5 Notable Lighthouses in Newfoundland

Hello and welcome to my blog! I’m glad you’re here. It’s week 29 in 2022 and I’m hosting Weekend Coffee Share linkup #79. Come on in for a coffee or tea, and let’s catch up.

In my previous posts, I wrote about three amazing UNESCO World Heritage Sites and my incredible iceberg viewing experience in Newfoundland and Labrador. Today’s post is about my road trip to see lighthouses.

Newfoundland and Labrador has over 29,000 kilometres of twisting coastline, laden with submerged rocks, hidden inlets, and icebergs. The province also has hundreds of lighthouses to guide fishermen and sailing vessels to safety on foggy and stormy nights. To make them easier to spot from a distance, many were painted plain white. Some have red and white stripes.

Lighthouses: A) Point Riche B) Lobster Head Cove C) Long Point D) Cape Bonavista E) Cape Spear

Here are five notable lighthouses that I visited on the island of Newfoundland. As always, click on images in the galleries to see bigger photos and captions.

A) Point Riche Lighthouse

Built in 1892, Point Riche Lighthouse is still active. The structure is 19 metres (62 ft) tall. The white wooden tower is octagonal pyramidal in shape; the entry door and lantern room are painted red. Its location is a windswept landscape with exposed ancient seabeds and expansive ocean views. I saw sea birds and whales here.

B) Lobster Cove Head Lighthouse

In the heart of Gros Morne National Park, Lobster Cove Head Lighthouse has guided ships into Bonne Bay since 1897. The tower is of iron, cast in St. John’s. Iron was fireproof, long-lasting and could be shipped to the site in pieces. The light is from England, built by Chance Brothers. All parts were landed below and hauled uphill by cart-and-oxen, overseen by first keeper Robert Lewis.

The setting of Lobster Cove Head Light was carefully chosen. The view gives the light beam a 180-degree sweep from north to south and out into the Gulf of St. Lawrence. In fine weather, it can be seen over 12 nautical miles (22.2 kilometres) offshore.

C) Long Point Lighthouse

Long Point Lighthouse, built in 1876, is located on a prominent headland at the entrance to Notre Dame Bay, in Twillingate on the northeast coast of Newfoundland. At more than 300 feet above sea level, its location provides an open view of the islands that dot this section of coast, of shipping activities and of icebergs that drift south in the spring.

Along the cliff trails, tuckamores survive. Tuckamores are trees that have been bent and sculpted by constant strong onshore winds. The salt spray kills exposed buds, so growth only occurs on the tree’s sheltered inland side.

D) Cape Bonavista Lighthouse

Built in 1843, the light at Cape Bonavista is one of the few in the world where you can still climb up the stone tower and see the same seal oil fueled catoptric light apparatus that was used in the 1800s. I took the guided tour to learn about the hard life of the lightkeepers and see their quarters that have been restored to the 1870s.

As the place where John Cabot first made landfall in Newfoundland in 1497, Cape Bonavista Lighthouse is one of the most visited Provincial Historic Sites in the province. This is a prime location to view whales, icebergs and puffins. I was delighted to see hundreds of cute puffins fly from the cliffs and a fox family outside the lighthouse.

E) Cape Spear Lighthouse

Cape Spear, Newfoundland’s oldest surviving lighthouse and a National Historic Site, has served as the chief approach light for St. John’s harbour since 1836. Constructed by local builders, it consists of a stone tower surrounded by a frame residence, a common lighthouse design on Canada’s east coast.

The light mechanism in use in the 19th century came from Inchkeith lighthouse in Scotland. Modern equipment was installed in 1912 and remains in use in the concrete tower built nearby in 1955. Much altered during the 19th century, the old lighthouse has been restored to its original appearance.

On the day of my visit, it was foggy and windy on Cape Spear, a perfect opportunity to see the light flash from the new tower and hear foghorn sound.

Cape Spear is home to the most easterly point of land in North America. In this place on the edge of the continent, you can watch the sun rise first before anyone else in North America. Pretty cool, eh?

Cape Spear
Cape Spear

Are you road tripping this summer?

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87 thoughts on “5 Notable Lighthouses in Newfoundland

  1. leannelc July 22, 2022 / 8:50 am

    That’s a lot of lighthouses for one island Natalie! I like how they’re all different in their own unique ways. It’d be a fascinating life being a lighthouse keeper – but maybe a little bit isolated for my taste.

