3 Amazing World Heritage Sites in Newfoundland and Labrador

Hello and welcome to my blog! I’m glad you’re here. It’s week 27 in 2022 and I’m hosting Weekend Coffee Share linkup #77. Come on in for a coffee or tea, and let’s catch up.

In June, while in Newfoundland and Labrador, I explored three UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the province:

  1. Gros Morne National Park
  2. L’Anse aux Meadows
  3. Red Bay Basque Whaling Station

UNESCO stands for United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. In case you’re unfamiliar with local name and geography, the official name of the province is Newfoundland and Labrador (NL). The Strait of Belle Isle separates the province into two areas: 1) Newfoundland and 2) Labrador.

This post includes the highlights of my visits to the three sites. The first two sites are along the Viking Trail on Newfoundland’s west coast and the third site is on Labrador’s south coast. I included links to Parks Canada and UNESCO official websites for more information. As always, click on photos in galleries to see a bigger version and read their captions.

1. Gros Morne National Park

In 1987, Gros Morne National Park was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site for both its unique geological history dating back 1.25 billion years and its exceptional scenery. Gros Morne French meaning is “big lone mountain” or more literally “great sombre.”

The park provides a rare example of the process of continental drift, where deep ocean crust and the rocks of the earth’s mantle lie exposed. More recent glacial action has resulted in some spectacular scenery, with coastal lowland, alpine plateau, fjords, glacial valleys, sheer cliffs, waterfalls and many pristine lakes.

UNESCO Gros Morne National Park

I visited the majestic Western Brook Pond, a fresh water fjord which was carved out by glaciers. The photo below shows the Long Range Mountains where the fjord is located. The steep escarpment on the right marks a crack (or fault) in the Earth’s crust. The fault was created when continents collided about 400 million years ago.

Western Brook Pond
Western Brook Pond
Western Brook Pond
Western Brook Pond photo in my hotel room

I took a boat tour on beautiful Bonne Bay. It was a clear and sunny day so the 806 m high flat-topped Gros Morne Mountain and the Tablelands with a dusting of snow were visible.

I also visited the park’s informative Discovery Centre and hiked the picturesque Tablelands Trail. The landscape is so spectacular that I can easily spend two weeks here to explore more hiking trails.

***

2. L’Anse aux Meadows

L’Anse aux Meadows was designated a National Historic Site in 1975 and a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1978. It is the only authenticated Viking site in North America and the earliest evidence of Europeans in North America. It comprises 80 square kilometers of forest, bog, coast, bay and islands.

L'Anse aux Meadows reconstructed sod huts
L’Anse aux Meadows reconstructed sod huts

Norwegian explorer Helge Ingstad and his wife, archaeologist Anne Stine, were searching for Norse landing places along the coast of North America. With the help of local resident George Decker, they would uncover the only Norse encampment ever to have been discovered in North America. Following excavations, they determined Leif Erickson and crews of Norse explorers arrived here and built a small encampment of timber-and-sod buildings over a thousand years ago.

My visit started from the Visitor Centre to watch a short documentary for an overview and to see the authentic artifacts that proved the site’s origin. A tour guide took visitors along a beautiful boardwalk to the Meeting of Two Worlds sculpture, created by Luben Boykov and Richard Brixel and unveiled in July 2002. This sculpture symbolizes the meeting of human migration from the east through Asia to North America and from the west through Europe to North America. The two groups met when the Norse landed at L’Anse aux Meadows. Anse French meaning is “cove“.

Meeting of Two Worlds sculpture: Viking ship (left) and Aboriginal sword (right)

We continued to the actual site to see the fascinating archeological remains of three halls and five smaller buildings where the Vikings lived and worked have been carefully preserved as they were when discovered by the Ingstads. We then followed the boardwalk trail to the reconstructed sod huts and met costumed interpreters.

***

3. Red Bay Basque Whaling Station

Red Bay Basque Whaling Station is the earliest, most complete and best preserved 16th-century Basque whaling site found anywhere in the world. Red Bay was listed as a National Historic Site of Canada in 1979, and designated a World Heritage Site in 2013.

