No worldwide attractions are quite as amazing as the floating attractions on this list. Most are man made and represent the ingenuity of their creators, while others symbolize the perseverance and beauty of nature. Read on to learn more about 10 amazing floating tourist attractions waiting for you throughout the world.
10. The Australian Floating Forest
Homebush Bay, Australia is home to a floating forest. The forest is actually an old British ship called the SS Ayrfield. After WWII, the ship was sold to a private company and was used for shipping goods. In 1972, the Ayrfield was supposed to be dismantled, but it was instead was left to drift around Homebush Bay. Decades later, so much vegetation has sprouted on the ship that it essentially became a floating forest. Now the industrial area where the Aryfield was abandoned is a protected natural habitat. The natural forest that grows within the Ayrfield is a big attraction for nature enthusiasts and photographers. Its perseverance and beauty stands as a true testament to the resilience of nature in the face of changing times.
9. The Floating River Market of Banjarmasin, Indonesia
Ready to do some shopping at an authentic Indonesian market? Well we hope you can swim, because this one of a kind market is actually a floating river market. Just getting to it can be quite a feat, and you definitely need your own boat. You’ll have to make your way to Indonesia’s Kuin River — once you get there several canoes will arrive. The vendors use special slim canoes called “jukungs” that are crammed full of vibrantly colored cucumbers, bananas and almost any other fresh food that you could think of. The market operates every Sunday and there’s even festive music played. Even if you’re not looking to do any shopping this floating market is still a must see for any tourist spending time in South Indonesia.
8. The Lake Tahoe Floating Wooden Skateboard Ramp
Want to get some serious hang time, but are scared about landing on concrete? Well lucky for you, the Sierra Nevada Floating Wooden Skateboard Ramp allows you to land in the waters of Lake Tahoe. This 7,300-pound ramp was installed as part of California’s Dream 365 tourism campaign. Impressively, it only took around four days and 300 work hours to complete. The first person to skate on it was pro skateboarder Bob Burnquist. Unfortunately, this ramp can’t just be used by anyone. Because Lake Tahoe is the USA’s second deepest lake, they had a deep sea diver standing by when Burnquist used it. But even if you’re not allowed to use it, this floating attraction is still a sight to see.
7. The Coeur d’Alene Golf & Spa Resort’s Floating Golf Course
The Coeur d’Alene Golf Resort in northern Idaho is home to this famous floating 14-hole golf course. Though it’s big enough to be considered an island, the course does not stay in one place for long. The Coeur d’Alene is so proud of its floating golf course that they make it the first thing you see when you enter the parking lot. This par three course was created by renowned designer Scott Miller, and part of a four-hole stretch plays right into the Coeur d’Alene Lake. Also make sure to check out the infamous fifth hole, which requires you to make a complicated shot over a boulder.
The Coeur d’Alene itself isn’t too shabby. This award-winning spa and golf resort pulls out all the stops, including golf carts with heated leather seats and mahogany side paneling. And don’t worry about how you’re going to get to your tee time at the floating green — water taxis depart regularly.
6. The Maldives Floating Golf Course
Though this attraction won’t open until 2015, once completed it will be the world’s first floating 18-hole golf course. Located outside of the swanky, super rich Maldives Islands in the Indian Ocean, this course is unique because it’s being built without a significant carbon footprint. Instead, the golf course will use solar energy, water-cooling techniques, sustainable desalination, and many other green-friendly practices. The design for this course is amazing and will include tons of 360-degree oceans views, a practice area for your short game, an assortment of putting greens, and even an aquatic driving range. In fact, this course won’t just be for sport. There will also be a 9-hole par three teaching academy course for those looking to have professional assistance while working on their swing.
5. The Thailand Archipelago Floating Cinema
This amazing cinema gives a new meaning to the phrase “drive-in movie.” Created by German architect Ole Scheeren, this floating cinema features a huge floating screen sandwiched in-between two towering boulders. There’s also an auditorium that floats like a raft, allowing viewers to relax and enjoy the show! Unfortunately, you may be out of luck if you want to catch a movie here. The last time the cinema was floated out it was for the Film on the Rochs Yao Noi festival, which took place in the Bay of Bengal. After the festival, the rafts used for the separate auditorium were returned to local fishermen, and the floating cinema was removed. Hopefully the cinema will return for the next festival, but it’s all up the cinema’s creator.
4. The Bregenz Floating Stage
If opera is more your thing, check out a performance at this floating stage in Austria. The stage, which is known as The Seebühne, is the centerpiece for the Bregenz Festival, a world-renowned opera festival that occurs every year. The Bregenz Floating Stage is rowed out to Lake Constance ever summer, and can sit audiences of around 7,000 people.
The Festival is revered by opera enthusiasts for its set designs and production quality. For the 2012 performance, this impressive stage included a set that was made to look like a 100 foot bust of the French revolutionary Marat. In 2013, the Bregenz Floating Stage had performances of perhaps the most famous opera in the world, The Magic Flute.
3. The Badeschiff Floating Swimming Pool
The German word Badeschiff, meaning “bathing ship,” is the perfect name for the only floating swimming pool on our list. Created in 2004, the Badeschiff pool was made out of an old barge, and can be found every summer in Berlin’s Spree river. After it was discovered that the Spree was too polluted to swim in, the Badeschiff was created as an alternative swimming location. This pool doesn’t move around. Instead, it’s connected to an old industrial complex that was reinvigorated through decades of redesign by art collectives and other organizations. Now this once dilapidated area boasts restaurants, shopping, and a huge 32 by eight meter pool that’s both simple and magnificent. The Badeschiff lacks the opulence of some other floating attractions, but its size and accessibility make it worth checking out the next summer you’re in Berlin.
2. The Singapore Floating Stadium
This floating stadium on the Marina Bay of Singapore is used for the most diverse purposes of any of the attractions on our list. The stadium has hosted football games, concerts, exhibitions, cultural performances, and much more on its 120 by 83 meter platform. The platform is made entirely out of steel and has the capacity to seat 30,000 people. It was originally created as a temporary venue while the Singapore National Stadium was demolished and replaced. From 2007 through 2011 the stadium was used for the Singapore National Day Parade and other national events. However, the stadium outlived its temporary label and the impressive structure is still used today for football matches.
1. Viva, The South Korean Artificial Floating Island
Viva is considered the world’s largest artificial solar-powered floating island. Created by the Seoul Metropolitan Government, Viva is part of a group of three man-made islands. It represents an environmental wonder committed to preserving ecology, while simultaneously being a commercially viable location for tourism and trade. Located on Seoul’s Han River, this island cost over 60 million Euros to complete, and is the lynchpin in the Government’s long-term Han River renewal plan. Viva is sure to be an important attraction for visitors to Seoul, because it has enough space for separate centers for water sports, exhibitions, restaurants, conventions and concerts. And unlike many floating attractions around the world, Viva relies entirely on its own buoyancy.