    Like

    • Natalie July 22, 2022 / 5:54 pm

      Leanne, It seems hard work to keep a lighthouse and yes, the isolation, especially in the late 1800s.

      Like

  2. Janet Alcorn July 22, 2022 / 9:55 am

    These are wonderful—thanks for sharing! I’m a little fascinated by the lives of lighthouse keepers back in the day. I like solitude, but I’d probably literally go mad with that much of it. Can’t beat the view though.

    Like

    • Natalie July 22, 2022 / 6:22 pm

      Janet, The exhibits in these lighthouses were impressive. For example, the Lobster Cove Head light station was maintained by the family of William Young and George Young for 68 years.

      Like

  3. rawsonjl July 22, 2022 / 10:10 am

    I am so jealous you got to see some puffins! These lighthouses are all so neat too. We often check out lighthouses when near the shore…. there is one in Newport where you can sign on to be a lighthouse keeper for a week.

    Like

    • Natalie July 22, 2022 / 6:27 pm

      Joanne, That’s an interesting job opportunity at the lighthouse in Newport. I wonder how many people apply for it. It was amazing to see the puffins. They flap their wings almost constantly and fly at a fast speed. I saw hundreds of them at Cape Bonavista and then thousands of them at Witless Bay ecological reserve near St. John’s.

      Like

  4. Maria July 22, 2022 / 10:38 am

    Lighthouses and windmills have always intrigued me (here they are often seen within a close distance to each other.) The puffins are super cute. What a trip you had! So many wonders. Thank you for sharing, Have a wonderful weekend!

    Like

    • Natalie July 22, 2022 / 6:30 pm

      Maria, Thank you for your comment. This trip was amazing and I did see so many natural wonders and historic places. The puffins are adorable. I saw hundreds of them at Cape Bonavista and thousands more at Witless Bay ecological reserve near St. John’s. Have a beautiful weekend!

      Like

  5. Gary A Wilson July 22, 2022 / 11:18 am

    Hi Natalie,
    Who can resist a light house? There’s just some magic about them.
    But, they are fast becoming relics from a previous century.
    I learned some of this when I produced a story for KL Caley’s story blog.
    https://garyawilsonstories.wordpress.com/after-being-laid-off-n2w-220407/
    The story was fun enough, but I regret that the truth of light houses is that they are struggling to stay needed and thus get the funding needed to remain operational.
    Sad for such icons to fall from grace like that, but technology stops for no one.
    Thanks for another great tour.

    Like

    • Natalie July 22, 2022 / 6:42 pm

      Hi Gary, I was glad self-guided tours were available at four of the five lighthouses that I visited. The exhibits were educational and informative. I believe the lighthouses in Newfoundland and Labrador are much needed due to the coastal landscape but technology has changed the lighthouse keeper’s role. Thank you for the link to your story.

      Like

  6. Savoring Sixty and Beyond July 22, 2022 / 2:24 pm

    Absolutely love and are fascinated by lighthouses! It is remarkable so many are on one island! I have been fortunate to visit several and love learning about each one’s unique stories. #weekendcoffeeshare

    Like

    • Natalie July 22, 2022 / 6:45 pm

      I’m fascinated by lighthouses, too. They sure have unique stories and of course expansive ocean views.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie July 22, 2022 / 6:46 pm

      Janis, I love the puffins. There were hundreds of them at Cape Bonavista and thousands of them at the Witless Bay ecological reserve near St. John’s.

      Liked by 1 person

        • Natalie July 22, 2022 / 8:57 pm

          I’ve never seen them at a zoo either. They’re adorable IRL and I love learning about their behaviours. The Atlantic puffin is the official bird of Newfoundland and Labrador (NL) so NL is a good destination for puffin viewing.

          Like

  7. Thistles and Kiwis July 22, 2022 / 3:41 pm

    You make everything looks so wonderful….gorgeous summery post. Thanks Natalie!

    Like

    • Natalie July 22, 2022 / 6:48 pm

      Barbara, I truly lucked out with the weather on this trip. I’m pleased to share some gorgeous summer sights with you. Hope you’re feeling much better.

