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Things to do in Twillingate, Newfoundland

Things to Do in Twillingate, Newfoundland

A top place to see icebergs in May and June

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Twillingate, with a population of around 3,000 people across two islands, is one of the must visit towns in Newfoundland. The town is a hotbed for icebergs – with the very best viewing time in May, though they can linger into July. Top things to do in Twillingate include phenomenal hiking with or without iceberg views, excellent sea kayaking and some truly great dining. Round out your visit with boat tours, winery tours (who knew), theatre, museums, shopping, and festivals – if your visiting in summer.

Because of their location, one of the most popular things to do in Twillingate is iceberg viewing, but the timing is different every year. It’s dependent on how many icebergs calved off the west coast of Greenland a year or two previous – and how quickly they moved. I was lucky to visit when it was a banner year for icebergs – and my visit was in late June. Before you visit, check IcebergFinder for the location of icebergs.

Hiking in Twillingate 

If you drive about 15 minutes northwest from Twillingate along Highway 340, past the Town of Crow Head you will come to the Long Point Lighthouse. Around here, there are numerous hiking trails, with all of them offering fantastic views. This is some of the best hiking you’ll find in Newfoundland.

Long Point Lighthouse – Lower Head Trail

The Long Point Lighthouse – Lower Head Trail descends from the parking lot and heads west past rugged cliffs towards Sleepy Cove.

If you walk for several miles in a westerly direction, you’ll be rewarded with superb views of Crow Head. Look for root cellars too on this part of the trail. In total, allow a few hours for hiking and exploration.

All the trails near Long Point Lighthouse are spectacular
All the trails near Long Point Lighthouse are spectacular
Sea urchins dropped by birds at the top of a cliff
Sea urchins dropped by birds at the top of a cliff
Newfoundland's outstanding coastal scenery especially in iceberg season
Newfoundland’s outstanding coastal scenery especially in iceberg season
Hike to Sleepy Cove
Hike to Sleepy Cove
The ocean is crystal clear in this area
The ocean is crystal clear in this area
A boat tour checking out the icebergs
A boat tour checking out the icebergs
Bergy bits galore in Twillingate
Bergy bits galore in Twillingate
Looks bloody cold doesn't it
Looks bloody cold doesn’t it
There's a huge fog bank offshore
There’s a huge fog bank offshore
Heading for the Long Point Lighthouse
Heading for the Long Point Lighthouse

Hike to Horney Head Cove or Cuckold Point

If you take off in an easterly direction from the Long Point Lighthouse, you will reach Horney Head Cove in 4.6 km and Cuckold Point in 5.4 km.

This section of trail is difficult so for the round-trip you should count on 3 – 4 hours, especially if you’re interested in some time to sit and admire the sight of icebergs drifting by. Great views of Twillingate Harbour can also be seen on this hike.

Views near the Long Point Lighthouse
Views near the Long Point Lighthouse

More hiking choices in the Twillingate area

Other hiking choices accessible east of Twillingate include the 6 – 8 km hike to French Beach and Spiller’s Cove. The hike offers views of sea stacks, a hole in the wall and more of the exceptionally beautiful, rugged coastline.

The other option in this area is to do the 7 – 8 km Codjack’s Cove Trail. Interesting rock formations, sea stacks and beautiful beaches await.

There are several days worth of hiking in the area
There are several days worth of hiking in the Twillingate area

Kayaking out of Twillingate

If your timing is good I highly recommend trying to organize a kayaking tour out to see the icebergs. If that’s not possible, there is still a huge amount of choice with regards to kayaking routes – much of it in protected waters. Contact Rock Adventures in Twillingate for more information on tours.

Read: Kayaking in Iceberg Alley, Twillingate, Newfoundland

Kayaking in Iceberg Alley out of Twillingate
Kayaking in Iceberg Alley

Additional things to do in Twillingate

Go on a boat tour 

If you’ve exhausted yourself out hiking and kayaking why not take a breather and join a boat tour. If you’re in iceberg season you could join a tour that gets you close to icebergs – in a safe manner. On the boat tours you’ll learn something of the geology and perhaps see whales. Undoubtedly you’ll see some of the seven types of seabirds that live by the coast.

Boating in Iceberg Alley out of Twillingate
Try to time your visit to Twillingate to coincide with the icebergs

Visit the winery in Twillingate

Auk Island Winery offers tours and tastings of their wines made from local fruit. They also make specialty wines with iceberg water. The fruit that goes into the wines is hand-picked by locals and most of it is wild and pesticide-free.

Check out Twillingate’s museums

There are several museums in town worth a visit including the Prime Berth Fishing Museum, chock a block full of down-home Newfoundland history and the Twillingate Museum and Craft Shop – which sheds a light on what typical rooms would have looked like back in the day. Alongside you can purchase local crafts, books and gifts.

Entertainment in Twillingate

In the summer you can avail yourself of live music and theatre. Plan ahead to catch a show so you can get an inside look at the Newfoundlander’s famous sense of humour and musical abilities. 

Catch the Split Peas – a group of seven women who show the rest of the world what a Newfoundland kitchen party looks like. Shows are every Tuesday in the summer for two hours. Be ready to join a sing-along.

The Twillingate Dinner Theatre offers meals and entertainment six nights a week from June until mid-September. You’ll get a window into the authentic food, life and music in the outports of Newfoundland.

If you go to the Grand Old Shed Party Show you may go in as a guest but leave feeling like your family. Everyone helps to keep the beat with an Ugly Stick – and everyone sings along.

Where the heck is Twillingate, Newfoundland?

Twillingate is located 110 km north of Gander, via Highways 330 and 331 off the Trans-Canada Highway. From St. John’s allow 4 hours and 40 minutes to drive the 445 km.

In the town there are lots of B&B’s to choose from; we stayed at the friendly Paradise B&B. Not only did it offer great views of the harbour from its perch, but Mildred the owner made to die for Molasses Buns for breakfast. And for dinner we had the most memorable meal of our two week trip – lobster salad and partridgeberry crumble at the Canvas Cove Bistro.

Don’t miss the Crow’s Nest Café on route to the lighthouse. The food is excellent and views are terrific.

For memorable hiking and a chance to see icebergs up close, you can’t beat a trip to Twillingate, Newfoundland.

Location map of Twillingate

                                                               

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Things to do in Twillingate, Newfoundland - one of the best places to see icebergs

 

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