Newfoundland Attractions &
Activities Near Our Bonavista Cottage Rentals
“How rugged and untouched it all seems. So many lakes, trees, scrub bushes, mountains and the cliffs… oh the cliffs with the ocean waves caressing them in such harmony and the smell of clean salty Atlantic sea air…”
- Elizabeth J.
On the rugged coastline of scenic eastern Newfoundland lies Bonavista, a quiet little community rich in heritage and steeped in culture.
Guests of our Luxury Bonavista Cottages are captivated by the variety of Newfoundland attractions, activities and sights that await them. Whales, icebergs, puffins, cliffs along Cape Bonavista and the magnificent Atlantic coast…keep exploring and discover the best of Atlantic Canada.
Newfoundland Whale Watching
One of the most sought after Newfoundland attractions is watching and feeling the presence of these mystical, majestic 400-500 ton Humpback Whales. Take a trip on a zodiac to spend precious moments with these very intelligent Newfoundland whales; they enjoy the company of people who respect them and will not harm them.
Book one of the local Newfoundland Whale Watching Tours where it’s possible to see dolphins, porpoises and other whale species including Sperm Whales, Killer Whales and Pothead whales!
Just imagine the Titanic, a massive ship, coming into contact with one of these gigantic icebergs off of Newfoundland. It is what is below the water that is the most dangerous since it is 7 to 10 times larger than that above the water line. These are enormous pieces of ice that are tens of thousands of years old and have broken off glaciers in Greenland and Canada’s Artic. Icebergs are one of Newfoundland’s top attractions. They drift by Cape Bonavista along “Iceberg Alley” starting in May and sometimes lasting well into August each year. Newfoundland icebergs come in breath-taking shapes & colours that are simply indescribable.
See more Iceberg Pictures and learn more about Newfoundland icebergs.
Newfoundland Hiking Trails
Hike around Bonavista Peninsula along Newfoundland Discovery Trail and explore the many amazing coastal Newfoundland hiking trails in the Bonavista area including Skerwink Trail, British Harbour Hiking Trail, Maberly Hiking Trail, King’s Cove Lighthouse Trail and Murphy’s Cove Hiking Trail, among others. Hiking Canada is always an amazing experience and the coastland hikes around the rugged inlets and sheltered coves of Bonavista Newfoundland deliver some of the most incredible oceanfront scenery you’ll ever witness.
Learn more about our spectacular coastal Newfoundland Hiking Trails where it’s not unusual to see puffins, whales and icebergs when standing on the jagged rocky cliffs.
“The Cape” is located less than 2 km from the town of Bonavista and home to two very popular Newfoundland attractions, The Dungeon sea caves and an authentic Newfoundland Lighthouse (a little further “up the road”). The Cape is 2 km of grassland and pasture that drops off where the Atlantic Ocean has caressed the land into large, picturesque cliffs. This area is populated by large beautiful horses, cows, goats and sheep. Local people and visitors bring sugar cubes or apples for the horses that can be quite friendly.
Learn more about The Cape, which is truly stunning, with many wildflowers, gorgeous scenery and many local farm animals out and about.
The “Dungeon” is a huge Newfoundland Sea Cave, 250 meters wide and 15 meters deep formed over hundreds of years. The sea cave roof collapsed creating this unique formation. It is possible to stand on a special viewing platform and look down into the “Dungeon”.
Learn more about the Dungeon Sea Cave, a favorite Newfoundland attraction near Bonavista.
Newfoundland bird watching is another great Newfoundland activity enjoyed by guests at Elizabeth J Cottages. Our vast Atlantic coastline and rugged terrain provide ideal nesting places for many native bird species. While walking along the many trails you can expect to see a wide variety of Newfoundland birds including Artic Tern, Dovelie, Northern Fulmar, Promarine Jaeger and many others…including of course, Newfoundland’s official bird, the Atlantic Puffin.
Newfoundland lighthouses are an important part of the history of this maritime province and one of many favorite Newfoundland’s attractions. Located about 5 km (3 miles) from Bonavista, the original Bonavista Lighthouse, (now a Provincial Historic Site) was built in 1843 and still stands alongside a newer Newfoundland lighthouse. Local folklore believes that this is the first point of land that John Cabot saw when he arrived in North America in 1497. An Atlantic Puffin habitat is only meters away from the lighthouse.
Learn more about Newfoundland Lighthouses
The Atlantic Puffin (Newfoundland’s bird) is a top Newfoundland attraction. Atlantic Puffins are special birds, only 18 cm (10 inches) tall and weighing only about 500 grams on average (just over 1 lb). Puffins leave the nest shortly after birth and do not return to land for almost 3 years. They eat mostly fish, can fly up to 88 km/hr (55 mph) and beat their wings 400 times per minute. Atlantic Puffins live about 20 years, with the oldest known Puffin being about 29 years. Puffins have great difficulty flying away when their bellies are loaded down with food. While waiting for the food to be digested Puffins must paddle with their wings. Atlantic Puffins can also dive to great depths when boats approach.