      Like

  8. restlessjo July 22, 2022 / 4:01 pm

    I’ve seen many of these before, Natalie, and there’s no question but that Newfounland has a beautiful coastline. Definitely a place for a summer adventure.

    Like

    • Natalie July 22, 2022 / 6:50 pm

      Jo, I’m so glad to finally visit Newfoundland and Labrador and the trip turned out amazing.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Lydia C. Lee July 22, 2022 / 5:09 pm

    Your puffin shots are fantastic!! Someone in Svalbard got a shot of one in flight which I saw this week – I’d never seen one flying before (and I guess I didn’t realise they could fly) – it was fantastic and surprising. The world is so amazing!!

    Like

    • Natalie July 22, 2022 / 6:54 pm

      Puffins definitely fly. They flap their wings frantically and fly at fast speed. There were hundreds of them at Cape Bonavista and thousands of them at the Witless Bay ecological reserve near St. John’s. They’re adorable and amazing birds.

      Like

  10. Jill Weatherholt July 22, 2022 / 8:28 pm

    I adore lighthouses! Your photographs are gorgeous, Natalie. I love the puffins! Thanks for sharing!

    Like

    • Natalie July 22, 2022 / 8:52 pm

      Jill, Thank you for your kind words. The puffins are adorable. I was fortunate to see them at Cape Bonavista and at Witless Bay ecological reserve.

      Like

  11. Debbie July 23, 2022 / 1:32 am

    These lighthouses are wonderful to see through your eyes Natalie and how cute are the puffins! Thanks for taking us with you on your tour.
    I have linked up with my recent update on my packing challenge, all is looking good for my travels!

    Like

    • Natalie July 23, 2022 / 8:55 am

      Debbie, Thank you for joining me on my tour virtually. I’m glad to hear all is looking good for your travels. You’re ready to fly 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  12. trentpmcd July 23, 2022 / 8:55 am

    Beautiful scenery, distant whales, puffins and lighthouses – what isn’t there to love about it? (You mentioned seeing whales, so I am guessing distant, since no photographs…) I’ve been enjoying your Newfoundland posts 🙂 Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

    Like

    • Natalie July 23, 2022 / 9:19 am

      Trent, Yes, the whales I saw at Point Riche lighthouse were distant. They were wonderful to watch. I’m glad you’ve been enjoying my Newfoundland posts. Thank you for stopping by. Have a great weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Writing Sparkle July 23, 2022 / 9:38 am

    Lighthouses are so interesting. I was in a lighthouse in PEI a number of years ago. We were able to go right up to the top and lookout from there. Amazing.

    Thanks for the virtual coffee Natalie.

    Like

    • Natalie July 23, 2022 / 10:19 am

      Shari, Amazing and expansive views are pretty much guaranteed from the top of a lighthouse. Thank you for stopping by.

      Like

  14. Suzanne July 23, 2022 / 11:44 am

    This all looks so peaceful. And puffins are SO cute! Loved reading about the lighthouses.

    Like

    • Natalie July 23, 2022 / 12:12 pm

      Puffins are adorable. I was fortunate to see them at Cape Bonavista and at Witless Bay ecological reserve. I’m glad you loved reading about the lighthouses. Have a wonderful weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Suzanne July 23, 2022 / 12:21 pm

        We went puffin and whale watching in Iceland. I got so incredibly sea sick that all I did was smell a bottle of peppermint oil the entire time (not sure why — it didn’t work) and pray that I wouldn’t get sick in front of the group (I was with a group of students). There were no whales, and I missed all the puffins! Have a great weekend, too. 🙂

        Like

        • Natalie July 23, 2022 / 1:59 pm

          That sucks to miss all the puffins in Iceland. I’m lucky not to get sea sick. A few people on my puffin boat tour to the Witless Bay ecological reserve got really bad sea sick.

          Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie July 23, 2022 / 6:54 pm

      Deborah, Thank you for your comment. It was a wonderful road trip.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Suzanne July 23, 2022 / 8:51 pm

    Hardy folk that used to man those lighthouses. It is one object we enjoyed finding on our travels. We have a few here in NZ with dramatic surroundings. Yes, it would be wonderful to explore your neck of the woods. Thanks for sharing, Natalie.

