Nestled into the northeast corner of North America, facing the North
Atlantic, is Newfoundland, Canada's most easterly province. Lying between
the 46th and 61st parallels, the province consists of two distinct
geographical entities: Newfoundland and Labrador.
The island of Newfoundland, which forms the southern and eastern portion
of the province, is a large triangular-shaped area of some 112 000 km2,
while the province's total area is 405 720 km2. Located at the mouth of
the St. Lawrence River, the island is about halfway between the centre of
North America and the coast of western Europe. The island of Newfoundland is separated from the Canadian mainland by the Strait of Belle Isle in the north and by the wider Cabot Strait in the south. The mainland,
Labrador, is bordered by northeastern Quebec. Approximately two and a
half times as large as the island, it remains a vast, pristine wilderness, where the northern lights, or aurora borealis, flicker over the largest caribou herd in the world.
The province's coastline, stretching over more than 17 000 km, is varied
and scenic with its bold headlands, deep fiords and countless small coves
and offshore islands. The interiors of both Labrador and Newfoundland
have a rolling, rugged topography, deeply etched by glacial activity and
broken by lakes and swift-flowing rivers. Much of the island and southern
and central Labrador is covered by a thick boreal forest of black spruce
and balsam fir mixed with birch, tamarack and balsam poplar. Northern
Labrador is largely devoid of forest and is marked by the spectacular
Torngat Mountains, which rise abruptly from the sea to heights of up to
Newfoundland's climate can best be described as moderate and maritime.
The island enjoys winters that are surprisingly mild by Canadian
standards, though with a high rate of precipitation. Labrador, by
comparison, has the cold winters and brief summers characteristic of the