view of Gander Lake

Gander Aviation MemorialGander was an isolated place in Newfoundland’s interior, at Milepost 213 on the trans-Newfoundland rail line, until in the 1930s, the British Air Ministry (Newfoundland was still then a colony) picked Gander as the site of a new air base because of its low incidence of fog.

The anticipated boom in commercial transatlantic air traffic was soon replaced by wartime traffic through Gander International Airport as thousands of aircraft passed through Gander en route from North American factories to the battlefront in Europe. Gander served as a refuelling base as well as a base for convoy escort and coastal patrol aircraft, as remembered at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Cemetery is just east of town on Route 1. There’s also a seaplane base near the airport still in use.

After the war, Gander became the hub of transatlantic commercial airline routes and became “Crossroads of the World” and the townsite was moved in 1951 from just north of the airport to west of the airport. Today, the old townsite is completely overgrown.

In 1985 there was a mysterious plane crash that took the lives of some 259 members of the U.S. 101st Airborne Regiment, which was returning home from peacekeeping duties in the Middle East and had just refuelled at Gander, crashing just after takeoff. The area of the crash is now Peacekeeper Park about four kilometres east of town on Route 1 where the Silent Witness Memorial stands in memory of the soldiers and crew.

Gander also features excellent hiking and cross-country ski trails as well as a golf course. Off Route 1, the Trans Canada Highway, behind the Gander Visitor Information Centre is Gill’s Trail, which has several loops through the woods and takes you to Gander Lake, and is an ideal tobogganing spot in winter. There is a boardwalk nature trail around Cobbs Pond off Route 330.

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Gander Attractions

Banting Memorial Interpretation Centre

P.O. Box 159
Musgrave Harbour, Newfoundland, A0G 3J0
(709) 655-2119 fax: (709) 655-2064

Sir Frederick Banting, co-discoverer of insulin died in a plane crash near the town during WWII. Come honor his life achievements and see his tragic end. Be a part of the 60th year festivities since this great man’s tragic end.
From Jun 22 – Sep 02

Arts And Culture Centre – Gander

P.O. Box 2222
Gander, Newfoundland, A1V 2N9
(709) 256-1082 fax: (709) 256-2731

Opened in 1971. Formerly part of the Czechoslovakian Pavilion at Montreal’s Expo 67. Centre houses a 400 seat theatre, arts gallery & swimming pool. The theatre presents performing arts from all disciplines.
From Sep 01 – Jun 30

Commonwealth War Graves

P.O. Box 280
Gander, Newfoundland, A1V 1W6
(709) 651-5927 fax: (709) 256-4195

The only Commonwealth War Graves in North America, this tranquil area opens a world of history from the transatlantic flight era. Maintained by dedicated individuals in Gander, the war graves have become a tourist destination for many.
From May 01 – Nov 30

Newfoundland T’railway – Trans Canada Trail

A 38-km section through Norris Arm & Grand Falls – Windsor, running through Bishop’s Falls. Approximate walking time: 8 hours, Railbed has not yet been upgraded, but the 282.5 m trestle has been redecked.
From Jan 01 – Dec 31
P.O.Box 306
Gander, Newfoundland, A1V 1W7
(709) 256-8833 fax: (709) 651-3849

Newfoundland T’railway – Trans Canada Trail (Exploits Valley Trail)

P.O. Box 306
Gander, Newfoundland, A1V 1W7
(709) 256-8833 fax: (709) 651-3849

A 29-km section between Grand Falls-Windsor and Badger. Approximate walking time: 6 hours. Part of the trail runs parallel to the Exploits, a major salmon river. The terrain is relatively level.
From Jan 01 – Dec 31

North Atlantic Aviation Museum

P.O. Box 234
Gander, Newfoundland, A1V 1W6
(709) 256-2923 fax: (709) 256-2923

A wide variety of aeronautic artifacts. Sit in our DC-3 cockpit, see Quickie 1 and 1939 Tiger Moth.
Outside are a Voodoo fighter jet, Lockheed Hudson Bomber, Beech 18S & Canso Water Bomber.
Open from Jan 01 – Dec 31, opn 9 am to 9 pm from Victoria Day to Labour Day, , Mon-Fri 9 am to 5 pm the rest of year.
Admission $3, children 6-15 & seniors $2. Allow 1-1/2 hours.


Gander’s Festival Of Flight

P.O. Box 280
Gander, Newfoundland, A1V 1W6
(709) 651-5927 fax: (709) 256-4195

One of the province’s premiere family festivals, featuring a multitude of events designed to capture the interest of everyone. A full itinerary of events including: children’s activities, music and entertainment, food & games, sporting events, night life, parade, fireworks and much more.
From Jul 31 – Aug 06

Gander Newfoundland Area Map