Gaspé, Prince Edward, NS

Discussion in 'Geographic Location' started by trhull, Mar 14, 2010.

  1. trhull

    trhull Member

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    Planning an August 2010 2-3 week trip and need a bit of help. I live about 9 hour drive from Quebec City, which we will do the first day. After that I am bamvboozled, even after some time web surfing. I am interested in fishing villages, countryside, and experienced a new areas not B4 visited. My questions are:

    1. Where can I find availability of ferrys in the maritmes?
    2. Can Isle de madeleine be visited via ferry?
    3. If I go east using the north shore of the St Lawrence, are there boats across to Gaspé city?
    4. Is Newfoundland accessible by car?
    5. Which are the towns on the Gaspé that should be visited?

    Any other practical info would also be useful. Thanks for your help. I know it is not a well visited location for APUGers, but thought there might be a few folks that might know it!
     
  2. Bob-D659

    Bob-D659 Member

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    http://www.newfoundlandlabrador.com/PlanATrip/TravelTools/FerrySchedules.aspx for ferries between the mainland and NL.

    http://www.traversiers.gouv.qc.ca/en/index.php for ferries across the St Lawrence east of Quebec City.

    Newfoundland is only accessible by ferry. Not sure what you mean by "not B4 visited" the whole area is a tourist destination, it's only varies by how many tourists go to any individual part.

    For Isle de Madeleaine http://www.tourismeilesdelamadeleine.com/magdalen-islands/atrim-ang-725-car.cfm
     
  3. PhotoJim

    PhotoJim Member

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    You're trying to cram a lot into two or three weeks. I spent two weeks in Newfoundland last year and I didn't even get off the Avalon Peninsula, which is just a tiny portion of Newfoundland on the east coast. Gros Morne National Park justifies a week to itself.

    Quebec City justifies several days. I spent two weeks there in 2000, although we did some day trips to Ile d'Orleans and Ile aux Coudres (both well worth visiting). There is spectacular scenery down the St. Lawrence Valley in Saguenay (fjords for example) but we didn't have time to go that far.

    Newfoundland is accessible by ferry - but it's an 18-hour ferry ride from Sydney, Nova Scotia to Argentia, Newfoundland and then two hours to St. John's (which needs a week or more itself), or if you take the ferry to Port aux Basques, on the west end of the island (about 12 hours from Sydney, NS) you need about 8 hours to drive to St. John's.

    In 3 weeks you could do Quebec City, Saguenay, and into New Brunswick. You might even have time for a few days in Prince Edward Island. You will certainly get some of your fishing villages there. The most stereotypical ones are in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland & Labrador, but that is (in my opinion) getting too far afield.

    I've lived in Canada for 42 years and I still haven't been to all the provinces (NB & PEI this June, NS next May and I'll have the complete set!). Don't get overtaken by the need to do it all at once. It's 7,000 km coast to coast east to west and north to south.
     
  4. trhull

    trhull Member

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    Gaspe

    Is it logical to combine part of the trip traveling by ferry at night? Is the Gaspe a good place to visit vis the others mentioned if I haven't visited any of the maritimes before? Perhaps it makes more sense to head directly to Bangor, St. John , etc.? Thanks for the website info, very helpful.
     
  5. PhotoJim

    PhotoJim Member

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    You could certainly do the ferry at night, but you're looking at a full day to get to St. John's, NL and a full day to get back to the mainland. If you only have 2-3 weeks that will chop two days off your actual doing-stuff time.

    If you had three weeks you could do a driving route along the St. Lawrence into New Brunswick to Moncton, then south to Saint John, NB which is only 100-200 km from Bangor, ME. (I'll be in New Brunswick myself in June.) Doing the north shore of the St. Lawrence would be nice but you'll need to find a ferry - there is one from somewhere in Gaspésie to Dalhousie, NB. I'm not sure about costs or timetables but you should be able to find it on google.
     
  6. canuhead

    canuhead Member

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    I'd been hoping to hit Nfld as well this summer but that went out the window. Wife had three weeks or so which I didn't think was enough time to do it all (we'd been east before so could skip some). Nfld itself has to be at least three weeks imo. Gros Morne and L'Anse Aux Meadows are key places on the west side and don't be fooled by the maps. It may look easy and fast but in reality will take longer than you'd think.

    Cape Breton Island is worth more than a few days as well. We took the overnight ferry from Portland to Yarmouth arriving crack of dawn. Loved the Ingonish area.

    My suggestion would be to see NS, PEI and NB and save Nfld for another trip when you have more time.
     
  7. David Henderson

    David Henderson Member

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    I've spent two 16 day trips to Nova Scotia/PEI in the last few years and in neither have I seen half of the province. There's a lot to see, even if most of the stops are short because the things you come across are interesting and photogenic without being long term absorbing. I think you do need to choose an area, get there as quickly as you can, and stick to it.

