Young boy in red sweater walks along rocky coast towards an iceberg

This Is Why You Should Take a Trip To St Anthony Newfoundland

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St Anthony Newfoundland is a small fishing town situated in the far north of western Newfoundland. But during the late spring to mid-summer, those in the know flock to this sleepy town to experience one of the most spectacular wonders of nature, the flowing of the Icebergs through Iceberg Alley. But when they arrive, visitors realize that there’s a lot more to this town than they expected.

Stone Building and fishing boat in St Anthony Newfoundland

Getting to St Anthony Newfoundland

St Anthony Newfoundland sits near the very tip of western Newfoundland. A visit to this picturesque town is often combined with a drive along the coast Newfoundland Viking Trail.  This route takes you through famous historical sites such as Western Brook Pond and Viking settlement site L’Anse aux Meadows. This can be easily done from popular western towns such as Cornerbrook and Rocky Harbour as a day trip.

For those looking to visit St Anthony from towns further East such as St. Johns, the drive is a little longer but no less beautiful. In fact, if you are coming from the capital of Newfoundland, you might also tag on a visit to the popular iceberg town of Twillingate on the way.

St Anthony Newfoundland - Children exploring l'anse aux meadows in Newfoundland

What To Do Near St Anthony Newfoundland

Because of it’s position on one of Newfoundlands most popular road trip routes, St Anthony is blessed with some spectacular nearby attractions. Whether you are visiting from Gros Morne National Park, or one of the other major cities in Newfoundland, a trip to the tip of Newfoundland is worth your time.

The Newfoundland Iceberg Alley

During late spring to mid-summer (May – July) a spectacular natural event occurs on the shores of Newfoundland and Labrador. Arriving from western Greenland, thousands of icebergs travel at a rate of 7 km/year passing through the Davis Strait and then the Labrador current  grabs them and launches them towards Iceberg Alley in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Of the thousands of icebergs that make the journey, only a few hundred or 1-2% will survive the 2-3 year journey to Iceberg Alley. Greenland’s glaciers are approximately 10,000 years old making the ice that has arrived on Newfoundland and Labrador’s shores some of the purest water available. We set out from Ontario with a mission, and it became pretty clear right away that we would be spotting icebergs in St. Anthony Newfoundland.

A deeply layered iceberg in the Newfoundland Iceberg Alley with the deep water showing the depth that the iceberg sinks to - Icebergs in Twillingate

Iceberg Alley in Newfoundland and Labrador can be mapped from north to south with the following cities: Cartwright, Battle Harbour, Point Amour, St. Anthony, La Scie, Twillingate, Bonavista, St. John’s/Cape Spear and all the way down Bay Bulls/Witless Bay. If you are hoping to see icebergs in St. Anthony, it’s good to be aware that earlier on in iceberg season, it is most common to find icebergs further north in the alley.Tip: Depending on which city in Iceberg Alley you want to base yourself, make sure to check on which airport works best for your itinerary.

Boy walking towards Iceberg in St Anthony Newfoundland

A Little Information About Icebergs

Icebergs come in different shapes and sizes, but all of them are incredible in their own way.  The shapes have been notoriously catalogued by iceberg hunters and can be broken down into the following categories: tabular, blocky, wedged, dome, pinnacle, and dry dock. A tabular iceberg, like the one we saw in St. Anthony is a flat-topped iceberg with a width that is five times greater than it’s height. Amazingly, almost 90% of an iceberg is hidden underwater!

Anatomy of an Iceberg

Driving the Viking Trail

Our visit to St Anthony Newfoundland started in the town of Rocky Harbour. We had spent the day before hiking in Gros Morne National Park and were looking forward to a relaxing day of exploring. We drove north on Route 430 along Newfoundlands western coast. This section of the highway is also known as the Viking Trail and it takes you through Gros Morne National Park and up through quaint fishing towns on the coast of western Newfoundland.

