Winter Ziplining in Newfoundland
A rainbow shines over Petty Harbour
By Lauren Saunders
Sea kayaking, whale watching, larger-than-life icebergs, amazing nightlife, and incredible food. These are things that we associate with St. John’s and one can experience all of them here in one day. Now add ziplining to that list.
North Atlantic Ziplines is an Eco Adventure Tourism business that offers visitors an exhilarating adventure opportunity. I assumed that adventure seekers likely try ziplining in the spring and summer months. But, I was happy to discover that North Atlantic Ziplines operates in Petty Harbour all year round and in all weather conditions.
The small town of Petty Harbour is a picturesque fishing village located only 20 minutes from downtown St. John’s. It is one of North America’s oldest fishing villages and has been continuously occupied since 1598. Not a stranger to the spotlight, Petty Harbour’s rustic beauty has been featured on screen in the movies A Whale for a the Killing and Rare Birds and on episodes of Republic of Doyle (It is also the home of Alan Doyle of Great Big Sea!). It is a place to feel refreshed and alive. Multiply this feeling by 1,000 when you’re flying over it on a zipline in the crisp, clear air.
I was greeted at North Atlantic Ziplines by a friendly and knowledgeable staff who helped to get me ready for my adventure. I got suited up in the necessary gear and was told all I needed to know before my group ventured up the mountain. I wasn’t aware that we would be travelling to the top in a vehicle called a “Hägglunds”. This monster of a vehicle is designed to smoothly travel over rough, rocky terrain and resembles a military tank. The Hägglunds ride to our first jump was an experience in itself.
Our group with the Hägglunds
When we arrive at the top, the town of Petty Harbour looks so unbelievably far below it’s hard to fathom that I’m going to make my way back down by flying through the air. At this point I am excited and anxious and a little weak in the knees. A few deep breaths of the fresh winter air and I’m ready. I’m hooked onto the line and told “Okay, you can go .” So, I jump.
What a feeling! The wind in your ears, the cool air, the spectacular view. The Atlantic Ocean as far as you can see, the rugged coastlines, a quaint fishing village. There is beauty from all angles, and you’re flying! What a rush. It’s the longest zipline course in Canada, so when on the line, I had time to think, look around and take it all in. And trust me, you’ve never seen eastern Newfoundland this way before.
There are viewpoints between the jumps for a chance to take a closer look at the scenery and wildlife. We were told to keep an eye out for moose while on the line as they had been spotted frequently over the last few weeks. In the spring and summer months, you may not see moose, but be prepared to spot icebergs and whales. North Atlantic is the only zipline tour with that kind of opportunity.
A tour has 10 lines and will take approximately 2 and a half hours to complete. Each tour can take 15 people at a time. It’s an amazing experience to do with friends, family, or with your corporate group for some fun, team-building experiences. There is probably no better way to build a relationship with someone than by coaxing him/her to jump onto a zipline. The experience was unique and unforgettable. I’m looking forward to going again in the summer for a new perspective. And there really is nothing to worry about because, from what I can see from their guestbook, the experience is exhilarating in any weather condition.
To book your zipline tour today, call 709.368.8681 or visit www.zipthenorthatlantic.com.