and Ireland and what early settlements would have looked liked including the church, schoolhouse, and the disparity between the houses of the well-off and those who struggled to survive the winter.

Additional Links

Random Passage on Eastlink’s Discover NL

PORT UNION

Port Union Museum

Port Union National Historic District

Port Union is the only union-built town in North America. Construction began on the shores of Trinity Bay, Newfoundland, in 1916. Within five years, a busy and modern union town bordered the protected deep-water harbour-all made possible through the hard work and vision of the members of the Fishermen’s Protective Union (the FPU) and their first leader, William Ford Coaker.

To learn more about the Union Town, visit the Factory and The Bungalow

Additional Links

Trip Advisor Reviews

ELLISTON

Home from the sea, Sealer’s Memorial Museum

The great sealing disasters of 1914 contributed greatly to the loss of a generation soon to be devastated by World War I. In remembering these men, Home from The Sea presents the historical and cultural context of sealing in Newfoundland and Labrador through seven captivating visitor experiences.  Learn more by visiting the linked website.

Sealer’s Memorial Statue

Situated on Porter’s Point, facing the sea and looking back toward home, rests the bronze statue of father and son Reuben and Albert John Crewe, residents of Elliston who perished out on the ice in the 1914 SS Newfoundland sealing disaster. Created by acclaimed sculptor Morgan MacDonald, it sits as a poignant reminder not only of great loss but of the remarkable ties that bind families together in places where going to work and coming Home from the Sea is never a guarantee. It stands to represent all sealers who have risked and lost their lives in their efforts to support their families and communities. Learn more by visiting the linked website.

BONAVISTA

The Ryan Premises

A salty scent lingers within the cluster of white, 19th century clapboard buildings of the Ryan Premises, perched on the shore of Bonavista’s historic and picturesque harbour. Hear the reminiscences of the site’s interpreters, most of whom have a personal connection to the fishing industry; marvel at the variety of artifacts in the on-site Bonavista Museum; and explore the internationally-recognized “Cod, Seals and Survivors” exhibition that tells the 500-year story of Canada’s east coast fishery.

Matthew Legacy Centre

500 years after John Cabot first arrived in Newfoundland, both Bristol and Newfoundland marked the monumental event by recreating the voyage in 1997. A replica of Cabot’s ship, The Matthew, sailed across the Atlantic and landed at Bonavista’s shores and was greeted by hundreds of on-lookers, including Queen Elizabeth II.  The Matthew Legacy Centre was built to house the ship and visitors can tour the boat and learn more about Cabot.

Additional Links:

Video: A Voyage Across the Atlantic on a Replica of The Matthew – History Channel

Bonavista Lighthouse

Cape Bonavista Lighthouse was constructed in 1843 and is currently restored to the 1870s period. The highlight of the lighthouse is an original catoptric light mechanism that dates to 1816. An adjacent interpretation centre features exhibits on lighthouse technology and lightkeepers’ lives.

Additional notes: Some of the site summaries are copied directly from the websites of those sites and are not the original content of the Artisan Inn and Twine Loft.

Hiking and Walking on the Bonavista Peninsula

a woman takes a photo of cliffs and icebergs from the Klondike Trail

The Bonavista Peninsula is a hikers paradise. The Artisan Inn in Trinity can serve as an excellent home base for those who wish to explore the various hikes and walks along the Discovery Trail.  With a variety of coastal and inland trails, rated from easy to difficult, there is something for both walkers and hikers.  Spend the day hiking, return to comfortable accommodations and curl up in a blanket with a glass of wine on our front deck while resting your feet!  Hand carved, wooden hiking sticks are available for Artisan Inn guests who do not wish to travel with their own.  

Maps of each hiking Trail can be found on the Hike Discovery Travel App  

 

TRINITY – UPPER & LOWER GUN HILL TRAIL

The view from the top of Gun Hill shows a whale tail shaped area of land surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean

Located in Trinity, starting behind the Royal Bank or the Rising Tide Theatre

Easy (very top can be difficult)

Approx. 2 km Loop, 0.75 km to the Top, 45 Minutes – 1 Hour return

To Learn more about this trail visit the Gun Hill Page on the Explore Trinity section of our website

PORT REXTON – SKERWINK TRAIL

The Skerwink Trail in Port Rexton

Located 10 minutes from Trinity

Moderate – Difficult

5.3 km Loop, 1.5 – 2 Hours

The Experience

Just minutes from Trinity, in Trinity East, Skerwink has been selected as one of Travel and Leisure magazine’s “25 Great Walks in North America and Europe” (May 2009).

