Port Aux Basques Lighthouse

Port-aux-Basques Cheeseman Provincial Park
This town of 5,000 is the western ferry terminus in Newfoundland. The Ferries connect from Channel Port-aux-Basques to North Sydney, Nova Scotia year-round, usually twice a day (occasionally more in peak summer tourist season). Port-aux-Basques is connected to the rest of the island of Newfoundland via the #1 Trans Canada Highway.

Port-aux-Basques view of Ferry terminal

This was a fishing station for the French, Portuguese and Basques since the early 1500’s and was named by the Basque fishermen who used this as a shelter in storms and a base for their fishing and exploration.

Channel-Port aux Basques, is an ice-free port facing the Gulf of St. Lawrence, which made it the logical choice for the western terminus of the Newfoundland Railway. This ran from the Avalon Peninsula to the Exploits River by 1893 and was extended in 1898 to Channel – Port aux Basques to connect with a steamer that would connect with the railway schedule, three days a week.

The towns of Channel and Port aux Basques which were once two separate fishing communities, merged in 1945 into one town, and has since expanded to the boundary of John T. Chesseman Provincial Park.

Port aux Basques Attractions

Bottle Cove Day Park

Whale watching, short hiking trails and breathtaking scenery. At low tide visit a cave carved by nature, pick mussels or dig clams. Centuries ago Basques and French fishermen worked here.
From Apr 01 – Nov 30

Cape Ray Lightkeeper’s House

Lark Harbour, Newfoundland, A0L 1H0
(709) 681-2270 fax: (709) 681-2900
Museum with Dorset Artifacts. Craft Shop. Located next to the lighthouse and the Dorset Eskimo Site.
From Jul 01 – Aug 31

Codroy Valley International Wetlands

P.O. Box 40
Doyles, Newfoundland, A0N 1J0
(709) 955-2109 fax: (709) 955-2109

A leisurely trail beginning at the Interpretation Centre winds through a beautiful natural setting which plays host to Canada’s greatest variety of migratory waterfowl and an assortment of plant life. Open year-round.

Codroy Valley Provincial Park

P.O. Box 8680
St. John’s, Newfoundland, A1B 4J6
(709) 729-2424 fax: 729-1100

This scenic beach is located at the mouth of the Grand Codroy River. Bring your camera to catch the magnificent view of the Long Range Mountains. This is along the spring & fall migration of many birds.
From Jun 01 – Sep 30

Grand Codroy Beach / Searston Beach

P.O. Box 40
Doyles, Newfoundland, A0N 1J0
(709) 955-2109 fax: (709) 955-2109
Located at the mouth of the Grand Codroy River and the international wetlands. Enjoy a leisurely stroll along the ocean and picnic on the sand dunes. Open year-round.

Gulf Museum

P.O. Box 1299
Port aux Basques, Newfoundland, A0M 1C0
(709) 695-7560

Exhibits reflect the local history. A feature exhibit is the 1628 astrolabe, an early navigation instrument found in this area, and the only one in Canada.
Open Jun 01 – Sep 01

Harbour Boardwalk

P.O. Box 70
Port aux Basques, Newfoundland, A0M 1C0
(709) 695-2214 fax: (709) 695-9852

Enjoy a leisurely stroll from the Marine Atlantic terminal to Scott’s Cove Park along the Harbour Boardwalk. The walkway follows the harbour shoreline, is fully lit in the evening and has lookout and rest stops along the way.
From May 01 – Oct 31

J.T. Cheeseman Provincial Park

JT Cheeseman Park near Port-aux-BasquesP.O. Box 8680, St. John’s, A1B 4J6
A 20-minute drive from Port aux Basques north on Route 1
(709) 695-7222 Fax 729-1100

The park’s shoreline provides a sheltered beach with soft, powdery sand which is home to the endangered Piping Plover, with only 500 or so remaining in Atlantic Canada and fewer than 5,000 worldwide. Cheeseman Park, Grand Bay West, and Sandy Point (further north near St. George’s) all have sandy beaches the plovers favour and are recommended viewing areas. Please don’t disturb these birds or their nests . Other birds include the Common Loon, Murre, Canada Goose, and Pine Grosbeak, as well as White Admiral and Atlantis Fritillary butterflies.

