Things to Do
In the Harbour
Well….aside from having that glass of wine on your private deck and watching the whales play in the ocean (10,000 Humpbacks migrate through the area each year!) and the icebergs idle by (in season of course)… there is plenty to do in Petty Harbour itself!
Petty Harbour has been an active fishing village since the 1500s. Feel the quaintness of the village for yourself…just take a short sixty-second stroll across the road and down to the harbour and be gob-smacked by the stunning vista. Chat with the fishermen on the wharf and learn about the difficult, dangerous and rewarding life they live on the water. This fabulous video featuring local fisherman Tod Chafe will give you some insight into this unique lifestyle.
A pleasant 2 minute walk along the wharf in front of the Nests brings you to the Petty Harbour Mini Aquarium, a non-profit charitable marine public education center showcasing local marine life collected right off our coast.
Interested in going snorkelling with some whales? You can! Another brief walk brings you to Ocean Quest Adventures. Off you go in their Zodiac for an unforgettable experience that most people could only dream of doing!
Want to go fishing in a dory? With Fishing for Success/The Island Rooms of Petty Harbour you can learn to row that dory, handline for cod, and then fillet your fresh fish the same way it’s been done for hundreds of years! Cook your catch there or take it back to your Nest or the Guest House for the freshest seafood supper you will ever eat! Also, the Newfoundland and Labrador Recreational Food Fishery happens twice a year, during summer and fall. The recreational fishery is open to both residents and non-residents and there is no license requirement. Ask around down on the wharf and find someone to take you out to jig codfish and get yourself a few fresh fillets to cook up in your Nest or the Guest House! If not partaking yourself, you can still watch folks take to the waters in small boats and then come back to the wharf to clean their catch. It’s fascinating to watch.
If you want to leave the fishing and cooking to others, then walk over to Chafe’s Landing, the renowned local seafood eatery, and enjoy fresh-caught fish or crab at lunch — and again at supper, if you wish — it’s that good! Lobster & crab rolls…Newfoundland pea soup (made with salt beef, not ham!)…even moose…there is something for everyone on Chafe’s menu! Todd Chafe, who you saw in the video above, is your host and owner. Or if a great cappuccino and some tasty pastries are more to your liking, try the Watershed Coffee Shop–sit outside and watch the harbour and boats while you get your caffeine fix!
For the best selection of handicrafts make sure you pay a visit to Herbie’s Olde Shoppe, located in what was the old General Store. While perfectly preserved inside, the beans, sugar, flour and fishing lines which once filled the shelves have been replaced with quality gifts and souvenirs, including quilts, woollens, woodwork, pottery, jewellery, Newfoundland music, and more–it’s not your average souvenir store!
Learn our fascinating local history at the Petty Harbour Heritage Museum– there are exhibits and artifacts from the old days of the fishery, and lots of memorabilia donated by residents whose families have been here for hundreds of years. Stop into the Information Centre opposite our lovely War Memorial commemorating service men and women from Petty Harbour Maddox Cove. If you like hiking we are right between two popular and scenic routes of quiet splendour on the renowned East Coast Trail. Get a bird’s eye of view of Petty Harbour and the Atlantic Ocean by zip lining high on the hills with North Atlantic Zip Lines. We have a Catholic church on the north side of the harbour and a Protestant church with an enchanting old graveyard on the south side. Both are worth a visit.
Canoeists, kayakers and jet ski enthusiasts enjoy the Petty Harbour area also! Or maybe you just want to while away the hours picking wild blueberries (as organic as you can get!) up the hill behind the Nests or up Cribbie’s Rd. by the War Memorial.
For groceries, take the scenic 5 minute drive to Bidgood’s Grocery where you can pick up everything you need including a bakery and a fabulous selection of Newfoundland specialty food items–salt fish, wild game, bakeapple and partridgeberries–and yes, even seal flipper pie, Newfoundland crafts and lots more of the freshest of fish and seafood — including lobster! Need a Pharmacy? There is also a Shoppers Drug Mart in the Bidgood’s Plaza.
Out and about
ShoreLarkers are able to experience an idyllic outport lifestyle in Petty Harbour, yet can switch gears very quickly with a scenic 15 minute drive into St. John’s, one of the oldest, most vibrant cities in North America. Hit the pubs, theatres, art galleries, museums, shopping, sports events and fine dining restaurants. For a great guide to the city, what’s on, where and when, visit the Destination St. John’s website.
Petty Harbour is also located minutes from one of the biggest attractions to the province, Cape Spear (watch the video on this page), the most easterly point in North America, and is a launching point for many day trips including the Irish Loop, iceberg, whale and bird watching boat tours, sea kayaking and much more.
If you head down to Ferryland you can walk on a 17th-century cobblestoned street to the excavations at the Colony of Avalon Archaeological Dig and have a lovely catered picnic lunch right on the cliffs at the Ferryland Lighthouse.
Bird lovers must take the trip to Cape St. Mary’s Ecological Reserve! Witness one of the most accessible places in the world to see nesting seabirds including kittiwakes, cormorants, puffins and more than 24,000 gannets.
The Avalon Wilderness Reserve is home to Canada’s most southerly herd of Woodland caribou, some of which are the world’s largest. There are several golf courses nearby, including a championship public course with panoramic views of St. John’s and the surrounding coastline. Brook trout and Atlantic salmon are also abundant in the ponds and rivers of the region.
Other outdoor activities: mountain biking, horseback riding, swimming and more are all available.
Newfoundland has so many incredible things to do and see…and we could go on forever… so instead we’ll just give you a link to one of the best sites to get all the information you need!
This is it: http://www.newfoundlandlabrador.com