See more Atlantic Puffin Pictures and learn more about this fascinating
John Cabot Ship
The beautiful John Cabot ship, the Matthew, arrived in Bonavista in 1497. Today, there is an exact locally crafted replica of ‘The Mathew’ floating along the moorings in Bonavista.This replica of John Cabot’s ship has more then 6 miles of rope in the rigging. Many guests of Elizabeth J Cottages consider this one of their favorite Newfoundland attractions. Come aboard “The Matthew” and experience what it must have felt like for John Cabot and his crew as they sailed into Bonavista Bay, Newfoundland over 500 years ago. The ship includes wax figures of ship rats and sailors, so “real life” looking that one feels like striking up a conversation with them. Guests will also enjoy the Interpretation Centre, guided tours of the Mathew, theatre plays and “Matilda”, an authentic Newfoundland gift shop.
See more pictures of John Cabot’s ship on our Photo Gallery page.
Rated one of the top 30 Walking Trails in the World, Skerwink Trail is a “must see” Newfoundland attraction. As you hike along this 5.3 km (3.29 mile) looped trail you can view seabirds, humpback whales and unique vertical rock formations known as “Sea Stacks”. These steep, towering columns of free-standing rock jut out of the Atlantic Ocean like sky scrapers that have been isolated from the coastline by centuries of erosion. Skerwink Trail is only one of many fascinating hiking trails along the Bonavista Peninsula.
Experience pleasure visiting this 144 year old Historically Designated Newfoundland house build by the hands of families who knew how to build a house from stripped trees to withstand the winters of Bonavista. Come and experience a unique shop with products from all over the world just waiting to add a special energy to you,your home and special gifts for all your friends and family back home. Every item in the shop is handmade with the finest quality in all our products such as 100% Cashmere, the solidness of Sterling Silver and so much more. Come on in – the world awaits to meet your needs.
After extensive renovations, this restored fish merchant’s multi-building premises reopened in 1997 as the Ryan Premises National Historic Site. The story of the local Newfoundland fishing industry (going back nearly 500 years) is told through informative exhibits and multimedia displays. This Newfoundland attraction also houses the community museum, noted for its genealogy collection.
The Garrick Theatre
First opened on Christmas Day in 1945, the iconic 200-seat Garrick Theatre in Bonavista Newfoundland was named after David Garrick, a pioneer in English Theatre during the mid 1700s. The building recently underwent a $1.6 million renovation to create a state-of-the-art, multi-use entertainment venue for live theatre, performance events and movies. The Garrick Theatre re-opened to the public on April 5, 2010 with Canada’s celebrated national touring performance of ABBA! The theatre is one of the province’s oldest surviving theatres and a treasured Newfoundland attraction. The Garrick Theatre was originally built and owned by John Bradley who donated the property to the Bonavista Historical Society in 2003.
Rising Tide Theatre
Rising Tide Theatre in Bonavista is A MUST SEE Newfoundland attraction! Donna Butt, the executive and artistic director of Rising Tide Theatre, is the recipient of the prestigious “Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism Award”. In 2004, Donna was also honored as a member of the “Order of Canada” by then Governor-General, Adrienne Clarkson. Guests of Elizabeth J Cottages can enjoy award winning live theatre that explores current and controversial issues while portraying the culture and character of Newfoundland and Labrador.
Learn more about Rising Tide Theatre in Bonavista, Newfoundland.
Mockbegger Planatation is another popular Newfoundland attraction. Recognized as a Provincial Heritage site, Mockbegger Plantation is located in Bonavista Newfoundland and is the legacy of Mr.Gordon Bradley, Newfoundland’s first federal cabinet minister who, along with Premier Smallwood, was responsible for Newfoundland’s Confederation in 1949. Mockbegger Planatation is a preserved 18th century outport fish merchant’s home along with outbuildings that Mr. Bradley and his family once lived in.
Walkham’s Gate Pub
As you enjoy the best coffee and blueberry cheesecake in Bonavista, be sure to introduce yourself to Harvey and Sharron, owners of Walkham’s Gate Pub and Coffee Shop. Come discover why this is the traditional gathering spot and heart of Bonavista. Walkham’s Gate Pub, located on the corner of Costa & Church Street, is where the locals gather to catch up with the news and enjoy delicious, homemade Newfoundland food with mouth-watering deserts. Then walk right into Walkham’s Gate Pub for an after dinner drink and make sure you say hello to Harvey. With a draft beer and if you dare, a glass of “Screech”, relax and listen to the only authentic “down east” entertainment in town. Who knows…you may even be invited to become an honorary Newfoundlander and be “screeched in”!
See pictures and learn more about Bonavista’s Walkham’s Gate Pub.