“How rugged and untouched it all seems.

So many lakes, trees, scrub bushes, mountains and the cliffs…

oh the cliffs with the ocean waves caressing them

in such harmony

and the smell of clean salty Atlantic sea air…”

 

The Bonavista Peninsula is an eastern Newfoundland treasure waiting to be found. It’s a place where the rugged earth, wild wind, and restless ocean are continually in a perfect harmonic dance together.

Elizabeth J. Cottages are each designed as a secret retreat, a place to hide away, to rest your soul, and get back to your roots. Here, in your home away from home, you will experience a slower pace; a place where the stunning sunrises start your day and the jaw-dropping sunsets  end you day with a peaceful soul filled so much that your desire to sleep on the deck will be impossible to resist. One must of course add the lapping or roaring of the rhythmic ocean and voila you are asleep.

From the comfort of your cottage windows, private window box seats and large decks, you will experience Mother Earth’s children at their best. Think passing icebergs, singing birds and ever-playful dolphins and whales seem to know you are there and daily will put a show on while eating. Then with your mouth open and whales really happy full of food they then take off into the sky breaching over 500 tons of themselves and land with a splash within 40 yards of the shoreline. Oh t’is a dream come true!

How to get here

“This is your place to run away to…”

John Cabot sailed the Matthew across the uncharted Atlantic in 1497 to discover this new land. For you, a three-half – four hour drive from St. John’s will be a much easier journey and will be enhanced by the breathtaking scenery.

From the Trans-Canada Highway, exit at Clarenville onto 230-A or 230 or 233. Follow signage to Bonavista via Highway 230 or 235. For the most scenic route, follow Highway 235 into Bonavista. Follow my signage when entering Bonavista. Elizabeth J. Cottages is found following either way to Cannalle Rd up to Harris on the right and Elizabeth J. Cottages will be waiting for you.

Please do keep an eye out for moose, especially when driving at dusk and early morn.

What to bring

Guests should pack layered clothing since Newfoundlanders can experience four seasons in one day.

  • Warm wind/rain jacket with hood
  • A fleece sweater or hooded sweatshirt
  • Light, long-sleeve shirts
  • Short-sleeve shirts
  • Running shoes
  • Hiking boots
  • Sandals
  • Socks
  • Hats, scarves and mitts (May/June  and September/October travellers)
  • Warm pants – jeans, casual slacks, shorts
  • Sunscreen, sunglasses, and sun hats (July to September travellers)
  • Umbrellas are not very helpful here – the wind loves to sail them away!
  • Swimsuit – yes you can get into the ocean in front of the cottages or another beach in Elliston just minutes away
  • Casual evening wear
  • If you happen to need warmer sweaters etc then come to The Elephant Shop where warm, light weight sweaters, scarves/wraps, wristlets await you from Nepal!

 

Weather & Taxi info

“How the weather changes here. One looks out and all is calm. Then but a second later the wind howls, the ocean roars, the salt spray stings, for just a moment challenging you to stay with her, stay and be free like she is …”
-

Airport Transfer

I recommend that you arrange car rental along with airline tickets. It is always nice to have your rented car booked and ready to go. Taxi service is available to pick you up at the airport and bring you to Bonavista. However, be advised it takes quite awhile to get here since the bus needs to drop passengers off along the way. It may take 5-6 hours to get here.

If you wish to take the taxi please pre-arranged services can be booked with:

Marshes Bus/Taxi Bob Marsh 1-709-468-6215 (cell). The fare is approximately 40.00 Can. per passenger.

Local get around the Bonavista Area: Bonavista Cabs: 1-709-468-2457 or 
Shirran’s Taxi: 1-709-468-774

WEATHER IN BONAVISTA

The weather in Bonavista is lovely, but ever changing. Guests should pack layered clothing for conditions including rain, wind, sun, and unexpected chill and heat wave depending on the month.

May Max   11.8    degrees C Min    4.8   C
June Max   13.0    degrees C Min    8.2   C
July Max   25.6    degrees  C Min  13.0   C
August Max   22.4    degrees  C Min  15.6   C
September Max   10.0    degrees  C Min    7.2   C
October Max     4.2    degrees  C Min    3.2   C

 

Bonavista Attractions

Whale Watching Tours

Whether watching from shore or on a boat trip, enjoy precious moments with some of the world’s most majestic creatures; humpback whales, dolphins, porpoises and other whale species including sperm whales, killer whales and pothead whales. Watch for all the rarely seen birds you love from your bird book. So many are here building nests, flying out to catch food to feed their young. Book a Newfoundland Whale Watching Tours via Zodiac where you can discover these intelligent, beautiful marine creatures. The high tales that truth be told are real, whales that swim under your zodiac without a whisper of their 500-800 Ton bodies touching a hair on the bottom of the zodiac. Then as you think you have seen it all – out of the ocean like a rocket to be sure are the most awesome of mammals flying into the air well above the ocean twisting in great delight showing off so you may understand them a wee bit more…

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Icebergs

Centuries-old frozen wonders drift past your windows when you stay at Elizabeth J Cottages. Icebergs, broken pieces from Greenland glaciers and Canada’s Arctic glide through the waters of Cape Bonavista along “Iceberg Alley” starting in May and sometimes lasting well into August each year. Newfoundland icebergs come in breath-taking shapes & colours that are simply indescribable. Get a closer view while on a Whale Watching tour.