Red Bay, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada

For about 70 years beginning in the 1530s, whalers from the Basque region of Spain and France used the harbour at Red Bay as a seasonal base for hunting whales and producing the whale oil that lit the lamps of Europe. Each spring as many as twelve ships and upwards of 2000 men arrived after a dangerous voyage from Europe to set up operations at Red Bay, one of about a dozen seasonal whaling stations along the south Labrador coast.

To visit Red Bay Basque Whaling Station, I traveled from Newfoundland to Labrador by ferry. Labrador means Big Land. At the Visitor Centre, I viewed a remarkable collection of original artifacts, archaeological remains, videos, models and the restored 16th century Chalupa, the oldest known whaling boat in the world. Behind the Chalupa exhibit is a stunning ‘whale and mariners’ mural created by Newfoundland-born artist Lloyd Pretty in 1999.

***

I’m grateful to be able to visit these three amazing UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Newfoundland and Labrador. I hope you enjoy them through my lens.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

https://fresh.inlinkz.com/js/widget/load.js?id=c0efdbe6b4add43dd7ef

Copyright © 2022 natalietheexplorer.home.blog – All rights reserved.

79 thoughts on “3 Amazing World Heritage Sites in Newfoundland and Labrador

  1. Maria July 8, 2022 / 8:20 am

    These places are amazing Natalie! I especially appreciate seeing the photos from Gros Morne National Park. So beautiful! I bet these scenes are experiences that you will remember for the rest of your life. Thank you so much for sharing!

    Like

    • Natalie July 9, 2022 / 2:04 am

      Maria, I’ll remember these experiences for the rest of my life. Gros Morne NP is stunning. Thank you for joining me virtually.

      Like

  2. Savoring Sixty and Beyond July 8, 2022 / 8:30 am

    Absolutely amazing photos! Thanks so much for sharing these photos and your comments. Now I feel like I have been there!

    Like

    • Natalie July 9, 2022 / 2:07 am

      Thank you for your compliment on my photos. The landscape in NL is beautiful and the sunny weather helped. Have a great weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. leannelc July 8, 2022 / 8:57 am

    Well these photos are a little bit different to your usual fare Natalie and so interesting to see the different cultural aspects – as well as the gorgeous scenery. You certainly get around!

    Like

    • Natalie July 9, 2022 / 2:11 am

      Leanne, Yes, I chose to go where there are mountains and ocean as I don’t have them in Toronto 🙂 NL has a rich history that made my trip educational too.

      Like

  4. Thistles and Kiwis July 8, 2022 / 3:12 pm

    Gosh that looks amazing! Thank you so much for sharing and introducing this part of Canada.

    Like

    • Natalie July 17, 2022 / 6:36 pm

      You’re welcome. I’m very happy to have visited Newfoundland and Labrador.

      Like

  5. Lydia C. Lee July 8, 2022 / 4:36 pm

    What a fabulous looking spot – those kind of fjords are magnificent.

    Like

    • Natalie July 9, 2022 / 2:14 am

      Yes and the continental drift is fascinating.

      Like

  6. Antoinette Truglio Martin July 8, 2022 / 4:39 pm

    Wow wow wow!
    Great pics and place.
    Thanks for the tour.

    Like

    • Natalie July 9, 2022 / 2:16 am

      Thank you for joining me virtually. More pics on NL next weekend 🙂

      Like

  7. restlessjo July 8, 2022 / 4:40 pm

    Glorious scenery, Natalie, and the weather looks good too.

    Like

    • Natalie July 9, 2022 / 2:40 am

      Jo, The scenery in NL is stunning and I was very lucky to have sunny weather for most of my trip duration.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Jennifer Jones July 8, 2022 / 5:42 pm

    Beautiful photos Natalie. These places would have been amazing to visit. I love that you’ve given the history. I really enjoyed reading about the cultural sites

    Like

    • Natalie July 9, 2022 / 2:19 am

      Jennifer, The history at these sites is fascinating. I felt fortunate to have been to all three. I’m glad you enjoyed my post.

      Like

  9. Janet Gogerty July 8, 2022 / 6:37 pm

    I didn’t realise whaling was taking place so long ago nor that Spaniards travelled so far. I wonder what happened to the Vikings? I bet their sod huts were cosy and very eco friendly.

