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So you want to cross Newfoundland by ATV and you don't want to hire a tour guide. You've come to the right place. I've put together a step by step quick guide for you to follow for the Argentia to Port Aux Basques run.
Argentia to Port Aux Basques - Six days of riding & staying at Motels
Total cost is about $1,500 for everything - tickets, food, alcohol, motels, gas etc. That price is for one person splitting accommodations with another person along the way.
Step 1 - Pick the time of year and the friends you want to bring along. I suggest July 1 to September 15 for optimum weather. The bugs aren't bad in July believe it or not and there seems to be less people on the trail then.
Step 2 - Book your ferry tickets online with Marine Atlantic several months in advance. I typically have my ferry tickets and hotel rooms booked by February. Get a room on the ferry for sleeping, trust me, especially the Argentia Ferry. No more than two adults to a room otherwise they are too crowded. You could put three in a room in a pinch but definitely not 4 grown men. You'll have no space left.
The ferry crossing is probably the single most expensive part of your trip at about $512.00 per adult. That includes the cost of your ticket, your ATV, and bunk rooms both ways. You can save money by not booking rooms, but I highly advise against that. You won't get a good night sleep and you don't want to start the trip sore and tired.
- The Nova Scotia to Argentia ferry leaves every Sunday, Wednesday and Friday at 17:30. Be there about three hours early. You'll need time to unload your ATV's and then you'll have to park your cars across the street and go back to the terminal.
- The Port Aux Basques to Nova Scotia Ferry leaves NS every day at 11:45 a.m. and 23:45 and 06:30 on Wednesday only between late June and September. Check their website in case times change.
- Night 1 Clarenville - St. Jude's Hotel.
- Night 2 Gander - Comfort Inn Gander
- Night 3 Badger - Trailblazer's Efficiency Units or Badger Diner and Motel
- Night 4 Deer Lake - Driftwood Inn
- Night 5 Robinson's - Pirate's Haven Chalets
- Night 6 - you'll be on the ferry.
Step 4 - Detailed planning. Read my Planning your Newfoundland ATV Trip page for all details you need to know - like where do you park your truck before taking your ATV on the Ferry, where does the trail actually start when we get off the ferry, GPS tracks etc. Read and print my Daily Details page if you are heading from Argentia to Port Aux Basque. It tells you things you need to know each day of that trip.
Step 5 - Review my packing tips page for ideas on what you need to bring. The list is big but you can adjust it for your own needs. You won't need much if you're staying at motels and you'll need more if you want to do some camping. Be sure to bring a tire patch kit (plugs) and an air compressor and goggles to protect your eyes from dust if you have an open helmet. A dust mask is important if you have an open helmet.
If you don't find everything you're looking for feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll answer your questions. It's no problem, I do it all the time.
Don't forget to take a look at the pictures from the 2013 trip as it was this exact route. You'll be able to see what the trail looks like with pictures and videos.