    I'd love to photograph in Newfoundland. The reason I haven't is that distances /driving times seem long and the ratio between driving and photography doesn't seem quite right to me. On Nova Scotia things seem closer together and more accessible and you certainly won't be short of pretty (and gritty) fishing ports. Personally I'm ambivalent about much of PEI and its not an area i'd want to visit in summer with lots of beach-seekers and the whole "Anne of Green Gables" thing which I just don't get. Otherwise PEI is pretty much flat or gently undulating farmland.

    My last visit to NS was in fall, when the foliage is spectacular - bear in mind it really isn't along way from Acadia- and without the crowds of Vermont and Acadia. The downside is that a good part of the tourist accommodation is closed for the winter and so are many of the cafes/lunch stops. I'd have a look on flickr to see some pictures of these areas in high summer- I've been in July and found the countryside not terribly interesting whereas in autumn it can be extremely photogenic. So in summer the interest lies even more strongly on the coast.

    You can see some NS/PEI photographs on my website www.photography001.com in the "new work" gallery.
     
  8. Sully75

    Sully75 Member

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    1. Where can I find availability of ferrys in the maritmes?
    google where you want to go. There's a ferry to the Magdalens from PEI and I think one from Nova Scotia too. Ferry to Port Aux Basques (closer, more rural area) and Argentia (closer to St. Johns) from Sydney Nova Scotia. I think Port Aux Basques is more interesting, and it's a lot shorter. You could also drive up to Labrador from there.

    2. Can Isle de madeleine be visited via ferry?
    Yes, and it's a nice trip. 5 hour ish ferry ride if I remember correctly.

    3. If I go east using the north shore of the St Lawrence, are there boats across to Gaspé city?
    No idea.

    4. Is Newfoundland accessible by car?
    Well...it's an island. But you can bring your car on the ferry. I imagine it's very expensive. I hitchhiked and I think the walk on was $100 each way or more.

    5. Which are the towns on the Gaspé that should be visited?

    Newfoundland is amazing. But it's very far away and huge, a trip to itself. Cape Breton, in Nova Scotia, is definitely the most interesting part of Nova Scotia. The Magdalen Islands are amazing. PEI can be a disspointment, kind of tourist land. But nice.

    My Magdalen Islands Pictures:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/paulmcevoy/sets/72157604326548493/

    Pictures from a trip through Nova Scotia, Cape Breton, Newfoundland and Labrador:
    http://paulmcevoy.viewbook.com/canada?p=1&s=UA-5309626-1#1

    All the best!
     
  9. frank

    frank Member

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    These places I have visited, all began driving from Toronto: Newfoundland, Nova Scotia , Cape Breton I, PEI, and the Gaspe penninsula.

    Newfoundland is by far the best. PEI was pretty boring. Heard great things about the Cabot Trail on Cape Breton Is. but I was underwhelmed. Gaspe (town) was nice, but a long way to drive just for that. After a week of driving around Nova Scotia, my teenaged daughter announced form the back seat of the rental car: I'm not getting out to look at another lighthouse!
     
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  10. Paul VanAudenhove

    Paul VanAudenhove Member

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    I think Canuhead has the best suggestion so far, to see Nfld in a separate trip from NS, PEI and NB. Combining NB, NS and PEI makes good sense from a travel standpoint - you can drive into NB and drive the fixed link onto PEI, then take the ferry to NS.

    Since I live in the Maritimes, feel free to ask away if you have questions about the area and I'll do my best to answer them.
     
  11. trhull

    trhull Member

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    Quebec/Atlantic Canada

    I have done some more planning. Suggestions most welcome. Trip will be Sept 1-17. First stop Quebec City (3 nights), Tadoussac ( 2 nights), Matane (1 night), Shippagan, NB (2 nights), Bouctouche (2 nights), Nova Scotia-not sure where yet (3 nights) St Andrews NB 3 nights), Portsmouth NH (1 night then return to Bucks County PA.

    This is not a full photo trip, as I had that earlier this year to Death Valley. Nonetheless my sister in law will be along to shop with my wife so I can photograph.

    Questions: Is this a decent itinerary? Are there places mentioned above that don't make sense when there are others in the vicinity more preferable?
    I know this is a bunch of judgements, but opinions are what I am after.
    Any specific charming inns in any of these locations that will get me off the hook so I can photograph more?
     
  12. canuhead

    canuhead Member

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    I haven't had a chance to look up the places in NB but I think I'd be swapping dates and seeing more of Nova Scotia.

    -ok, Saguenay is gonna be cool, if you climb, bring your gear. Maybe skip Nova Scotia this trip and save it for a longer trip ? Cape Breton is a week minimum, for me at least. Either way, I think you're going to have a great trip !
     
  13. Sully75

    Sully75 Member

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    New Brunswick is nice, and if you are into old buildings, or people, it's probably pretty cool, but it's the least interesting to me of all the provinces up there. St. Andrews is quite pretty but there's not a lot going on.

    Personally I'd skip Nova Scotia and New Brunswick in general and spend 5 nights in Cape Breton. You will not be dissapointed wtih Cape Breton.
     
  14. David Henderson

    David Henderson Member

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    " you will not be disappointed with Cape Breton"

    Well strangely enough I was disappointed with Cape Breton, and I'd have been more disappointed if there hadn't been such good fall colour on the eastern side.