The trail is rated Moderate and takes approximately 2 hours to complete (longer if you are passionate about photography) and is a 5.3km coastal loop. At certain locations hikers may feel as though they are standing at the edge of the world.  Steeper sections of the trail have been lined with stairs and board walks cover any boggy sections.  Many lookouts have been built with benches allowing visitors to stop and enjoy the view.

Moose, foxes, bald eagles, whales, seabirds and icebergs are often spotted.

Directions from Trinity 

Leave the town of Trinity

Turn Right onto Route 239 towards Route 230

Turn Right on Route 230 towards Bonavista

Turn Right towards Trinity East after large yellow gas station in Port Rexton

Drive approx 5 minutes, pass one church, then arrive at a parking lot across from a second church. A large sign with the map of the Skerwink Trail will be to your your left.

Additional Links

Skerwink Trail: Hike Discovery Site & Map Link

In the Press: Hike Bike Travel

CHAMPNEY’S WEST – FOX ISLAND TRAIL

A board walk along the ocean overlooking fox island encircled by pack ice

Located 15 minutes from Trinity

Easy – Moderate

5.5km Loop, Approx. 2 Hours

The Experience

The trail displays the beautiful coastal scenery, views of the surrounding communities and local wildlife, then finishes with a walk through the fishing village of Champney’s West. Take the time to walk down and view the fishing stages and maybe get your opportunity to chat to a local resident.

Directions from Trinity

Leave the town of Trinity

Turn Right onto Route 239 towards Route 230

Turn Right on Route 230 towards Bonavista

Drive past Port Rexton and turn Right onto Route 230-17 to Champney’s West

The trail parking lot is located on the right, 2km from the turn off and across from the old cemetery.

Additional Links:

Fox Island Trail: The Hike Discovery Website and Trail Maps

Trip Advisor Reviews

PORT UNION – MURPHY’S COVE TRAIL

Located 28 minutes from Trinity

Moderate

7.7km Loop, Approx. 3 Hours

The Experience

This coastal loop trail will take you through the abandoned community of Murphy’s Cove and overlooks the Green Island Lighthouse. This looped trail has a variety of headlands that provide viewing platforms where surrounding communities, whales, seabirds and fishing vessels can be photographed. The halfway point provides a lookout where users can view the Green Island Lighthouse, one of the last remaining manned lighthouses in the province. The trail follows the coastline offering great photo opportunities.

Directions from Trinity

Leave the town of Trinity

Turn Right onto Route 239 towards Route 230

Turn Right on Route 230 towards Bonavista

Drive 30 minutes to Port Union and turn Right onto Reid’s Road

Follow the blue hiker sign. The entrance of the Trail is located next to St Catherine’s Haven retirement home.

Additional Links

Murphy’s Cove: The Hike Discovery Website & Trail Maps

Trip Advisor Reviews

 

BONAVISTA – CAPE SHORE TRAIL

2 piles of rocks lie on either side of the picture with a view of an iceberg in the ocean between them.

Located 1 Hour from Trinity

Gentle

3.5 Kilometers, Approx. 1 Hour each way

The Experience

A 3.5 km trail along the coastline that runs parallel to the main road from the Town of Bonavista to Cape Bonavista. This trail provides one with a spectacular view of Bonavista Bay as you enjoy a leisurely walk on a marked trail to the Cape Bonavista Lighthouse. Along this route you can enjoy the rugged coast line while watching for birds and whales (in season). Stop for a picnic along the trail or at the John Cabot Municipal Park.