    Like

    • Natalie July 9, 2022 / 2:30 am

      Janet, It was an eye-opener for me to learn about how far the Basque whalers traveled and how long their seasonal operations lasted. The Vikings’ huts used natural materials. They had to ensure their survival in an open landscape. They were outnumbered by the Aboriginal people and had to retreat.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Debbie July 8, 2022 / 7:16 pm

    I really enjoyed seeing these places Natalie, especially the Viking site – how amazing! It looks like you had lovely weather for your trip too.

    Like

    • Natalie July 9, 2022 / 2:33 am

      Debbie, I’m glad you enjoyed these sites. Fascinating history at all three. I was very lucky with the weather for most of my trip duration.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Jo July 8, 2022 / 7:35 pm

    This really is my kind of outing – history, culture, massive views. Thank you for giving us some of the history and context.

    Like

    • Natalie July 9, 2022 / 2:38 am

      Thank you Jo for joining me virtually. NL is amazing. I chose to visit NL for the same reasons that you mentioned.

      Like

  12. Jackie July 9, 2022 / 9:12 am

    These are on our itinerary for September!

    Like

    • Natalie July 9, 2022 / 12:41 pm

      Excellent. I hope you get good weather for your trip.

      Like

  13. trentpmcd July 9, 2022 / 9:28 am

    Great photos of some beautiful landscapes and fascinating bits of history. Looks like it was a great little vacation.

    Like

  14. Janet Alcorn July 9, 2022 / 11:04 am

    I knew Leif Erickson had landed in North America, but I had no idea people could visit the site! And that whaling boat looks awfully small to take on a whale. Yikes. Thanks so much for sharing these places with us!

    Like

    • Natalie July 9, 2022 / 12:48 pm

      Yes, people can visit the site which is beautiful and well laid out with a long boardwalk. From what I learned, the Basque whalers made a huge profit hunting whales and selling whale oil. Unfortunately they hurt the whale population. Glad you enjoyed my post.

      Like

  15. Liesbet @ Roaming About July 9, 2022 / 1:55 pm

    Amazing, indeed, Natalie. These are three incredible destinations. And the weather seemed gorgeous as well. I’m so glad that you are able to travel extensively again.

    Like

    • Natalie July 9, 2022 / 5:58 pm

      Liesbet, It was wonderful to travel far again. I lucked out with the weather on this trip, especially at these three sites. I hope you’re doing well and your upcoming travel will go smoothly.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie July 9, 2022 / 6:00 pm

      Pam, The province of Newfoundland and Labrador is beautiful indeed.

      Like

  16. Marsha July 9, 2022 / 2:08 pm

    Natalie, these are beautiful sights. Your pictures are so crisp and clear, so the air must have been fantastic. I love the first misty pictures, the partially constructed boat, and the reconstructed huts. This takes us way way back in history. What a find!

    Like

    • Natalie July 9, 2022 / 6:03 pm

      Marsha, I used my cellphone for all my pictures. I’m pleased you liked them. The air quality was excellent there. I’m glad and grateful to have visited these three amazing sites. The history is fascinating and the landscape is stunning.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Marsha July 9, 2022 / 6:56 pm

        I use my cell phone almost exclusively even though I have two other nice cameras.

        Like

        • Natalie July 10, 2022 / 11:27 am

          I use my cell phone exclusively. It’s portable and takes ‘good enough’ pictures.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Marsha July 10, 2022 / 11:46 am

            Cell phones make it easy for us to become good photographers – or not! 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

  17. Jennifer July 9, 2022 / 2:48 pm

    Such beautiful photos! Thanks for sharing…and taking us along through your pictures. My son would love to visit that Viking site. Just a beautiful part of the world!! Have a wonderful weekend!

    Like

    • Natalie July 9, 2022 / 6:06 pm

      Jennifer, Welcome to my blog and linkup. Thank you for your comment. L’Anse aux Meadows where Vikings once lived is an amazing site to explore.

      Like

  18. Dan Antion July 9, 2022 / 7:15 pm

    Thanks for sharing the beautiful photos from your travel, Natalie.

    Like

  19. csuhpat1 July 9, 2022 / 8:13 pm

    Wow, super beautiful. What a sweet place to visit. So very nice. Just stunnng.