A double arch looking out onto the Atlantic Ocean at Arches Provincial Park in Newfoundland. It's one of our 12 Unforgettable Canadian Road Trips

The Viking Trail is a scenic journey of approximately 350 km. We stopped often for photos and to give the children a chance to run around at various spots along the way. The weather was definitely cooperating with the sun shining brightly and blessing us with temperatures in the low 20 degrees Celsius. As we got closer to our destination at the northern tip of Newfoundland, we witnessed amazing views of the coast of Labrador across the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

Along the way to St Anthony we saw our first iceberg! And to add to the excitement, a humpback whale also decided to join the party! Kevin and I were ecstatic but chose not stop as the berg was far in the distance near the Labrador coast, and there wasn’t really a good spot to park the car on the highway. Both C and D were having a much-needed nap as well, so we opted to trek on to better views rather than risk breaking up a well-deserved rest.

Young boy with a toy sword points at a Lighthouse in Newfoundland

Fox Point Lighthouse (Fishing Point), St. Anthony Newfoundland

Before we knew it, we had reached the northern tip of western Newfoundland and we were gazing in awe at the rugged coastline off of Fishing Point, in the town of St. Anthony. The weather, though still sunny, had cooled down considerably as we drove north and a strong wind was reminding us of Newfoundland’s unpredictable weather.

After putting on sweaters, C and D, refreshed from their nap, jumped out of the rental van and almost immediately noticed the lighthouse in the distance. D, who at this point had become absolutely obsessed with Lighthouses (possibly thanks to Paw Patrol), took off running to explore the site.The Fox Point Lighthouse was originally erected in 1906 and at its inception, it consisted only of a lantern that was hoisted up an open frame. The modern structure dates from 2002. As of 2009, three experienced lighthouse keepers have shared the responsibility of keeping the lighthouse operational.

Children run toward Fox Point Lighthouse in St Anthony Newfoundland

Icebergs in St. Anthony, Newfoundland

The town of St. Anthony Newfoundland is the self-proclaimed iceberg capital of the world. And the town certainly lived up to its name! Easily visible from the Fox Point Lighthouse parking lot in Fishing Point was a large tabular iceberg. Kevin wasted little time in breaking out our drone to capture some stunning views of the berg nestled in St. Anthony Harbour. It’s become some of our most popular footage and has been featured by Newfoundland Tourism and Matador Network.

Pro-Tip: The weather in Newfoundland and Labrador is notoriously unpredictable. When packing for late spring, plan on temperatures ranging from 5ºC – 25ºC (41ºF – 77ºF). There is almost always a possibility of snow so make sure to pack accordingly.

Explore the Coastline of St Anthony Newfoundland

From the Fishing Point Lighthouse, there are four trails that you can follow to walk the coast and watch for icebergs in St. Anthony: The Santana Trail, The Cartier’s View Trail, The Iceberg Alley Trail, and The Whale Watchers Trail. All offer amazing viewpoints and except for the Santana Trail all are rated as easy.

Both the Iceberg Alley and the Whale Watchers Trail have boardwalks with the latter being wheelchair accessible. During iceberg season, it is also possible to see whales and puffins alongside the icebergs off the St. Anthony coastline. We may have only seen icebergs in St. Anthony on our walks along the trails, but we certainly didn’t leave disappointed.

Two young boys spotting icebergs in St. Anthony by hiking Iceberg Alley Trail.

Pro-Tip: Although 2 of the 4 trails have boardwalks, it is still wise to have proper footwear. The boardwalks can be wet and icy depending on the weather.

Eat at the Lightkeeper’s Seafood Restaurant

After exploring the area and staring in awe at the sheer size of the icebergs in St. Anthony we settled down for an early dinner at The Lightkeeper’s Seafood Restaurant which is located right in Fishing Point. Fishing Point overlooks the harbour, and we were surprised to be approached by a three-legged fox as we were checking out the view. When we asked the staff at the restaurant about the visitor, they let us know that the fox had been snared in a trap years before, and since then had relied on the charity of restaurant patrons for food. The fox is considered tame, but remember that it’s still a wild animal, so don’t try to approach it.

