CanKiwisKayak consisted of New Zealand brothers, Garth and Kevin Irwin.

We grew up on a sheep farm near the small town of Winton (pop 2000) in Southland, the southernmost province of New Zealand. See below for map and links to Southland websites.

Education and careers have taken us far from our farming roots. However we are still very much farmboys at heart and enjoy being able to escape to the farm, spend time with our parents and lose ourselves in good, physical farmwork.

Click here for more about Killymuris Farm and for Noel's Photos of the farm and local scenery.

We both left home to pursue university educations. Garth completed his B.Sc(Hons) in chemistry at the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand. Combining his desire to travel with wanting to do graduate studies he then moved to Victoria, Canada to study towards a Ph.D. Upon completing his studies in Sept 1999 he worked for a year as a visiting assistant professor at Southwestern University, Texas, before returning to Victoria. He then concentrated on building up his kayak skills and preparing for the trip.

Kevin completed his B.Eng in civil engineering at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand. He then continued his studies, completing a Masters of Engineering, specialising in fire engineering. Although three years younger than Garth he was out in the workforce in 1997, way ahead of big brother! His work as a fire engineer took him from Christchurch to Sydney, Australia and then back to Christchurch. In March 2001 he joined Garth in Victoria to prepare for the trip.

Post trip Kevin has returned to New Zealand. After 2 months working on the farm and spending time with our parents he has returned to fire engineering - this time in Wellington, New Zealand. He looks forward to buying a surf kayak and hitting the beaches as well as exploring the New Zealand coastline with his trusty sea-kayak which followed him home.

Although still a NZ citizen, Garth has Canadian landed immigrant status and has remained in Victoria while his wife completes her studies.

In Sept 2003 he starts teaching at Lester Pearson College of the Pacific, near Victoria. In between times he has kept himself busy working part-time at a kayak shop as well as struggling with the intricacies of web design. In June he passed the Sea Kayak Guides Alliance of B.C. assistant guide exam.

Garth (L) and Kevin at Medenhall Lake, Juneau. Medenhall Glacier in background.

Tourism Southland

Destination Fiordland

The Catlins

Stewart Island

Back to top