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Hiking Trials

Explore the amazing vistas while hiking Newfoundland’s challenging and rugged hiking trails including the Skerwink Trail, British Harbour Hiking Trail, Maberly Hiking Trail, King’s Cove Lighthouse Trail and Murphy’s Cove Hiking Trail, among others.

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The Cape

“The Cape” is located less than five kilometres from the your cottage and is home to two very popular Newfoundland attractions, The Dungeon Sea Caves and an authentic working Newfoundland Lighthouse. Look just beyond the lighthouse’s fence and see the huge rock sitting there with a million holes in it. Why you say? Well to see our beloved Puffins coming out of each hole or cave. Watch them waddle up to their neighbors cave chatting away then gathering together to take flight. They are gone all day flying everywhere out to the ocean gathering much needed food for their babes and themselves. The Cape is grassland all along the ocean cliffs and pasture, home to horses who love sugar and apples! There are cows, goats, foxes and sheep while taking a walk on the wild side of life!

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Dungeon Sea Cave

The Dungeon Sea Cave is 250 meters wide and 15 meters deep. It was formed over hundreds of years and is a natural wonder, which can be viewed from a platform above. Do you dare peer into the Dungeon?

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Atlantic Puffin

The Atlantic Puffin, Newfoundland’s official bird, are found in abundance in Bonavista and are a common sight at Elizabeth J. Cottages. Only 10 inches tall and weighing just over one pound, puffins leave the nest shortly after birth, and do not return to land for up to three years. They eat mostly fish, can fly as fast as 55 miles per hour, and beat their tiny wings 400 times per minute. Atlantic Puffins live about 20 years, with the oldest known Puffin being about 29 years. Atlantic puffins can also dive to great depths when boats approach. Please see the National Geographic video and watch this wonder of Mother Nature.

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Lighthouses

Newfoundland’s lighthouses are an important part of the history of this maritime province and a favorite attraction. Located about five kilometres (three miles) from the Cottages stands the original working Bonavista Lighthouse. It is a Provincial Historic Site, built in 1843 and stands alongside a more modern lighthouse. It’s believed this was the first point of land that John Cabot saw when he arrived in North America in 1497. An Atlantic Puffin habitat is meters away from the lighthouse.

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Rising Tide Theatre

Rising Tide Theatre in Bonavista provides award-winning live theatre that explores current and controversial issues while portraying the culture and character of Newfoundland and Labrador.

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Walkham’s Gate Coffee Shop and Pub

This is the traditional gathering spot, known as the heart of Bonavista serves the best coffee and blueberry cheesecake in the town. Be sure to introduce yourself to Harvey and Sharon, owners of Walkham’s Gate Pub and Coffee Shop. Enjoy local specialties on the menu with a draft beer. All guests of Elizabeth J. Cottages are invited to get Screeched In – it involves a delightful ceremony, privilege of kissing a cod and gulp a small glass of Screech! Now you are an honorary Newfoundlander and will receive a great certificate to that fact!! Sit awhile in the pub taking in the local musicians who are famous for performing Newfoundland music.

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The Garrick Theatre

First opened on Christmas Day in 1945, the iconic 200-seat Garrick Theatre in Bonavista Newfoundland was named after David Garrick, a pioneer in English theatre during the mid-1700s. The building recently underwent a $1.6 million renovation to create a state-of-the-art, multi-use entertainment venue for live theatre, performance events, and movies. The Garrick Theatre, which re-opened to the public on April 5, 2010, is one of the province’s oldest surviving theatres.

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John Cabot’s Ship The Matthew

The Matthew, captained by John Cabot, arrived in Bonavista in 1497. Today, there is an exact replica of The Matthew floating along the moorings in Bonavista, which you can board to experience the historical representation in a guided tour. Guests will also enjoy the Interpretation Centre, theatre plays, and Matilda, an authentic Newfoundland gift shop.

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Skerwink Trail

Rated one of the top 30 Walking Trails in the World, Skerwink Trail is a must-see attraction. The 5.3 km (3.29 mile) looped trail showcases seabirds, humpback whales offshore, and unique vertical rock formations known as Sea Stacks. These steep, towering columns of free-standing rock jut out of the Atlantic Ocean like skyscrapers, isolated from the coastline by centuries of erosion. Skerwink Trail is one of many fascinating hiking trails along the Bonavista Peninsula.

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Ryan Premises

This restored fish merchant’s multi-building premises reopened in 1997 as the Ryan Premises National Historic Site. The story of the local Newfoundland fishing industry is told through informative exhibits and multimedia displays. This Newfoundland attraction also houses the community museum, noted for its genealogy collection.

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Mockbegger Plantation

Mockbegger Plantation is a Provincial Heritage site, located in Bonavista and is the legacy of Gordon Bradley, Newfoundland’s first federal cabinet minister who, along with Premier Joey Smallwood, was responsible for Newfoundland’s Confederation in 1949. Mockbegger Plantation is a preserved 18th century outport merchant’s home. Also attractions are : The Elephant Shop The Aleksandrs Gallery of Fine Art

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