Things to Do in Twillingate, Newfoundland

A top place to see icebergs in May and June

Things to do in Twillingate, Newfoundland

Twillingate, Newfoundland with a population of around 3,000 people across two islands, is one of the must visit towns in the province. It’s not the easiest place to get to as it’s almost a five hour drive from St. John’s, but its one of my favourite places in Newfoundland and well worth the effort to visit. There are so many things to do in Twillingate, especially considering the town’s size with the top pick in my books, iceberg viewing in spring and early summer.

Allow a minimum of two days but add on a couple more days if you’re into hiking.

Summary of the top things to do in Twillingate, Newfoundland

  • Iceberg viewing in Twillingate is a thrill, whether you do it via a boat tour or via a kayak. 
  • There are a minimum of eight outstanding hikes in the Twillingate area.
  • Do a wine tasting at Auk Island Winery.
  • Check out Long Point Lighthouse.
  • Go kayaking – checking out the coves and islands.
  • Catch some live music – especially the Split Peas.
  • Visit the Prime Berth Fishing Museum.
  • Love live theatre? Then, get tickets for the Twillingate Dinner Theatre.
  • Support the local food scene by visiting cafes and restaurants. Some of my best meals in Newfoundland have been in Twillingate.

Iceberg viewing in Twillingate

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.

There's a huge fogbank offshore
There’s a huge fogbank offshore

Go for a hike 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
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 the 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,  great beaches a hole in the wall, and more of the exceptionally beautiful, rugged coastline.

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

A wheelchair accessible option is the 1 kilometre long Hospital Pond Trail where you can enjoy a flower garden and a swimming beach.

The 5 km Lower Little Harbour Trail takes you to a resettled community, past a 20 foot natural arch, an old root cellar, and beautiful Jones Cove.

The Top of Twillingate Trail puts you on the high point in Twillingate where you can enjoy 360 views of the communities, shoreline and icebergs.

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.

Kayaking in Iceberg Alley out of Twillingate
Kayaking in Iceberg Alley

More 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.

You can purchase local crafts, books and gifts here.

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.

Where to stay and eat in Twillingate

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

  1. My husband and I are planning a 3 week trip to NFLD mid June-early July, we are driving up from Windsor,On. We have plans to visit with my family in Stephenville before venturing out on our beautiful journey to Gros Morne National Park for 3 nights, then to Lanse’ Aux Meadows, Twillingate and St.Johns. I personally have never been further than Corner Brook and my husbands furthest travels have been as far as Montreal. We would love it if anyone could send us names of places that would be along our travel route that would be worth stopping off into, also we love camping (tent) can you recommend somewhere in Twillingate and maybe St.Johns. During our trip we also want the boat tour for whale watching and seeing the ice bergs, recommended names and #’s for booking would greatly be appreciated. We want this trip to be as fun filled and adventurous as possible as this trip is to celebrate our 25th Wedding Anniversary. Thank You to all who help.

    1. Hello Linda –
      You are going to have a good time. You can do an iceberg watching trip right out of Twillingate.
      I highly recommend the Rugged Beauty Boat Tour for whales, icebergs and history out of Trinity.
      I’m not sure about where to camp in St. John’s or Twillingate but if you contact Newfoundland Labrador Tourism they should be able to help you.
      Drive the Bonavista Peninsula if you have the time and spend a night in Trinity.
      If you can get to Fogo Island it’s worth it.

      Hope that helps a bit.

  2. we were in newfoundland in 2015 and were very Lucky and saw plenty icebergs, this year 2016 we are returning in the hope to see more whales

  3. living in Twillingate.. I think It should be made clear … We dont always have 100s of icebergs all summer long . 2014 was a VERY RARE year.. Some years we maybe get just 3 or 4 that stay for a couple of weeks ..if we r lucky .. other years we dont have any..;( When they show up it an act of God … yes u can track them u r in the area and if u r lucky the wind and tide doesnt take off shore … i just was like people to know its a bit of a crap shoot …. so people r not too disappointed if u come and u miss them…
    We would still love to see u all … Twillingate is beautiful with or without the icebergs … Icebergs r just a bonus …;)

    1. @Peggy I do know that I lucked out in 2014. Thanks for pointing out how rare they actually are. I do think people should check out the iceberg tracker before they come. I love your part of the world!

  4. I don’t know much about Newfoundland but what an absolutely beautiful place. Those icebergs must be quite a sight to see in person. I’ve seen icebergs in Alaska but I don’t remember them looking as huge. I may be dreaming about that lobster salad too 🙂

  5. I have always had a soft spot in my heart for icebergs. Perhaps it is because I like ice as it keeps my beer cold when camping, and my mind extends that appreciation to giant floating bergs in the water. I love the contrast of the white ice with the deep blue water.

    1. Travelling Ted, you are in luck as they make a beer in Newfoundland using water from the icebergs, called Iceberg Beer made at the Quidi Vidi Brewery. And the bottle is the most beautiful blue 🙂

  6. I need to get back to this end of the world – it’s been a long time and we didn’t get to see any icebergs! Looks like your day here was idylic. Such lovely pictures!

  7. Twillingate is a place that I definitely want to visit at some point. We were in Newfoundland a couple of years ago but in August so too late for icebergs. We might have to go for the May long weekend some time in order to see the icebergs – or I’ll have to wait until Emma’s done school! Love your photos!

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