Friday, May 18, 2007

Island of Newfoundland (Canada): Home to world’s largest estuary

One of the largest islands off the eastern coast of world’s second largest country by mass – Canada – is the Island of Newfoundland.

Not to confuse it with the state of Newfoundland, which is a separate administrative region, the island is Canada’s forth largest and world’s 16 largest.

Separated from its namesake region on the mainland by the Strait of Belle Isle, it is situated at the head of Saint Lawrence River, creating the Gulf of Saint Lawrence, which is the world’s largest estuary.

It’s small capital city, St. John is one of the oldest inhabited places on the Northern American continent. It was already established port and a commercial city, long before, New York, its’ closest commercial neighbour to the south, was even registered as a settlement.

Being able to boast of having one of the oldest English speaking settlements in the region, the island of Newfoundland is also home to some of the worlds’ finest natural sites.

The ‘Gros Morne National Park’, located on the west coast was recently declared a UNESCO World Heritage site due to its rich and diverse geological formations and remarkable scenery.

The ‘Terra Nova National Park’ on the island’s eastern side is home to the Bonavista Bay, a region diverse range of flora and fauna.

Then there is a major hiking trail that winds all along the eastern coast. The so-called hiking trail extends for 215 kms taking in some of the beautiful scenery that nature has gifted to this island.

Though, the main centre of the island is St. Johns, its capital, but there are other smaller towns like Cappahayden, Fort Amherst, Stephenville, Corner Brook and Sandy Point.

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