Lightkeepers Restaurant in St Anthony Newfoundland

The Lightkeeper’s Seafood Restaurant is housed in what was originally one of the lighthouse keepers dwellings. I was the only one that opted for an appetizer and I started with the Lightkeepers Seafood Chowder. It was very tasty and had large chunks of shrimp which we did not find anywhere else in western Newfoundland. For my main, I opted for two appetizer plates.

The battered and fried calamari was good but was made exceptional by the sweet Thai chili/tartar sauce combination dip! I also had the Bacalao cake which is a pan-fried patty of salt cod, potatoes, and onion. I can understand why it is a classic in both Newfoundland and Portugal. Kevin had the Snowcrab platter which is served which your choice of two sides. As for what he thought of it, the empty plate spoke for itself.

Crab legs at Lightkeeper's Seafood Restaurant

The children opted for good old macaroni and cheese. But their favorite part was dessert. The generous staff at Lightkeeper’s Seafood Restaurant allowed them to split one order of sundae which was served in two separate sundae cups and they each got to pick their own flavour. Talk about amazing service! Between the views, the well prepared and tasty dishes, and excellent service we highly recommend this restaurant for families and anybody else that happens to find themselves in St. Anthony.

Where to Stay in St Anthony Newfoundland

Originally, we had planned to stay overnight in St. Anthony at the historic Grenfell Heritage Hotel and Suites You can check out their prices and availability on Booking.com here or Hotels Combined here.

However, we found out that the boat tours for spotting icebergs in St. Anthony had not yet started for the season. After some discussion, we decided that, since icebergs were our main mission here in Newfoundland, we would make the journey to another part of Iceberg Alley, the spectacular town of Twillingate where the boat tours were in full-force for the season.

We made the trip back to Rocky Harbour, the half-way point to Twillingate. We would have loved to spend more time in St. Anthony, as it had even more beautiful areas to explore. But a mission must be accomplished, so we traveled on!

St. Anthony Newfoundland is definitely a place we hope to visit again soon. Part of visiting Newfoundland is getting “Screeched In”. This is a way for visitors to become honorary Newfoundlanders. Our friend and fellow travel writer Christopher Rudder at Rudderless Travel shares his experience with the Screech-In here.

Ice filled bay with fishing boats in Newfoundland

Resources for visiting Newfoundland

To help in our planning I joined a very helpful Facebook group called Newfoundland Iceberg Reports and followed their twitter account (@NLIcebergReport). The members are invaluable in providing daily updates on icebergs that can be spotted in various areas of Iceberg Alley. Also, I was religiously checking the iceberg map in the weeks and days leading up to our trip. On this map, you will find the icebergs that have been reported by ambassadors (this is a team of berg-spotters) but also those that have been detected by satellite.

The hard thing about this adventure though was that at any moment, any given iceberg could calve (break apart) and/or roll-over without warning. Although this would have been a fantastic event to witness, it meant that we could not guarantee any one site we picked would have icebergs when we got there.

Fishing Boat docked amidst ice floes in the bay.

The first three cities mentioned above (Cartwright, Battle Harbour, Point Amour) are all in Labrador, which is on Canada’s North-Eastern Mainland, and would have required a ferry ride from our base in on the island of Newfoundland. Since we were only in Newfoundland for a short period of time we opted to try our luck in seeing icebergs in St. Anthony.

We had gotten our first taste of the Newfoundland icebergs up close and we were craving more. The next day, we would be making the drive from Rocky Harbour to Twillingate to join Captain Dave’s Boat Tours, and get a true, up-close and personal look at some Newfoundland icebergs.

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Christina Wagar
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Christina Wagar

Christina Wagar grew up in a travel loving family. She strives to instil her love of learning about different cultures and seeing new and old places to her husband Kevin and their two young boys.
Having experienced over 20 countries across 4 continents Christina is well versed at travel planning and thrives on sharing that information with others with the hopes of encouraging more families to experience this incredible world that we live in.
Christina Wagar
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95 Comments

  1. I love how we can get so much information these days from FB groups and twitter accounts to help plan our trips. The photo of the Tabular Iceberg in St. Anthony is stunning! I really loved the photo of your sons running down the boardwalk.

