Newfoundland and Labrador

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Newfoundland and Labrador is the eastern most province of Canada. The vast majority of the province's 510,000 residents live on the island of Newfoundland, while the isolated Labrador peninsula is home to approximately 27,000. The province's capital city, St. John's , is located at the eastern end of the Transcanadian Highway. The province boasts the lowest crime rate in Canada, and its residents have a long-established reputation for being hospitable.

Both island and mainland portions are accessible by air and by sea. A number of airports dot the province, though only a select few receive regular flights from outside of the province. The federally administered Marine Atlantic ferry service runs two terminals, providing year-round service out of Port-aux-Basque and seasonal service out of Argentia. There is also ferry service to the French islands of Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon.

Road Systems

This is Newfoundland's main highway, extending East-West between St. John's and Port-aux-Basque. The vast majority of Newfoundland and Labrador communities are dispersed along the coast, however, often inside of harboured inlets and bays found of the island's many peninsulas. Most of these coastal communities are serviced by feeder highways, known locally as "access roads", that run between the TCH and the “tips” of the inhabited peninsulas. Others communities are only accessible via provincial airlines, private watercraft, or provincially-operated ferries — most notably those of Newfoundland's Southern Coast, the Labrador Straits, and the Nunatsiavut area. The province’s population is sparse and widely distributed making hitchhiking to offbeat destinations difficult, but by no means impossible.

Travelling via the TCH from St. John’s to Port-aux-Basque covers 900km and takes approximately ten to thirteen hours. This significant distance demands an early morning from the hitchhiker trying to make the late night ferry before nightfall. As the departure time approaches, it is common for ferry goers to stop at the highway’s many gas stations – asking for rides there is a relatively safe and effective option for night-time travel.

There are many small towns in the rural areas that are quite close together. It can be a hassle at times but you will always find someone to pick you up. Night traffic is usually light in rural areas and it is generally a good idea to stay at a town or road junction instead of walking in "the middle of nowhere"

The TLH is the only through road in mainland Labrador. It was completed in 2010, so it is finally possible to hitchhike all the way across Labrador from Newfoundland back to Quebec. It is a very unique route which draws hitchhikers and adventurers from around the world.

Laws

Hitchhiking is technically illegal under section 128(3) of the province’s Highways Traffic Act. However, the statute appears to be unenforced given its lack of citations in the Canadian Legal Information Institute’s court proceeding archive.

Also, a few roadways around the St. John’s metro area, like the Pitt’s Memorial Highway, forbid any pedestrian and cyclist access.

Ferries

Travellers can buy a ticket for a Marine Atlantic ferry on-line, by phone, or at a terminal. It is not uncommon during the peak travel season for the Port-aux-Basque ferry to sell out of tickets – even for (on the rare occasion) "walk-on" passengers. This can pose a problem while hitchhiking given its unpredictable nature. Calling ahead your reservation, even several hours before departure, will likely be enough to ensure your passage. Walk-on tickets cost $42.43 as of May 2015.

The Argentia ferry is located two hours from St. John’s. It is largely frequented by tourists and generally has fewer passengers, both factors decreasing the chances of finding a ride. Walk-on tickets cost approximately $110.

Hitchhikers travelling on the Marine Atlantic ferries should solicit rides from passengers prior to offloading. This is because walk-on passengers must board a pedestrian bus to the ferry terminal, all the while cars are exiting the ferry heading for the highway.

St. John's

One way of getting out of St. John's is via Pitts Memorial Drive. It's located downtown towards the west end of Water Street. A small traffic island underneath a set of traffic lights is the best place to plant. It is important to have a “TCH” sign or to ask the driver if he or she is going as far as the TCH on-ramp, because Pitts Memorial is a busy commuter roadway unsuitable for hitchhiking. Avoid the once-suitable Kenmount Road area as recent urban expansion and increased traffic has made this route difficult for hitchhiking.

A $15 bus ride to Whitbourne will save the hassle of trying to get out of the city and off the Avalon Peninsula. You stand a much better chance of scoring a good ride quick from here than in town! At the very least get a cab to the overpass. The cabbie will know where you mean ;) but the bus is probably cheaper and more effective.

Experiences

In 2014 July-August Bella and boyfriend hitchhiked Newfoundland as did a fellow friend and another traveller they met in Trinity East. The people of Newfoundland are relaxed you will have an amazing time hitch hiking, if you talk to the drivers in a lovely way and actually care about their stories and them as humans you will no doubt be given food and sometimes accommodation! Newfoundlanders are The most helpful people in Canada and you will have a great time! If it isn't legal then you would never know. You rarely see police drive by in rural Newfoundland. The places are easy to get to as locals usually want to say hello.

.St John's ..check with highway police for inner city hitch hiking.

I hitchhiked through western Newfoundland and across mainland Labrador back in September, 2012 and loved it. Gros Morne National Park is a must see, and the trans-labrador highway is unfogettable. This is easily my favorite province of Canada. Thewindandrain (talk) 04:36, 31 July 2014 (UTC)

The hitching spot at the start of Pitt's Memorial Drive is not perfect as there's no convenient place for cars to pull-over safely, but if it's a slow Sunday morning, it works! (Verified May 2015). Drumroots got a lift which wasn't going as far as the TCH, so he had to hitch on Pitt's Memorial Drive itself; however, he didn't have to wait too long for another lift to the TCH, the driver detouring a little to plant him at the first service station on the TCH which is just after the Pitt's/TCH intersection. In general, Drumroots found hitching in Newfoundland very easy and the locals to be very hospitable and generous.

Provinces and Territories of Canada