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4 Eco-Kayaking Destinations

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

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Jostedalsbreen is basically a plateau glacier or ice cap – Image from Shutterstock

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

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Image courtesy of Sausage Tree Camp

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

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Image courtesy of 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.

 

Shipping Container Innovation

The first shipping container was invented in the United States in 1956 by trucker Malcolm McLean. Prior to this crates were wooden and oddly shaped and sized which made for incredibly slow and inefficient loading and unloading of goods. Shipping containers reduced the cost of loading by 90% thus reducing the price of imports and exports. Properties of strength, theft resistance, and uniformity have enticed innovative designers and architects to transform the humble container. Where would the city of Christchurch be without these gems? After the 2011 earthquakes, shipping containers replaced bricks and mortar retail outlets in a unique pop-up precinct.

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URBANTAINER introduced modulated red containers for the National Theater Company of Korea

 

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US architects Jendretzki built Hightree House to Scandinavian design conventions

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Room 11 Architects from Tasmania chose to perch a container on stilts for this hilly build

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Tekapo Tiny House was created by IQ Container Homes from Waiheke Island, New Zealand

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Hunter Leggitt from Hunter Leggitt Studio rallied 7 design students for this conversion

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Coastal landscaping embraces a pool from a shipping container by Melbourne’s Fiona Brockhoff

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British architect Patrick Bradley designs cantilevered offices from shipping containers

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Freecycle USA is a DIY blog on building container homes

All images courtesy of Pinterest

Links are as follows:

URBANTAINER

Jendretzski

Room 11 Architects

IQ Container Homes

Hunter Leggitt Studio

Patrick Bradley

FreecycleUSA

 

4 Artists that Caught our Eye

 

From top left to right:-

Set designer and paper artist Barcelona-based Raya Sader Bujana makes teeny weeny cacti and plants out of paper because why have a life-size real plant when you can have a miniature fake one? At least they don’t need looking after apart from the odd dust. Find her work on Instagram at Little Ray of Sunflower and buy them on Etsy. The terrarium cacti are my favourite. First seen at Fubiz.

Sometimes you just want to blend into your surroundings and not stand out. UK photographer Joseph Ford and his friend knitting-lover Nina have come up with a unique way of doing just this. Hours of work goes in to ensure the perfect Knitted Camouflage. First seen at Lost at E Minor.

Korean sculptor Kang Dong Hyun makes animals come alive by transforming metal into branch-like structures and then creating the full form of a creature. They are life-like yet abstract, moving yet still. Follow him on Instagram and see more at Fubiz.

A photograph of a painting or a painting of a painting? Dutch artist Gerard Boersma loves to record people on the streets and public transport, in stores and museums. They are so realistic you would be forgiven for thinking they were the real thing. You can find his work here. First seen on Creative Boom.

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