  2. A great post! Looking forward to seeing your adventures with Captain Dave as we were in Twillingate yesterday and there were huge icebergs all around. Thanks for contributing to Newfoundland Iceberg Reports while you were here and we’ll gladly share your posts to encourage others. It’s looking like a bumper crop of icebergs again this year and tourists too!

    1. Thank you so much Diane! Everyone from Newfoundland Iceberg Reports was amazing at helping us organize ourselves! We’ll be putting out our Twillingate article and video on Sunday, June 12!

  3. What a beautiful piece on an area of Canada I’ve not yet had the privilege to visit.

    My heartfelt thanks for sharing (something else to add to the travel list).

    I saw a very disturbing time-lapse the other day showing how much old ice has been lost in the last 25 years from the Canadian Arctic…

  4. This is so interesting! I never heard of anyone chasing Icebergs before. I would love to visit the East Coast of Canada – we lived in Vancouver for a few months last year but didn’t make it out of BC. There is so much more I would like to explore and these photos intrigue me. Thanks for the info on icebergs too!

  5. I’m loving your posts on Canada! It’s a gem I haven’t visited yet but really want to. Love the photos and the graphic about the anatomy of a iceberg as well! I’ve never actually seen one in real life and this post reminds me that I need to suck up being cold and plan a trip!

  6. I found this a very informative post, it is well researched and packs in a lot of interesting information about icebergs. Have always been fascinated by icebergs and how they get created. While reading the post, at the back of my mind was the iceberg that downed the Titanic.

  7. This is so much fun! Another thing to add to my list of things to do when I move to Canada. It’s so long now I hope I get through everthing 🙂 The Lighthouse Keeper’s Seafood Restaurant sounds like the perfect place to round off the day. The poor fox being trapped in a snare.

    1. That’s great that you’re moving to Canada! It’s amazing! (we may be a bit biased) It’s also huge, so take your time checking out the sites, there are MANY of them 🙂

  8. You do the most awesome and off beat stuff there which is family friendly and fun. Kudos for always doing something “different”. Icebergs ! wow. The one in the picture – it looks HUGE. Would you say it was big/small? I mean I haven’t ever seen one so no idea whats the avg iceberg size.

    1. Icebergs are crazy, the smallest ones are called “Growlers” and are about the size of a car. The one’s we saw are medium sized, while the largest can reach over 50 m in height and thousands of square kilometres in diameter. The largest ever was 6,500 sq. Kilometres!

  9. I’ve never seen an iceberg in person which feels strange. I should have done this by now! I’d love to go to Canada (still on my list) or Antarctica (also still on my list due to cost!) and chase some icebergs too. What a great day out for your family and a tasty meal at the end of all of that exploring. Thanks for sharing

  10. I am envious! My husband is from the main land maritimes, and we have not yet had the fortune of visiting Newfoundland. The ice begs almost remind me of a wildebeest migration, like they have a life to them as they make the journey, hoping to survive. Fantastic post!

  11. This looks like an incredible adventure. I loved seeing icebergs when I was in Iceland, and would love to hunt some more! Its great how helpful facebook and twitter can be! Where would we be without social media?!

  12. So excited to see your photos- Frank has Newfoundland as his #1 trip! We would love to see and kayak near icebergs. Eagerly awaiting the next installment:)

  13. Absolutely stunning! I’ve been wanting to do this for years, and you guys have pretty much saved me from doing a lot fo research so thank you! Your video also has me now wanting a drone…

  14. I never knew it was a ‘thing’ or a tourist attraction but it makes perfect sence. I can imagine the anticipation before your trip: will we see some won’t we!

  15. I’d love to see icebergs! I never really thought about the fact that I’ve never seen one in person. I love that Fox Point Lighthouse. How amazing that a single lantern used to provide such safety on the seas.

