Sightseeing Attractions

23rd Annual ACM SIGACT-SIGOPS Symposium on
Principles Of Distributed Computing

(PODC 2004)

July 25-28, 2004, St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada

It is highly recommended that PODC participants plan an extended trip; stay a few more days before and/or after the conference and go around the province to enjoy beautiful scenery.

  1. One of the most beautiful areas is the Gros Morne National Park in western Newfoundland, about 450 miles from St. John's. It is also geologically significant and is designated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

    Closer to St. John's, at a distance of 140 miles, is the Terra Nova National Park, described as a place where long fingers of the sea touch the sheltered landscape of a boreal forest.

    These parks, and most other places in Newfoundland, can be reached from St. John's, by first taking the Trans Canada Highway (TCH, Highway #1), and then other highways. Most roads are good and scenic.

  2. St. John's is in the Avalon peninsula, connected to the rest of the island by a narrow isthmus less than 2 kilometers wide. There are several scenic drives, beaches, parks, bird sanctuaries, and historic places in the peninsula. Most of these places are within 100 miles from St. John's.
  3. There are several places around St. John's worth sight-seeing. They can be reached easily by car. Tour companies offer excursions to some places.
    • Cape Spear. This is the most easterly point in North America. It is about 10 miles from the Fairmont hotel. By car, it is reachable in 25 minutes. The place is very scenic, and a leisurely stroll will take one to two hours. It is one of the best places to see icebergs, whales and dolphins.
    • Signal Hill area. Marconi received the first trans-atlantic wireless signals at Signal Hill a hundred years ago. From the top of the hill, one can see the blue Atlantic ocean, the rocky coastline, Cape Spear, the entrance to the harbor called the Narrows, and the entire eastern part of the city of St. John's. There are several intertwined walkways and trails around the hill. One can spend minutes or hours walking around, or just staring at the ocean hoping for whales to jump up (especially in July).

      Fairmont hotel is at the bottom of the Signal Hill. By car, it will take 5 minutes to reach the top of the hill. Some people walk, up the hill.

      Half way up the Signal Hill, at about a 2 minute drive from the hotel, the new Geo Centre exhibits rocks from various parts of the province. Some rocks are more than a billion years old. Right across the Geo Centre, there is a visitor centre depicting the history of St. John's, the oldest city in North America.

    • The harbor is at just a few minutes walk from the hotel. It is a natural harbor. The entrance to the harbor, the Narrows, can be seen even from inside the hotel, from the Court Garden where the lunches will be served. Harbor boat trips take the visitors up to Cape Spear through the Narrows.
    • Bird island boat trip. There are a couple of islands inhabited (only) by thousands of birds (in May to August). There is a 3-4 hour boat trip from Bay Bulls which is about 15 miles from St. John's, and about 45 minutes by car from Fairmont hotel. In July, whales can also be seen during the trip. If icebergs are there at that time (usually icebergs come in May-June), the boats will go near them.

For further information on Newfoundland and Labrador tourism, please click here. More information about St. John's can be found here.

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Last modified: Sun Feb 8 17:20:14 EST 2004