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Cabot Trail

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Cape Breton Island at the north-east tip of Nova Scotia was named by Conde Nast Traveller as one of the world's four most beautiful islands. Its northern and western coasts front the Gulf of St Lawrence and the eastern and southern coasts front the Atlantic Ocean. The eastern coast also forms the Cabot Strait.

The 300-kilometre Cabot Trail scenic drive does a loop around the northern tip of Cape Breton, passing along and through the scenic highlands.

The island is home to a mix of five very different cultures — the first nation Mi'kmaq people and smatterings of English, French (known as Acadians), Irish and Scottish. For centuries the Scottish and French who settled the tree-covered mountains and valleys nurtured their heritage in isolation. Now tourists go to enjoy historic villages, world-class golf courses and Celtic music festivals.

Ingonish is a fishing village and cluster of five small communities. It was one of the first areas settled on Cape Breton and is home to the Keltic Lodge resort, built in 1928. This is Nova Scotia's most famous resort, up there with Banff Springs and Lake Louise Chalet. It is on the Middle Head peninsula and enjoys views of the sea on both sides.

Cliff Waters Cottage and Guest Cabin on cliffs of the Gulf of St Lawrence and just minutes from the Cape Breton Highlands National Park are private and comfortable. The cottages have a loft, cathedral ceiling, open living/kitchen, breakfast nook and bedroom and bathroom on the main floor.

The cabin has large picture windows, antique furnishings and solar lighting. The bathroom has an outdoor shower overlooking the ocean and fields of wildflowers. There are 25 hiking trails, many whale tour operators, pebble beaches, restaurants, museums and galleries.

The property overlooks kilometres of undeveloped landscape and the front yard leads to the base of Polletts Cove, one of Canada's most beautiful coastal hiking trails. Your neighbours are the peaceful residents of Gampo Abbey, North America's first Tibetan Buddhist Monastery built for westerners.


Cape Breton in Nova Scotia.


Creative Tours has two-night packages from $296 per person, including two nights at the Lord Nelson Hotel Halifax and two days' Hertz car hire in a Group B vehicle. Keltic Lodge Resort and Spa rooms start at $365 a double a night, including breakfast and dinner. The season runs between May and October.

Cliff Waters Wilderness Retreat cottage or cabin stays start at $360 a double a night, with a minimum of three nights stay. A Cape Breton Highlands National Park pass is included.

Starting in November, Air New Zealand will have three services a week to Canada all year round.

From fare

Valid for sale until September 23, 2007, and for travel between November 4 and 23, 2007.

For more information

Creative Holidays

Keltic Lodge Resort & Spa
Middle Head Peninsula
Ingonish Beach,
Nova Scotia B0C 1L0
Ph: 0011 1 902 285 2880

Cliff Waters Cottage and Guest Cabin
1773 Red River Road
Pleasant Bay,
Cape Breton Island
Nova Scotia
Canada B0E 2P0
Ph: 0011 1 902 224 1130

Cape Breton Highlands National Park
Ingonish Beach
Nova Scotia
Canada B0C 1L0
Ph: 0011 1 902 224 2306

Nova Scotia Tourism
Ph: 0011 1 902 425 5781

Canadian Tourism Commission Australia
Ph: 02 9571 1866

Air New Zealand
Ph: 132 476

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