    If your trip needs to combine shopping opportunities with photography, you should look at the south coast of Nova Scotia west of Halifax- small towns like Mahone Bay, Lunenburg, Peggy's Cove and so on. Its not a wilderness experience, but it is attractive does combine some interesting photography in places like Blue rocks, and lots of the "small fishing community" stuff that IMO is the best NS has to offer. The problem with Cape Breton is that the big views are infrequent, a bit samey and unless you're hikers, there's little specific to stop the car for. I enjoyed the Margaree Valley and Bras d'Or Lakes area better than Cape Breton itself.

    These days , before I book up a trip, I'll search on Flickr to see whats been posted there to give some idea of photographic potential. Then it generally doesn't take long to find a photographer or two whose work attracts you and then review their "sets" of photographs relevant to your interest. Try a search on Cape Breton and others from Peggy's Cove, Blur Rocks Nova Scotia, Prospect Nova scotia, Mahone bay Nova Scotia, Lunenburg Nova scotia and you'll see the very different environments, one of which will appeal more that the other I'd suspect.
     
  15. frank

    frank Member

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    I was also disappointed with Cape Breton Is. Just like the north shore of Lake Superior, I think that trees have grown higher, blocking most of the view of the shorelines. I was not seeing the grand vistas advertised for these locations. One good spot on Cape Breton Is. is it's northern-most point, named Meat Cove.
     
  16. Hexavalent

    Hexavalent Subscriber

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    St. Andrews offers plenty of lens-candy (architechture, landscape,botanical gardens) -- and tons of shopping for the non-photogs. I spend a few weeks there every summer and always find something to shoot.
     
  17. garysamson

    garysamson Subscriber

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    I spent two months (mid-September through mid-November) photographing in Cape Breton for a book project and never tired of what the island had to offer. Cape Breton is one of the most beautiful places on the planet and the people are extremely friendly and helpful. You will not be disappointed with a visit. Some of the more spectacular seascapes and views are a little off the beaten path but an easy drive through the Cape Breton Highlands should leave you breathless. Good luck.
     
  18. Sully75

    Sully75 Member

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    I guess if you are just looking for places to park your car and take pictures of shoreline, I could maybe see how you might be dissapointed, although...even then I'm surprised. But if you are looking for a place that has an amazing 400 year continual culture, a musical tradition that is as rich as anywhere in the world and a variety of interesting people and places, I think you couldn't do better. Those things make great pictures as well.
     
  19. canuhead

    canuhead Member

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    indeed, Mabou is almost the epicentre of east coast (not including Nfld though) music. One campground in Cape Breton I passed up and regret not staying at was Corney Brook. Right by the ocean looking westish. Hiking nearby I believe but the view out the tent would be something else.
     
  20. frank

    frank Member

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    Newfoundland is #1, Nova Scotia is #2, in my experience.
     
  21. Sully75

    Sully75 Member

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  22. pthornto

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    As a native New-Brunswicker, I think you can't go wrong spending time in either NB or NS. There is a lot of diversity of coastline along these two provinces, and traveling along the east coast of NB into NS would allow you to see a lot of it.

    One place that gets overlooked sometimes is the Bay of Fundy. Fundy National Park near Alma is gorgeous and has a lot of beautiful coastline views, but further up the road is the Hopewell Rocks where you can walk out to the rocks at low tide. Low tide also offers the chance to photograph boats sitting on the bottom of the ocean!

    St. Andrews is, as mentioned, very picturesque and you have the chance to visit some of the surrounding islands (Grand Manan, Deer Isle, Campobello). Whale watching is also very popular.

    Cape Breton is fabulous, but it is a ways to go to get there and the Island itself is pretty big so getting to the northern most part of it from the Canso Causeway is a couple of hours of driving.

    Hope you have a great trip!
     
  23. Sully75

    Sully75 Member

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    I second Deer Isle, really cool ferry takes you out there. It's been a really long time but I had a nice day wandering around there about 12 years ago. You can also take a ferry from there to Eastport, Maine, which is an interesting contrast...run down Maine town...most of the towns nearby in Canada are in much better shape.
     
  24. trhull

    trhull Member

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    Getting excited about this trip (any trip for that matter) but one unfinished item remains. In New Brunswick, is it worthwhile to stay at the Acadian village hotel itself, or is it a bit of a tourist trap-better to stay in Caraquet or Shippigan? Miscou Island? Thanks again.
     
  25. junebd

    junebd Member

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    Hi ,
    Me and my husband are very much into nature photography and we have only 8 days for holiday and very much wishing to take an introductory tour.
    We start and finish in Ottawa. This time there won't be chance for exploring in detail but wishing to touch base with a few places. The places on our lists are Gaspe, and Bay of Fundy . My husband wishes to include Cabot trail ( excluding exploration of Cape Breton). Any advice? We can combine flying and driving. Is there any Ferry service between Gaspe and Cape Breton? Any suggestion will be much appreciated. Many thanks !