  16. What an adventure! I’ve never thought about chasing icebergs, but now I have to add it to my list! I love your dedication for checking the forums, accounts and maps to track them down beforehand! Those lovely images made me want to travel there instantly.

  17. I’m loving all your nature posts about Canada and the US! Newfoundland is the one province on the East Coast I have yet to visit and I definitely need to get there soon. Also, I’m not sure if you mention it somewhere but which drone do you have? Great footage!

  18. It’s my dream to go hunt icebergs! I’ve got this weird obsession with wanting to visit Antarctica as well, maybe this will be a good substitute until I find the money to go visit there!

  19. How amazing you could witness this natural phenomenon! I had no idea you could chase icebergs in Canada 🙂 Some of your photos reminded me of Iceland. This is a very interesting article, thanks for sharing!

  20. This really looks like one of those trips of a lifetime. How many have seen traveling icebergs? Thanks for the loads of information too, I never knew there were different categories of icebergs!

  21. Whenever you need a travel nanny (or Grandma I suppose), please be in touch. Between yours and Rob’s adorable children, I am so anxious to have a grandchild some day. I miss traveling with the little ones. 😉

  22. I loved spotting icebergs when I lived in SE Alaska. Never tired of it over six years. Saw one flip in an icy New Zealand lake once too. That’s a thrill. Spotting them must be great with young kids too. My 20 yr. old would just shrug mutely now!

  23. That restaurant sounds delicious. I love that they not only split the sundae for the kids, but let them each pick their own flavor. So cool!

  24. Wow that is super cool!
    Iceberg “hunting” is on my bucket list!! I would love to see them rolling over (i saw a video of it once and WOW its cool!).
    The screen is also definitely worth that!
    Its kinda cool thank the icebergs “migrate” through the the Alley, its a little like they are animals getting ready to mate ! haha

    It looks like the kids really enjoying themselves! so good to see kids out having fun and enjoying the world 🙂

  25. How stunning! And I thought Iceland had a lot of icebergs! Newfoundland looks really cool – you guys were obviously there in summer, though do you know if you’re north enough to see the Northern Lights come winter here?

    1. It is north enough to see the Northen Lights Meg. But it is better viewing to take the ferry and cross over to Labrador. Apparently, the lights can be spotted there even before the winter cold sets in!

  26. This is so interesting! I love your photos, as always, but I am even more intrigued by the world of iceberg spotting and studying: you have opened up for me a window over something I didn’t even know existed and I find it fascinating! I am looking forward to reading about the rest of your mission: it must have been difficult to peel yourself away from such a beautiful place but I get it: a travel mission must be accomplished 🙂

  27. It’s always embarrassing as a Canadian to read these posts and have my mouth drop, never knowing this place existed and you could see such a cool thing in my own country! What a great thing to get to experience, and the kids looked like they had a blast!

    1. Canada really is amazing and we haven’t even scratched the surface of our very long list of must dos in Canada. The kids really did enjoy specially spotting all the wildlife.

  28. How spectacular must it be to see an iceberg passing by, right in front of your eyes. Even if they are not small, as you explained, 90% of them are underwater. The whole path looks so quiet, like you had your own private screening of nature’s show.

  29. This is absolutely incredible and I definitely want to go here. We are planning on getting over to the West Coast of Canada in May next so I think I will factor a side trip to here as well. Stunning photos and such a wonderful experience for the kids.

  30. I would love to see some icebergs here. It looks like a great day to relax, read a book and then look up to see the iceberg float by.

    Also that food looks amazing and so fresh.

  31. Newfoundland has only recently gotten on my radar, and it looks amazing!! How cool to see icebergs up close like that! You got some beautiful pictures and shots with the drone. That seafood looks delicious!

  32. Nowadays I read travel blogs like yours and I realize I haven’t been to at least 1/4 of what I could see around the world. I haven’t been to Canada but I definitely want to go. Newfoundland looks like a spectacular place to visit. And I want to see the icebergs for myself. I came from a tropical country so seeing places that are so different from mine fascinate me.

