Travel Trade
Newfoundland Extension
Labrador Coastal Drive/Expedition 51
Just a short ferry ride from St. Barbe, NL you can immerse yourself into Labrador's unique culture and history. Communities along the Labrador Coastal Drive provide a glimpse back in time to early European colonization and some of the best opportunities in the province to view icebergs and whales. Or take a more in-depth exploration along Expedition 51 from Blanc Sablon, QC to Baie Comeau, QC through Central Labrador, the gateway to Labrador West and Nunatsiavut.

Completed during the summer of 2010, this highway loop itinerary links your Newfoundland and Labrador trip back through Eastern Canada. Only 150 kms of unpaved highway remains between L'Anse au Clair and Happy Valley-Goose Bay, a total distance of 613 kms. Widening, resurfacing, and paving of this highway continues including the completion of scenic pull-offs and rest stops with information plaza signage. Paving of this new highway is now completed on the first 160 kms southeast from Goose Bay towards Red Bay and 240 kms north of Red Bay. In addition, further leveling/repaving of Route 510 from L'Anse au Clair towards Red Bay was also complete in 2018. Expect major construction zones and new paving west of Cartwright Junction (Route 510/5216) and south of Happy Valley-Goose Bay in 2021. Click here for more detailed information.
Day 1 & 2
  • St. BarbeRed Bay / Ferry - 1h 45m / Drive - 86km / 1h 18m / Paved
    Watch for whales and icebergs in the morning as you cross the Strait of Belle Isle. Your first stop in Labrador should be a visit to the Gateway Visitor Centre for an orientation of the area. Climb the steps of the tallest lighthouse in Atlantic Canada and ask about the oldest known burial mound in North America and hike the trail to the 1922 wreck of the Royal Navy's flagship HMCS Raleigh. The Raleigh trail is a section of the 70km Pioneer Footpath, a coastal trail that follows the footsteps of early settlers. Or maybe you would like to spend a couple of days battling Atlantic Salmon on some of the best producing rivers in the province.
    Take some time to familiarize yourself with the UNESCO World Heritage site at Red Bay but you will have time to visit in more more detail when you overnight on your way back through.
    This short section of the Coastal Drive has many choices for accommodations in most every community.
    Day 3
  • Red Bay - Battle Harbour (Mary's Harbour) / 89km / 1h 19m / Paved
    Mary's Harbour is the gateway to Battle Harbour National Historic District - learn the history of Labrador's mercantile fishery and stay in a beautifully restored heritage home. The ferry ride to the island (1h 15m – reservations required) provides an excellent opportunity to view icebergs. Whales, including Orcas, can often be seen very close to shore.
    Day 4 & 5
  • Battle Harbour – Goose Bay / 456km / 6h 25m / 310 kms Paved and 150 kms Unpaved
    You are on the road, enroute to Happy Valley – Goose Bay, the "hub of Labrador" and North West River for cultural exploration. The Labrador Interpretation Centre and Labrador Heritage museum tell the story of Labrador's first people, European settlers and explorers. Learn of the military significance of the area to Canada and our allies since WWII, through the Cold War and today.
    Goose Bay is also the access point for travel to Nunatsiavut via the new Kamutik W ferry and to the Torngat Mountains National Park. (see TMNP or Cruising Nunatsiavut itinerary)

    Note: The time zone changes between Mary's Harbour, NST (UTC -3:30 hours) and Happy Valley - Goose Bay, AST (UTC -4:00 hours).
    Day 6
  • Goose Bay – Cartwright / 393km / 5h 32m / 140 kms Paved and 253 kms Unpaved
    This morning you will drive back along the Labrador Coastal Drive to the south of the Mealy Mountains and onward through sub-arctic terrain to the coast. Cartwright is on the doorstep of the Wonderstrand, a 54km stretch of sandy beach believed to be the first landing place of the Vikings 1,000 years ago! Your tour options include hiking, boating or kayaking along this beautiful coastline, visiting abandoned fishing communities and archaeological sites or fishing for seatrout. Whales, icebergs, caribou, seabirds and bears are commonly sighted on these tours. Choose between camping at a remote location or returning to roofed accommodations in either Happy Valley-Goose Bay, NL or Port Hope Simpson, NL.
    Day 7
  • CartwrightRed Bay / 330 kms / 4h 34m / 240 kms Paved and 90 kms Unpaved
    After a morning to finish up your explorations in Cartwright and the Wonderstrand you will continue your drive south. Enroute, take a side trip on Iceberg Alley, route 513, to St. Lewis for one of the best iceberg viewing opportunities in the province or stop in Port Hope Simpson for a hike or to cast a line for a salmon!
    This evening you will relax and explore the community; maybe walk the Booney Shore trail and look for remnants of Basque fishermen activities from years ago!

    Note: The time zone changes between Cartwright, AST (UTC -4 hours) and Red Bay, NST (UTC -3:30 hours).
    Day 8
  • Red BaySt. Barbe /Drive - 83km / 1h 12m / Paved / Ferry – 1h 45m
    Red Bay National Historic Site is Canada's newest UNESCO World Heritage site. Parks Canada operates an interpretation centre here that provide a glimpse back to the 16th century when Basque whalers operated North America's largest whaling station out of this small harbour to ship oil back to Europe for manufacturing products like paint and soap and to light lamps. After exploring the Interpretation Centre, visit Saddle Island, just a 1 minute boat ride, to check out sites of tryworks, cooperages and a burial ground for Basque fishermen.
    This afternoon you will catch the last ferry back to Newfoundland.
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    FIT Itinerary Toolkit
    If you would like more information about the development of an itinerary for your company, please reference our FIT Itinerary Toolkit.

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