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A Boat Ride You Won’t Forget: Western Brook Pond, Newfoundland

A Boat Ride you Won’t Forget: Western Brook Pond, Newfoundland

If you’re in western Newfoundland, then the one must-do trip is a boat ride on Western Brook Pond in Gros Morne National Park.

John and I had to do the boat ride out of necessity – as the boat dropped us off at the start of our four day Long Range Traverse – a backpacking trip. But this is one boat ride you’re going to want to do for pleasure.

Getting to Western Brook Pond

To even get to the start of the boat ride, you must walk in three kilometres along a flat, easy path that is part dirt, part boardwalk. Allow about 45 minutes to an hour to do this. When you arrive at Western Brook Pond, there’s a sheltered waiting area where you can purchase gifts and food. There are also scattered chairs and picnic tables so even if you aren’t doing the boat tour, the hike in and out is extremely worthwhile.

Follow the trail to reach Western Brook Pond

Follow the trail to reach Western Brook Pond

You need to make a reservation with Bon Tours – either online or by calling 1-888-458-2016 0r 1-709-458-2016. The actual tour is two hours in length. It takes you to the far end of Western Brook Pond and back – with stops along the way to learn about the area – and to take photos. Cliffs tower above you for much of the ride – reaching over 700 meters above the lake. They are an awe-inspiring sight in themselves.

Here’s a look at what you’ll see on the Western Brook Pond boat tour.

Parks Canada red chairs looking out over Western Brook Pond

Parks Canada red chairs looking out over Western Brook Pond

Western Brook Pond has some interesting features.

  • Western Brook Pond is 16 kilometres long and 165 metres deep.
  • The only outlet of the lake is Western Brook – so it takes about 15 years for the water to completely change over.
  • Western Brook Pond is home to some of the world’s purest water.
  • More than 20 streams empty into Western Brook Pond; many of them are seasonal.
  • The pH of Western Brook Pond is close to neutral – mainly because the largest feeder stream is buffered by limestone.
  • It’s considered to be one of the last wild, oligotrophic lakes in the world. I had to look that up and what it means is

(of a lake) characterized by a low accumulation of dissolved nutrient salts, supporting but a sparse growth of algae and other organisms,and having a high oxygen content owing to the low organic content.

We're the first boat tour of the day so it's quiet

We’re the first boat tour of the day so it’s quiet

Stunning cliffs surround much of Western Brook Pond

Stunning cliffs surround much of Western Brook Pond

Boat ride on Western Brook Pond, Gros Morne NP

It’s just as pretty looking back as it is looking forward

In early morning Western Brook Pond is still calm

In early morning Western Brook Pond is still calm

One of the huge waterfalls you see near the far end of Western Brook Pond

One of the huge waterfalls you see near the far end of Western Brook Pond

The view down Western Brook Pond

The view down Western Brook Pond

Although most tours are two hours in length, we took just 25 minutes to whip down the lake as we were more shuttle than tour.

Alone at the end - and getting ready to start the Long Range Traverse

Alone at the end – and getting ready to start the Long Range Traverse

The far end of Western Brook Pond

It feels very quiet when the boat pulls away

Boat tours run from July until September 2nd. They are weather dependent and require 15 people to run. Its $56/adult, $26/youth and $20 for children. Should you be doing the Long Range Traverse, it’s $23.50 one way and/or a minimum of $195. It’s a different high-speed boat than is used for regular tourists.

Thank you to Go Western Newfoundland for covering my one way trip. All thoughts are mine – and this is truly an exceptional boat ride, especially on a blue sky day. 

Other Newfoundland posts you might enjoy:

A Boat Ride you Won't Forget: Western Brook Pond, Newfoundland

What’s the most scenic boat tour you’ve ever done?

Leigh McAdam is a Calgary based writer, author, photographer and social media enthusiast with over 57,000 followers. Her blog: HikeBikeTravel is frequently cited as one of the top travel and outdoor adventure blogs in Canada.

Author of Discover Canada: 100 Inspiring Outdoor Adventures
Co-author of 125 Nature Hot Spots in Alberta

This Post Has 15 Comments
  1. What a gorgeous day you had for that boat ride. The cliffs with the blue sky are out of this world gorgeous. Let’s hope they work on keeping the lake pristine.

  2. My gosh what a beautiful place. My thoughts: Unspoilt, pristine, clean, towering, colourful – indeed saturated with colour, and somewhere I’d love to visit one day. The boat ride looked glorious too.

  3. Spectacular! The colors are so intense! I am so glad you share info about destinations I most likely will never see in person. I loved this!

  4. Hmm, I could have sworn I responded to this already! I would love to take the boat ride and even more so be the boat driver for a job! Maybe you guys went on similar trip that had boat trip like this that I was thinking of. Gorgeous regardless, Leigh! 🙂

    1. @Mike I had a few pictures of the boat ride in a previous post that included the first day of the hike on the Long Range Traverse. Great memory Mike. It is a magnificent boat ride that most people do as a tour and not as a shuttle.

  5. Hi,
    So did you rent the boat for $56/person and hike it yourselves?

    I see on Bon Tours that the guided tour is like $250 a person so we are thinking of just doing it ourselves?

    1. @Meghan We organized a boat ride that drops off hikers only so it takes you right to the end of the “pond” with no sightseeing stops along the way. Then we did the full Long Range Traverse by ourselves – and took the required navigation test. That price for a guided hike sounds about right. It’s not hard to follow the trail to get the awesome view of the fjord but after that it gets tricky.

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