    Like

    • Natalie July 10, 2022 / 11:30 am

      Patrick, Glad you liked these sites. Thank you for linking up.

      Like

  20. Kirstin July 9, 2022 / 11:56 pm

    Wow Natalie, those look like great places to visit…I love the photos. How stunning.

    Like

    • Natalie July 10, 2022 / 11:31 am

      Thank you Kirstin for your comment. Glad you love my photos.

      Like

  21. Retirement Reflections July 10, 2022 / 1:28 am

    Hi, Natalie – I’ve been to Newfoundland twice and absolutely loved my time there. Thank you for bringing back fond memories!

    Like

    • Natalie July 10, 2022 / 11:33 am

      Hi Donna, I am glad you loved your time in NL. Lucky you to get to go there twice. I hope to return for a second visit in the future.

      Like

  22. Antoinette Truglio Martin July 10, 2022 / 8:04 am

    WOW! Incredible sights to see. Thanks again for the tour.

    Like

    • Natalie July 10, 2022 / 11:34 am

      Antoinette, You’re welcome. Thank you for joining me virtually.

      Like

  23. Diana July 10, 2022 / 7:37 pm

    Hi Natalie!
    I’m so thankful you visited these exotic (to me) places and to share through your lens, it’s like we were there with you. Such rich history through the areas you visited. I’m so happy that whales are not killed like they once were (but I do understand the history of needing the whale oil, I’m just a huge whale lover so happy it’s not needed). So amazing to see the harbor and sites. What a great post!! Thank you for sharing! 💞

    Like

    • Natalie July 10, 2022 / 9:08 pm

      Hi Diana, I’m so glad you enjoyed my post. I tried to capture the history of each site without writing a post that’s too long to read. I felt bad for the whales that were hunted. From the three sites, it seems to me that humans have a pattern to go exploring and hunting for new resources. Unfortunately that pattern has depleted some natural resources. Thank you for your thoughtful comments. I hope you have a great weekend and a wonderful week ahead.

      Liked by 1 person

  24. Rowena July 11, 2022 / 2:43 am

    Great photos and an enjoyable and informative post, as usual, Natalie. I was particularly interested to read about the Vikings in Newfoundland because I was paired up with a woman in Norway to write a profile about each other. I was quite excited to interact with someone from Norway in such a personal way and we had so much in common which blew us both away. I ended up going on a virtual tour of the area she lives an hour North of Oslo. She also had a pilgrim staying recently and I found out about these pilgrim walks they have. Well, only touched on it, but I thought you’d be interested. Here’s a link:https://www.visitnorway.com/things-to-do/outdoor-activities/hiking/pilgrimage-on-the-st-olav-ways/
    I hope you have a great week.
    Best wishes,
    Rowena

    Like

    • Natalie July 11, 2022 / 12:49 pm

      Hi Rowena, That’s great that you connected with another writer in Norway. I’ll take a look at the link. The site in NL where Vikings once lived is amazing. I’m glad I was able to visit it. Have a great week!

      Like

  25. Gary A Wilson July 11, 2022 / 12:46 pm

    Marvelous Natalie,
    What a great time you must have had being back on the road and having the time to visit these sites. Thanks for sharing your trip with us.

    Like

    • Natalie July 11, 2022 / 12:53 pm

      Thank you Gary for stopping by. It was wonderful to travel far again. I had an amazing trip. I hope your road trip goes smoothly. Have a great week!

      Like

  26. Julie July 12, 2022 / 1:54 am

    The Western Brook pond looks so majestic!

    Like

  27. Ju-Lyn July 15, 2022 / 11:20 pm

    What wonderful sights to behold on your trip! Thank you for sharing them with us and giving us a taste of the stark beauty you enjoyed.

    Like

    • Natalie July 16, 2022 / 12:04 pm

      You’re welcome Ju-Lyn. These three sites are amazing to experience. I enjoyed sharing them with you.

      Like

  28. rawsonjl July 22, 2022 / 10:02 am

    OH wow; what incredible sights!

    Like

    • Natalie July 22, 2022 / 10:43 am

      Joanne, Thank you for stopping by. These three sites are amazing to explore and experience.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.