There’s a 2-kilometre trail called Smokey Cape, named for the windblown surf found at the beach parking lot which creates a “smokey” effect. Take a walk along the beach to search for surf clams and dogwinkles. The beach is really a barachois or sand dune.
Open May 15 – Oct 31

Newfoundland Trailway – Trans Canada Trail (Wreckhouse Trail)

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

22 km section Port aux Basques-McDougall Gulch. Takes about 4 hours to walk across coastal lowland barrens. Nearby Cape Ray has a spectacular sand beach that attracts shore birds.
From Jan 01 – Dec 31

Old Codroy Carding Mill

P.O. Box 40
Doyles, Newfoundland, A0N 1J0
(709) 955-2109 fax: (709) 955-2109

A working museum, the Old Carding Mill was in operation from the early 1900s until 1965. We will card and spin wool from local sheep.
From Jun 01 – Oct 31

Port Aux Basques Railway Heritage Centre

P.O. Box 1299, Port Aux Basques, A0M 1C0
(709) 695-7560

The train station and various rail cars with diesel engine recalls the story of the Newfoundland railway. Open daily. The gift shop features local handcrafts plus souvenirs.
Open Jun 01 – Oct 31

Rose Blanche Lighthouse

P.O. Box 1120
Port aux Basques, Newfoundland, A0M 1C0
(709) 695-7411 fax: (709) 695-2680

The Rose Blanche Lighthouse was built in 1873 and restored in 1999. This is one of the last granite lighthouses on the Atlantic Seaboard.
May 01 – Oct 31

St. Andrews Na Creige Golf Course

P.O. Box 59
St. Andrew’s, Newfoundland, A0N 1W0
(709) 955-3322 fax: (709) 955-3323

New 9-hole golf course in Codroy Valley 20 minutes from the ferry at Port aux Basques. Par 35 with magnificent view of Long Range Mountains and Little Codroy River.
From May 21 – Oct 31

Starlite Trail

P.O. Box 40
Doyles, Newfoundland, A0N 1J0
(709) 955-2109 fax: (709) 955-2109

A well marked trail to the top of the Long Range Mountains or branch off around the side of the mountain to Campbell’s Brook. Rest and picnic areas. Two hour return trip.
May 01 – Oct 31

Table Mountain

Table Mountain north of Port-aux-BasquesTable Mountain is a 518 metre geological oddity, visible from Cheeseman Park, is known for the gale force winds rushing down from its summit to the stunted weather-beaten forest below, with gusts exceeding 160 km/h to disrupt highway traffic and derail the now discontinued trains. During World War II, the United States built a radar station, an air strip, and assorted buildings on top of the mountain. Table Mountain is accessible by a trail.

In the valley below Table Mountain lived Lauchie MacDougall, the famous “human wind gauge” who was contracted to the Newfoundland Railway to determine if the gusts were too high for trains. After he died in 1965, his wife continued the work until 1972. Today, truckers rely on CB radios and word-of-mouth for news about the wind.

Cormack Trail

The Cormack Trail is named for William Epps Cormack who completed the first recorded walk across Newfoundland in 1822. In 60 days he hiked from Trinity Bay on the east coast to Flat Bay Brook valley on the west coast, and published a journal which was the first accurate description of the interior’s geography and wildlife.

The 182 kilometre Cormack Trail connects Petites on the south coast and St. George’s on the west coast, forming part of the Newfoundland T’Railway along the 900 km former rail bed from Port aux Basques to St. John’s. The trail passes through or near 40 communities, so stop in and have a chat and meet the folks. Long sections of the trail cross beaches and headlands, home to harbour and gray seals.

The Cormack Trail is a physically challenging eight-day hike, with overnight stops at campsites or bed-and-breakfasts along the route. In the rugged three-day Anguille Mountains section, the only accommodations are campsites.

Port aux Basques Tours & Adventures

Sparkling Waters Estuary Boat Tours And Rentals

P.O.Box 31
Doyles, Newfoundland, A0N 1J0
(709) 955-2154 fax: (709) 955-2154

Visit the sparkling waters of Grand Codroy River Wetlands. Enjoy a relaxing tour, or rent a canoe, kayak, paddle boat or pontoon boat. Bird watching tours also available.
From May 01 – Oct 31

Channel-Port aux Basques, Newfoundland Area Map