Directions from Trinity

Leave the town of Trinity

Turn Right onto Route 239 towards Route 230

Turn Right on Route 230 towards Bonavista

Once in Bonavista, follow Confederation Drive (route 230) until you see the Right hand turn onto Cape Shore Road 

Continue on Cape Shore Road until you pass the Ocean View Cabins where a parking lot will be on your right 

 

ELLISTON / BONAVISTA – KLONDIKE TRAIL

Located 45 to 50 minutes from Trinity

Gentle – Moderate

3km, 45 minutes each way

The Experience

Located on the northern section of Elliston, it was regularly used years ago as a horse and cart trail, leading from Elliston to the community of  Spillar’s Cove. This walk takes you from forest to wetlands, heathlands to sea. Learn about the plants and animals inhabiting our area while looking for our provincial bird, the puffin. You may also see whales, kittiwakes and other sea life as well as spectacular coastal scenery. This area was initially called Bird Island Cove and offers hikers spectacular oceanfront scenery with plenty of seabirds and wildlife along the way. – Text courtesy of Hike Discovery.

Directions from Trinity

Leave the town of Trinity

Turn Right onto Route 239 towards Route 230

Turn Right on Route 230 towards Bonavista

Spillar’s Cove end(Most of the Klondike trail is inland, so we suggest driving to the Spillar’s Cove end and exploring the northern section of the trail)

Drive to the Town of Bonavista

You will reach an intersection with a large green highway sign indicating Elliston and Spillar’s Cove to your right, Turn Right

Keep Left towards Spillar’s Cove at the intersection of Spillar’s Cove Road and Route 238 to Elliston
(You can also Turn Right onto Route 238 to Elliston, then turn Left onto Main Street in Elliston to access the Elliston end of the trail)

Drive through the village of Spillar’s Cove until you reach the end of the paved road, the trail begins here

Elliston end

Drive 35 – 40 mins on Route 230, then turn Right on Route 238 to Elliston

Turn Left at the John C. Crosbie Sealer’s Interpretation Centre in Elliston

Turn Right onto Main Street

Follow signage to the trail head

Additional Links

Trip Advisor reviews

Klondike Trail: The Hike Discovery Website and Trail Maps

 

ROUTE 235 – KING’S COVE – LIGHTHOUSE TRAIL

Multi-coloured cliffs jut into a blue ocean

Located 45 minutes from Trinity

Gentle – Moderate

1.7km inner loop, 3.5km outer loop, 0.5 or 1 hours

The Experience

The King’s Cove Lighthouse Trail is classed as a stacked loop.  This provides the walker/hiker the option of completing the 1.7km inside loop or the 3.5km outside loop.  Both trails are coastal hikes to the lighthouse. The outside loop offers the hiker additional coastal viewing into Bonavista Bay and Brook Point, then proceeds into the woods on a primitive trail leading back to the church.  Returning via the inside loop, walkers/hikers have the opportunity to walk along rock foundations while admiring spectacular coastal scenery in Blackhead Bay.

The lighthouse was built in 1893, after some fifty shipwrecks occurred in Bonavista Bay.  It was constructed of pre-cast iron, shipped from Birmingham, England.  It was the first lighthouse in Newfoundland to be fitted with a revolving kerosene light system from Sweden and was visible from 14 nautical miles.  Since it had to be lit every night and extinguished each morning, Philip Batterton was hired as a light keeper, a position held for over 62 years by the Batterton family.

– This information has been provided by the Discovery Trail Tourism Association

Directions from Trinity

Leave the town of Trinity

Turn Right onto Route 239 towards Route 230

The trail is located at the halfway mark of Route 235 and there are two ways to get there from Trinity. Either route will take approximately 45 minutes. One can: 

A) Turn Left onto Route 230 towards Clarenville

Turn right onto Route 235 at South Bay

Turn Left onto Top Road

Park at the large church in King’s Cove.  The trail begins there.

or

B) Turn Right onto Route 230 towards Bonavista

Turn left onto Route 237 at Catalina

Turn Left onto Route 235

Turn Right onto Top Road

Park at the large church in King’s Cove.  The trail begins there.

GPS: N48 34’12  W53 19’56

We do not recommend taking the Route 236 through Lockston Path Provincial Park, as it is a dirt road with no cell phone reception

Additional Links

Lighthouse Trail: The Hike Discovery Website and Maps

Trip Advisor Reviews

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

For more information about hiking trails in the Eastern Region consider ordering the book Hikes of Eastern Newfoundland.

https://www.amazon.com/Hikes-Eastern-Newfoundland-Mary-Smyth/dp/1927099595

The photographs on this page are by Marieke Gow and may only be used on other websites or print material with written permission from Marieke. mariekegow@yahoo.com