See firsthand why Newfoundland is called the “Galapagos of Geology” by visiting its most geologically significant sites, including a museum that reveals how the landscape was created.
After departing from the pier, you will drive to nearby Fort Amherst, a hilly promontory that presents a commanding view of the entrance to St. John’s harbor. Although the British built a fort here in the late 18th century, no ruins remain. Even so, the area has been deemed a National Historic site because of its long-stranding strategic importance. It’s significant geologically because from the hilltop you can easily make out an ancient fault line.
Another panoramic vista awaits you at nearby Signal Hill, where signal flags were once flown to announce the names of approaching ships. It was also here in 1901 that Guglielmo Marconi received the first transatlantic wireless signal. While strolling the hill’s boardwalks, you will learn the military history of this strategic site and discover more about the formation of the rocky coastline.
Then, for the ultimate immersion into Newfoundland’s unique geology, you will browse the exhibits in the Johnson Geo Centre. You may see fossils from the floor of the sea, some of the Earth’s oldest rocks, and a geological timetable that may explain how the Earth was formed. There is also an enlightening display that replicates an oil platform to show how this fossil fuel is extracted from the ground. Following your visit, you will return to the pier.
Need to Know:
Note: This tour includes approximately 2 1/2 hours of easy to moderate walking that includes navigating wooden boardwalks, slopes, stairs and uneven surfaces. The tour is not available to wheelchair guests and those with mobility concerns are cautioned to carefully evaluate their personal level of stamina and ability. Weather appropriate layered clothing; sun cap; sunglasses; and flat, comfortable walking shoes are recommended.
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Scenic & City Tours
Tours with this activity level involve a considerable amount of physical activity such as substantial walking over cobblestone streets, uneven or steep terrain, climbing stairs, or extended periods of standing. Not recommended for guests with physical limitations. Comfortable, sturdy shoes are recommended.
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