With winter yet to make an appearance in Sydney and the ocean temperature still bearable sans wetsuit, it’s prime time for nature spotting from a kayak. Last week our resident turtle popped up to greet us, and a few whales are long overdue a visit to the harbour with migration season almost here. There’s a magic in observing from a slightly wobbly and exposed vantage point and in leaving no footprint, and I’ve become curious about other opportunities in the world for this type of adventure. There are so many to choose from but here are four of my top picks.
Orca Camp in British Colombia, Canada with Wildcoast Adventures
Northside of Vancouver Island in Johnstone Strait is an oceanside glamping spot to die for. Orca Camp is all about environment and wilderness. For a week you can live next-door to a killer whale sanctuary. A beachside shower and wood-fired cedar spa pool are ideal bookends to a day spent on the water observing Orcas, dolphins and porpoises in their natural habitat.
Fjord of Jostedalsbreen in Norway with Icetroll
The largest glacier on the European mainland, Jostedalsbreen’s climate is temperate in summer time. Wildlife on the glacier is minimal but in the valleys and mountains of the fjord the flora is rich and red deer, lynx and wolverines are frequently spotted.
Mana Pools on the Zambezi River, Africa with AndBeyond
Believe it or not, I completed a similar kayaking trip more than 25 years ago and it rates as one of my best ever wilderness experiences. I’d advise NOT sharing a canoe with your beloved if you’re intending to preserve a lifelong relationship. I jumped ship early on and happily paddled with the tour guide for the remainder of the trip. Sleeping on a swag under the stars after a day “up close and personal” with hippos, elephants, crocodiles and cormorants is to die for.
Abel Tasman, New Zealand with Abel Tasman Kayaks
Without wanting to boast about my homeland, New Zealand has some amazing kayaking opportunities, and Abel Tasman National Park has been on my to-do list for ever. Paddle through turquoise waters to the Tonga Island Marine Reserve where fur seals and blue penguins hang out, pass sandy beaches and tranquil lagoons filled with fush. All trips are approved by the NZ Department of Conservation and the Abel Tasman Birdsong Trust which enhances biodiversity and improves visitors’ experience.
Eco-adventure is definitely where it’s at.