Channel-Port aux Basques is a town of 4,300 people in the southwestern corner of Newfoundland. It serves as the main point of entry for Trans-Canada Highway traffic arriving by ferry from Cape Breton, Nova Scotia
Port aux Basques, a fishing and forestry community, was the western terminus of the Newfoundland railway; the narrow-gauge "Newfie Bullet" train ran from here to St. John's. The railway operated ferries from Port aux Basques to North Sydney in Canada; one of these ships, the ´Caribou', was sunk by a German U-boat during the Second World War with substantial loss of life.
The Trans-Canada Highway follows an approximately similar path to the rail line, which was removed in the 1980s and abandoned as trailway.
The main highway from Port-aux-Basques leads north through Corner Brook and Deer Lake before heading eastward across the northern portion of the island, then south to the Avalon Peninsula and St. John's.
A road eastward from Port aux Basques to Rose Blanche opened in 1961, but travel further along Newfoundland's rugged and sparsely-populated south shore is by coastal ferry. Coastline in the south, largely fjord, is not conducive to road building.
By car and shipEdit
- Marine Atlantic, toll-free: . Ferry from North Sydney, Nova Scotia, northbound; advance reservation is advised. $113.20/car (one way) + $43.43/passenger.
- Trans-Canada Highway 1 from Corner Brook, southbound.
There is an airport with scheduled service in Deer Lake. The only major airport is in St. John's.
A taxi within town is at most $6.
- Gateway Taxi (+1 709 695-3333)
- Scott's Taxi (+1 709 695-7777)
- Gulf Museum, 118 Main St., ☏ , fax: . Jul-Sep: daily 9AM-9PM. Local history, guides in period costume.
- Hook & Line Museum, Burnt Islands. Working museum, live and static displays document the fishing industry. Experience activities such as the baiting of hooks and splitting of fish. Newfoundland restaurant on-site.
- Railway Heritage Centre, 1 Trans-Canada Highway, ☏ . M-F 9AM-8PM, Sa 10AM-6PM. Transportation and fisheries museum, two astrolabes from shipwrecks off Isle aux Morts, souvenir shop, picnic area, washrooms. Price includes tour of train cars and museum. $5.
- Walk the boardwalk at the beach.
- Alma's Family Restaurant, 27 Grand Bay Rd., ☏ .
- Bob's Chicken Coop, 16 High St., ☏ , fax: .
- Pizza Delight, 56 High St., ☏ , fax: .
- Harbourview Bar & Billiards, 157 Caribou Rd., ☏ .
- Lukey's Boat Lounge, 150 Caribou Rd..
- Port Club, 28-30 Caribou Rd., ☏ , fax: .
- Royal Canadian Legion, branch 11, 3 Read St., ☏ , fax: .
- Hotel Port aux Basques, 2 Grand Bay Rd, ☏ . Microwave, refrigerator, room service, Wi-Fi. Restaurant and lounge. $110-150.
- St. Christopher’s Hotel, 46 Caribou Rd., ☏ , toll-free: , fax: .
Bed and breakfastEdit
About 25 km northwest of Port aux Basque on Highway 1, you will come across an area called Wreckhouse. Wreckhouse is known for its extremely high wind speed that can topple vehicles and blow transport trucks off the road (and even railway cars off the track when Newfoundland had railway). Be sure to check the weather forecast if there is dangerous wind conditions in this area.
Isle aux MortsEdit
On Route 470 between Port aux Basques and Rose Blanche, named for the many ships wrecked at this location.
The end of the paved road, the tiny fishing village Rose Blanche on Newfoundland's south shore is named as a corruption of "roche blanche" (white stone, in reference to the local quartz). An isolated community, Rose Blanche was connected to the highway system in 1961 and to the provincial electric grid in 1965. Route 470 ends here, 45 km east of Channel-Port aux Basques; a coastal ferry eastward to La Poile no longer stops in Grand Bruit, now a silent ghost town.
There is one restaurant (Friendly Fisherman Café, +1 709 956-2022) and one bed and breakfast (Lightkeeper's Inn, +1 709 956-2052) in the village.
- Rose Blanche Lighthouse, ☏ , fax: . 9AM-9PM daily, seasonal. Granite lighthouse constructed 1873 from local stone, badly damaged by a August 1939 storm and left to crumble until it collapsed October 1957, leaving just a tower and staircase. Restored 1996-1999, furnished with 19th-century local antiques and reproductions, historically listed. Scenic view of the Cabot Strait, craft store (+1 709 956-2141) and walking trails.