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Wondering where to go sea kayaking in Newfoundland? Let me help you! I grew up in Newfoundland and love going sea kayaking, and I’m sharing my favorite spots with you in this post.
With over 29,000 kilometers of coastline to explore, there are endless opportunities to go sea kayaking in Newfoundland. Not to mention the thousands of rivers, lakes, and ponds!
With its rugged coastline, stunning fjords, and pristine waters, Newfoundland is a sea kayaker’s dream come true. Whether you’re an experienced paddler or a beginner, this Canadian province is the perfect place to get out on the water.
If you’re visiting Newfoundland from away, it’s unlikely you’ll have taken your kayak on the plane with you. Don’t worry; there are plenty of amazing tour operators across the province offering sea kayaking tours and rentals.
Here are the best sea kayaking experiences to put on your Newfoundland itinerary!
Best places for kayaking in Newfoundland
1. Trinity sea kayaking
Trinity is one of my favorite places in Newfoundland on the Bonavista Peninsula. It’s incredibly charming and has a gorgeous coastline to explore – best done by sea kayak.
To get out on the water, join Trinity Eco-Tours on their popular harbor kayak tour, where you’ll paddle your way through sea caves and see seasonal wonders like icebergs, rock formations, and wildlife, including migrating humpback whales during the summer!
“What an incredible, incredible experience. Did I mention incredible? One of my favourite life experiences by far. The crew at Trinity Eco-Tours is absolutely fantastic, there is never a dull second. Because of his quick whale spotting skills we got to experience two whales come right by our kayak.” – Jasleen (read more reviews)
If you’re visiting in Spring, don’t miss the unique opportunity to go sea kayaking with icebergs. They are usually in the area around May, and Trinity is one of the best places to see them.
And yes, this is a safe activity. While icebergs are powerful and unpredictable, you can stay safe by keeping a respectable distance away – either twice the height or the length of the iceberg.
Even without whales and icebergs, it’s worth taking a sea kayaking tour in Trinity to explore the gorgeous coastline.
The bay’s sheltered waters make it an excellent spot for beginners, while the more adventurous can explore the open coastline.
2. Sea Kayaking on the Bay of Exploits
Central Newfoundland probably isn’t what comes to mind when you think of sea kayaking here, but it has some of the best on the island.
Adventures Newfoundland does everything from half-day guided kayak tours to one-week expeditions where you can get truly lost in the wilderness.
We did a full-day trip around the Bay of Exploits, but I would love to return and do a longer expedition.
We met the owner, Paul Langdon, near Fortune Harbour, where we took his boat to Exploits Islands.
The boat ride was bumpy, but along the way, Paul pointed out some interesting-looking rocks, which are 450 million-year-old lava pillow crusts along the way. Newfoundland never ceases to amaze me!
The plan was to spend the whole day kayaking, but the weather was grey and windy, so Paul took us inside his cozy cabin to warm up with coffee and scones while we waited for the weather to change. In Newfoundland, you can always count on that.
I’m glad we had the opportunity to sit down and talk with Paul because he is a wealth of knowledge about the history of the area.
As he explained, long before the European settlers arrived in the area, the Beothuk Indians inhabited the land as it was a source of rich food needed to survive. However, once the Europeans came and discovered the resources of this area, conflict developed between them.
As a result of this and diseases brought over by the Europeans, the Beothuk population became extinct (although this is still largely debated today).
One of the amazing things about doing a sea kayaking tour with Adventures Newfoundland is that you can learn about the Beothuks and their history as you paddle the same waters that they did.
During the conversations, Paul told us about a lighthouse he was converting into a place to stay. I had to see it, so we hiked the old lighthouse from his place, which took just over an hour.
You can stay in the original lighthouse keeper’s home, which has been updated with modern features (although it’s possibly still haunted).
There are a ton of books there where you can learn more about the area’s history, as well as old maps, paintings, and portraits of the lighthouse keepers over the years.