  33. What an amazing experience for your boys! I’m a super jealous! To see the icebergs float past would be absolutely incredible – and great to know there are resources out there for planning and monitoring the icebergs to make sure you don’t miss them!

  34. We must have crossed paths on this trip.. June 3rd – 6th – We did St.Anthony, Gros Morne, Twillingate, Cornerbrook on a 4 day spree.. Loved Dave Boyd’s boat tour it was the highlight of our trip

  35. This is so interesting to me, simply because I have never seen an iceberg or snow for that matter. In the Caribbean we don’t have either of course. I would love to experience it, but not sure how my body would react.

    1. You would be happy to know it was about 20 degrees celsius when we saw our first Iceberg 🙂 They’re at their best in June when temperatures in Newfoundland are very comfortable.

  36. You did a great job in researching! I love how this article is so detailed and exciting as I scroll down. St. Anthony deserves its tagline I guess. Spectacular iceberg finds. 🙂

  37. Your posts always make me wanderlust for my own country! Thanks again for sharing a part of Canada I never knew about. This looks like such a cool experience, and I love that you got so much help and support via Facebook. Technology is so helpful these days, hey?!

  38. Icebergs! A new knowledge came in again, thanks to your blog. 😀 I am interested in these ice wonders (though I live in a tropical country) because it’s going to be a new experience for me. I hope to visit one day..

  39. iI haven’t seen a snowball in my entire life but I can imagine how cool and magical is it to see an iceberg. That anatomy of iceberg is very interesting. Is it possible to dive in and see the entire structure of the iceberg? You’re children are very lucky to see things and explore at a very young age.

    1. Hi Kate,

      I wouldn’t recommend diving near an Iceberg. They can calve, founder or flip over without a moments notice, and when that kind of mass let’s lose, it can be very dangerous.

  40. I did a roadtrip to Newfoundland a long time ago. We visited Gros Morne National Park, and the Brook Pond. The waterfalls were stunning, and going up Gros Morne itself was an amazing experience. I will make sure to return!

  41. So cool! I never made it all the way up to St. Anthony but I did get to Trinity where there were plenty of bergs. It’s such an amazing phenomenal, I could have watched them forever!

  42. Iceberg! Never seen snow in my life since I’m from the tropical country. But sure, snow is listed in my bucket list! That crab leg sure does look yummy! Awesome day indeed! Icebergs! xx

  43. What an epic adventure! I cant say we have ever thought f Iceberg hunting until reading your post. Going to have to make a plan to do this in the near future. The video is awesomeby the way!

  44. I am in love with your articles. I haven’t seen an iceberg in my life yet and quite excited to get to Ushuaia in Argentina the next month to witness one. Goes without saying, this takes a prominent place in my bucket list now 😉

  45. This is possibly my favorite blog! Just everything about it is great from the layout to the content, thank you for keeping it going!

  46. Oh wow! I didn’t know that iceberg watching/hunting is a thing. It’s also a dream for me to see icebergs and glaciers up close. What an experience for the whole family! And it’s sad that with climate change, more and more of the ice is melting. I wonder though, can you go on top of an iceberg? hehe

    1. I sure hope you get the chance. There are opportunities to see glaciers in many far north and far south countries! Climbing on glaciers is not recommended as they can calve and flip without notice, and that would be bad.

  47. Thank you for the kind words we were at the restaurant with our family the (large table as soon as you entered). We commented on how much fun the kids seem to be having. We are so delighted that you enjoyed the experience at our restaurant. The ice bergs are still here and even closer to shore. I have just posted some more pics to our site http://www.lightkeepersvikingfeast.com/
    Again Thank you
    Chris Moss
    Owner
    Lightkeepers Café Ltd.

    1. I had no idea your table held the owners of the restaurant Chris. We had a wonderful time. Your location is unbeatable and the service was fantastic. We hope for the opportunity to visit again!

  48. Maritimers definitely have seafood, and service down pat! What an epic adventure! Hard to believe so much of an iceberg is not visible. Although Canada feels like one 9 months a year 😉

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