About Gander International Airport (YQX)
Address: 1000 James Boulevard, Gander, A1v1w8 , Nl, Nl
Gander International Airport (YQX) is located less than 1 mile (1.6 km) east of the small town of Gander, Central Newfoundland. Airport car rental kiosks for Avis, Enterprise, Europcar, Hertz, and Thrifty are located at the arrivals exit — before you hit baggage claim.
Given Gander’s remote location in eastern Central Newfoundland, getting around involves the bare minimum of navigational contingencies — the main point being, you absolutely must rent a car to get anywhere in the region. The town itself is a blink-and-you-miss-it outpost on the Trans-Canada Highway, with just a handful of streets comprising a “downtown” Gander. In terms of direction, there’s not a lot of choice here. You either head 570 km (350 mi) east toward Port Aux Basques, or 330 km (210 mi) west to St. John’s. Or, you head 45 km (27 mi) north toward Clarke’s Head on the Gander Bay Highway. And that’s it, in terms of major roads.
Obviously, when traveling long distances on rural roads, a certain amount of pre-planning and preparedness are essential to navigation. Generally speaking, Newfoundland is sparsely inhabited wilderness, so road services — fuel, food, and lodging — are few and far between. Your car hire must be equipped with an emergency kit with extra food, water, batteries, flares, tools, and blankets. Meanwhile, animals are a constant hazard on these remote highways — especially at night. Hitting an elk or deer at 80 km/h is potentially catastrophic.
Choosing your car
Getting the best deal on a car hire at Gander Airport is a foregone conclusion. The major providers are highly motivated to rent out their fleet, so you’re more likely to get a couple of freebies like GPS and unlimited mileage. Compact Chevrolet and economy Nissan sedans are suited for short trips around the immediate vicinity. For longer road trips, Hyundai intermediate and Volkswagen fullsize 4-door sedans are still great value buys. For getting off the beaten path on provincial roads, look no further than a Ford crossover SUV. And for groups of 5 or more, the Dodge Grand Caravan is the 7-9 seater minivan of choice.
Tips and advice
For a town of 11,000 full-time residents, Gander has a decent to generous selection of restaurants, fuel stations, and accommodation — most of which are found within the “downtown” triangle bounded by Memorial Drive, Cooper Boulevard, and the Trans-Canada Highway.
Only 10 km (6 mi) from Gander, Little Harbour is a nice little recreational park and marina on Gander Lake.
Terra Nova National Park is 88 km (55 mi) east of Gander on the Trans-Canada Highway.
Trucks are the dominant vehicles on the Trans-Canada Highway, and experienced drivers know the potential hazards of getting around these big rigs, some of which may be 50 meters long, hauling two or more freight trailers. Use expedient caution when navigating past these vehicles.
Many destinations in Newfoundland are found along the coast, but the majority of the Trans-Canada Highway is inland. Therefore, sharp curves and moderate inclines are common across the province.
Major roads in Newfoundland are generally in good shape, but provincial routes are often uneven and riddled with potholes.