    Like

    • Natalie July 23, 2022 / 9:39 pm

      Suzanne, I’d love to visit and explore New Zealand. Thank you for stopping by. I’m glad you like lighthouses.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Suzanne July 23, 2022 / 9:43 pm

        The gates are open, so I hear 😉

        Like

        • Natalie July 23, 2022 / 9:51 pm

          Yes, I’ve been following NZ and Canada’s travel entry and exit requirements. Try to time my trip when it’s winter in Canada and summer in NZ.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Suzanne July 23, 2022 / 9:53 pm

            You certainly won’t want to be here at the present time, wet, cold and windy. Unless, wind surfing is your thing.

            Like

            • Natalie July 23, 2022 / 9:59 pm

              NZ is a long way from Canada and it may be my once-in-a-lifetime-trip so I definitely want to arrive in nice weather months.

              Liked by 1 person

              • Suzanne July 23, 2022 / 10:12 pm

                Good luck with the weather 😉

                Like

                • Natalie July 23, 2022 / 10:42 pm

                  Thanks 🙂 I was lucky with the weather in Newfoundland and Labrador.

                  Like

  16. Diana July 23, 2022 / 9:10 pm

    Hi Natalie, I am loving all your Newfoundland posts and my oldest sister absolutely LOVES lighthouses and has a lighthouse collection of sorts. She has visited many along the Eastern seaboard. She would love all the lighthouses you visited and your photos are amazing. How cool to see fox and puffins!! WOW! I have plans on celebrating my granddaughter’s birthday next month but have not made any summer plans for other trips. There are some things we want to visit here not too far from us in the next few months. One is President Reagan’s Museum about 2 hours away and the other is to take the family to Disneyland to see the Star Wars rides etc. they have there. We have not been since they opened all of that up some years ago. Have a wonderful weekend! 😀

    Like

    • Natalie July 23, 2022 / 9:44 pm

      Hi Diana, I was fortunate to see the puffins at two locations (Cape Bonavista and Witless Bay ecological reserve). They’re adorable birds. The fox family was a nice surprise. Your plans to celebrate your granddaughter’s birthday and trips to President’s Reagan’s Museum and Disneyland sound wonderful. I went to Disneyland a long time ago and enjoyed all the rides there. Thank you for stopping by. Have a great weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

  17. csuhpat1 July 23, 2022 / 9:36 pm

    Wow, so very cool. I wish that we had more lighthouses here. They are so beautiful and at the same time so very historic. So very cool. Thanks for sharing them.

    Like

    • Natalie July 23, 2022 / 9:55 pm

      Patrick, I’m glad you like lighthouses. I enjoyed my visits at these five lighthouses and learned about their history. Thank you for stopping by.

      Like

  18. Terri Webster Schrandt July 24, 2022 / 9:59 am

    I’m so glad I could join you on the end of that long road trip to Newfoundland, Natalie! Wow, those lighthouses are stunning! I would love to see the lighthouses on the East coast someday. Those puffins are so cute, it must have been fun to watch them in action. Great to see you linked your road trip to this week’s Sunday Stills. I’m hopping into the Coffee Share momentarily!

    Like

    • Natalie July 24, 2022 / 10:41 am

      Terri, Thank you for joining me virtually. Newfoundland and Labrador is an amazing destination. I booked this trip for 2020 and it was cancelled when the pandemic started. I’m so happy to complete it this year. These lighthouses are well worth a visit. The puffins are adorable and inquisitive birds. I was fortunate to see hundreds of them at Cape Bonavista and later thousands of them at Witless Bay ecological reserve.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. photobyjohnbo July 24, 2022 / 10:52 am

    Wonderful collection of lighthouse images, Natalie. Living in the midwest, we don’t get to see too many of them. 🙂

    Like

    • Natalie July 24, 2022 / 1:20 pm

      Thank you, John. It was fun to visit active lighthouses in Newfoundland. In Toronto, I saw three inactive lighthouses.

      Liked by 1 person

  20. AdventurousAngela July 24, 2022 / 11:54 am

    This collection of lighthouses is too neat! And that puffin is too adorable! 😍

    Like

    • Natalie July 24, 2022 / 1:23 pm

      Thank you, Angela. Do you have a blog?

