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Goat Island in Manitoba attracting adventure seekers from around the world

Paddling out to Goat Island, you can see its namesake in the distance — two goats grazing on the island’s beach.

Hopper and Gonzo call the island off the coast of Steep Rock, Man., home for the summer months.

The two goats spend their days lazing in the sun and entertaining tourists.

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“You can disconnect from the city life and then come here and connect to nature. It’s a totally different lifestyle,” said Peter Hofbauer, owner of Steep Rock Kayak.

Hofbauer brought the goats to live on the island a few years ago, not realizing they would become such a tourist attraction.

“I had made trails on the island so people could kayak to the island or boat to it and walk around and I thought a goat would help me trim it or maintain it.

“I would say the majority of people coming now from the city, they’re coming to see the goats on the island so they rent the kayaks, the canoes, the paddleboards. They paddle out here and see the goats and have a really fun unique experience,” Hofbauer said.

The two goats are a little shy at first but can be bribed with food. 

Two goats call this island home for the summer.

Amber McGuckin/Global News

It’s not just the goats that draws the tourists, but the cliffs with crystal clear waves below and the teal tides.

”I had heard a lot about this place. My friends were saying, ‘you should try to go to Steep Rock’, and that’s what brought us here,” Anmol Shukla said.

“I think it’s a really great place, you can see. I suggest everyone should come here at least one time. Everyone should enjoy the nature.”

The area doesn’t look like other parts of Manitoba, and you may be forgiven to think you’ve been transported somewhere tropical.

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“I think the best way to describe it is that we have people coming from all different walks of life, all different nationalities, they come from different countries when they’re visiting relatives in Winnipeg.

“When they come, it doesn’t matter if they’re from Columbia, Jamaica or Croatia, they all look around and say wow this makes me feel at home,” Hofbauer said.

“The advantage is we are just far enough away from the city that it doesn’t get too busy, not over populated but close enough so people can come for a day trip or spend the weekend.”

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