It’s such a unique place to stay in Newfoundland. The home also has breathtaking views. It’s set right on the coastline, and from the deck, you get terrific views of the Atlantic Ocean and surrounding landscapes. During the summertime, it’s an ideal place to spot whales.
After the lighthouse tour, we hiked back to the cabin and found the harbor full of sunshine and clear skies. As I said, the weather always changes in Newfoundland.
We got into the kayaks and set off for a tour around the area. I was a bit worried that the ocean kayaking would be rough, but Paul’s kayaks are top-quality, and the bay is so sheltered that it was a breeze to cut through.
My travel partner Matt may have also been kindly pulling the weight in our double kayak while I took photos, but he agreed that it was easy.
We paddled over to lower harbor, where there is a graveyard where John Peyton is buried, and a lookout you can walk up to get views of the area.
I couldn’t get over how breathtaking this area is – it’s one of the most beautiful places I’ve seen in Newfoundland! We ended the trip in a small cove where Paul brings people camping on his multi-day expeditions.
After the tour, we retreated back to the cabin where his wife Joanna had prepared a fantastic feed of salt fish cakes and shared a cold beer while the sun went down.
They are a lovely couple who will make you feel right at home. At dusk, Paul took us home via boat with the sun setting while a bald eagle flew over. It was a day of pure Newfoundland Magic – the Bay of Exploits is definitely one of the best places to go sea kayaking in Newfoundland!
If you are joining a kayak tour with Adventures Newfoundland, the best place to stay is in Fortune Harbor at the Gillespie House. We were warmly greeted here by the owner Madonna, who cooked us a feed of freshly caught cod and an incredibly delicious partridgeberry cake.
Well-fed, I slept like a rock in my cozy room with the sounds of the ocean and warm breeze blowing in my room that night. Madonna is a gem; she even took us to see her neighbor’s new Pygmy goats.
3. Sea Kayaking St. John’s, Newfoundland
If you want to go sea kayaking in St. John’s, Ocean Quest offers a coastline kayaking tour.
It’s a lovely paddle, leaving from the Sunset Marina in Conception Bay South.
We paddled past the boats in the marina and along the coast, where you can spot various species of birds. The guide will take you kayaking into the open ocean, which is so much fun to ride the waves!
4. Gros Morne National Park kayaking
Gros Morne National Park is one of the island’s most beautiful places and the perfect place for outdoor adventures. While my favorite activity is hiking in the park, you can also go sea kayaking in Bonne Bay.
With its tranquil waters and picturesque fishing villages, Bonne Bay is one of the best places to kayak in Newfoundland. Keep an eye out for marine life, such as whales, dolphins, and seabirds, as you paddle through this scenic bay.
If you’re interested in joining a sea kayaking tour, check out Gros Morne Adventures. They run family-friendly paddles around Bonne Bay.
5. Twillingate kayaking
Twillingate is another magical town in Central Newfoundland. Not only does it have gorgeous coastlines, but it’s part of Iceberg Alley.
What makes Twillingate so special is that it’s one of the few places in the world where kayaking and icebergs come together – for what’s sure to be an exhilarating experience.
The peak time to see icebergs in Twillingate is in May, although they can sometimes linger into July. There is even an iceberg finder you can use to find them!
But even without the icebergs, it’s still worth kayaking in Twillingate. The coastline here is just stunning! If you want to paddle along here, you can join a tour with Rock Adventures.
Final thoughts: Sea kayaking in Newfoundland
Sea kayaking is genuinely one of the best ways to experience the beauty that Newfoundland has to offer. The coastline is unparalleled to anywhere in the world, and there’s no better way to appreciate that from on the water.
Newfoundland’s stunning landscapes, diverse wildlife, and rich cultural history make it an exceptional destination for sea kayaking. There’s no better way to enjoy the incredible coastline than on the water!
Whether you choose to explore icebergs in Trinity or historic routes in the Bay of Exploits, these sea kayaking tours in Newfoundland promise to be an unforgettable experience.
Before embarking on your adventure, ensure you choose a reputable guided tour that emphasizes safety, environmental conservation, and respect for the natural wonders of this beautiful province. Happy paddling!