      Like

    • Natalie July 24, 2022 / 5:44 pm

      Pam, I’m glad you love lighthouses. It was fun visiting these five lighthouses in Newfoundland. Thank you for stopping by.

      Like

  21. Astrid July 25, 2022 / 4:09 am

    My idea of a typical lighthouse is indeed white with red stripes, but I hadn’t realized why lighthouses could have this look. Thanks for sharing yet another very informative post!

    Like

    • Natalie July 25, 2022 / 9:27 am

      Astrid, You’re welcome. I’m glad you found my post informative. I was able to tour four of these five lighthouses and learned from the exhibits and information panels at each lighthouse.

      Liked by 1 person

  22. Antoinette Truglio Martin July 25, 2022 / 7:53 am

    Lighthouses are
    Intriguing in so many way. I especially love their stories.

    Like

    • Natalie July 25, 2022 / 9:30 am

      Antoinette, I agreed with your comment. One of the five lighthouses that I visited was kept by the Young family for 68 years. Their stories are rich materials for writers.

      Like

  23. Ju-Lyn July 25, 2022 / 7:16 pm

    There is something so very romantic about lighthouses – and they obviously come in so many different forms. Thank you for sharing these lovelies.

    And puffins! oh my goodness! I have such a weakness & penchant for these adorable creatures! I am so envious at your sighting and image capture!

    Like

    • Natalie July 25, 2022 / 7:30 pm

      Ju-Lyn, I’m glad you like lighthouses, too. Sometimes I write about things I like and don’t know if they resonate with anyone 🙂 The Atlantic puffins in Newfoundland are adorable and inquisitive. They nest on the rocky cliffs and fly and dive at fast speed to catch small fish. I was fortunate to see hundreds of them at Cape Bonavista and thousands more at Witless Bay ecological reserve near St. John’s.

      Like

      • Ju-Lyn August 4, 2022 / 11:31 pm

        I am envious – and I am so glad that you shared some of your experiences.

        I hear you – one sometimes wonders if anyone is reading or understanding or if any of it makes a difference. It is times like these when we just keep doing what we are doing because it makes sense to us.

        P/S just for the record, I love seeing Toronto (and your travels) through your eyes

        Like

        • Natalie August 5, 2022 / 7:40 am

          Thank you, Ju-Lyn, for ‘hearing’ me. I’m glad you enjoy my Toronto and travel posts. Have a wonderful weekend!

          Liked by 1 person

  24. Dawn July 25, 2022 / 8:07 pm

    Beautiful photos! I love lighthouses. The puffins are cute too.

    Like

    • Natalie July 25, 2022 / 8:16 pm

      Dawn, Thank you for your visit and comment. These five lighthouses are well-maintained and I was able to tour inside four of them. I was fortunate to see the Atlantic puffins during their nesting season. They are adorable birds.

      Like

  25. Julie July 26, 2022 / 12:37 am

    Those puffins are so cute!

    Like

  26. Kirstin July 26, 2022 / 6:43 pm

    I love lighthouses and those are amazing. I would LOVE to see a puffin!

    Like

    • Natalie July 26, 2022 / 7:27 pm

      Kirstin, I’m glad you love lighthouses. I toured inside four of the above five lighthouses and learned many interesting facts. The Atlantic puffins are adorable birds. I was fortunate to see hundreds of them at Cape Bonavista and thousands more at Witless Bay ecological reserve.

      Like

  27. Dan Antion July 26, 2022 / 8:06 pm

    Thanks for sharing these, Natalie. I love lighthouses, and these are beauties.

    Like

    • Natalie July 26, 2022 / 8:34 pm

      Dan, You’re welcome. These lighthouses are well-maintained and four were opened for visitors when I was there. I greatly enjoyed my visits.

      Liked by 1 person

  28. Steve & Cheryl Retired AdventuresCheryl July 27, 2022 / 8:01 am

    Beautiful photos Natalie. We keep traveling in the western half of the US and miss out on seeing areas like this on the east coast! Someday we’ll get up there. Those puffins!

    Like

    • Natalie July 27, 2022 / 10:02 am

      Thank you Steve & Cheryl for stopping by. So many beautiful places to visit and so little time, right? The Atlantic puffins are adorable. I hope you visit the east coast someday.

      Like

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