Navigation on the Central Plateau

For the final three days before the Adventure Guiding students disappeared into their mid-semester break, they found themselves learning how to not get lost up in the Central Plateau.

Navigation is an essential skill for a guide and we learnt how to use a compass, get a bearing and figure out our direction of travel; how to read a map and identify features such as spurs, gullies, ridges, knolls, crests and other features and then identify these in the landscape (and vice versa).

We learnt that Naismith (a rule for estimating the length of time a distance can be walked in) is an optimist, especially when hiking/stumbling off-track.

This trip was a first for the students in many regards.  The Tombolo class were separated into three smaller groups for this trip and we did not see each other again until we reunited back at the bus on the last day to depart.  It was the first time that many of us had hiked ‘off-track’ which meant slogging through thick scrub, cold creeks and scrambling over boulders, depending on which path the “navigator” had set the group on.  Everyone took turns to lead their group using various navigational techniques to get to their destination, and no-one got lost … for very long.

Not following a track really gave us a new appreciation for the Tassie wilderness and by using natural features in the landscape such as waterways, ridgelines, the contouring of the hills as catching features and handrails (navigational terms) we were able to identify where we were and find our way.

Something that was quite special was getting up to the high plateau and seeing cider gums and cushion plants where wallabies wandered.  It was also our first real winter trip and we experienced some high winds and wet weather, but the first opportunity for some of us (mainlanders) to experience snow/sleet (it’s cold!).

After a particularly windy wet night of wild weather the groups converged almost simultaneously back at the bus.  All a little less dry but more confident and capable in their ability to navigate.  A big thank you to the staff; Gemma, Renee and Tom who spent 6 days out in the field between both classes of students to impart their knowledge and remind us constantly to orientate the map!

As the bus drove back into Hobart and we entered the semester break, we were well on track to becoming Adventure Guides.


More Climbing


NOT just another week at Freycinet National Park for the climbers…

The first week of Spring and the fourth week that the Certificate IV in Outdoor Recreation climbers made their way out to White Water Wall campground at Freycinet National Park.  This was to be their last chance to truly consolidate their rigging skills before their final assessments in October.

Spoilt with stunning sunrises, whales and a fresh large population of mosquitoes – the cliffs were ours alone to practice on.

On Tuesday the 6th of September, the climbing crew put their hard work and skills to the test and took a group of students from Dominic College out to Lassies Wall for a climb and an abseil.  The Dominic College students were a wonderful bunch of young people, who thoroughly enjoyed their day.  This exchange of experience was immeasurably important for the TasTAFE students, who generally only practice on each other.  We are all very grateful to Dominic College for allowing us the opportunity.

The remainder of the week consisted of:

Rig, climb, rescue, rig, abseil, rig, rescue, climb, rescue, rig!

Come the end of the week the Certificate IV students had gained a significant chunk of practice as well as further understanding of individual areas of improvement needed before assessments.  All in all, another big week of learning for all involved.  Big thanks to Gary, Richard and Dominic College students and staff.

Climbing Climbing Climbing Climbing Climbing

Certificate III in Outdoor Recreation

Certificate III Outdoor Recreation

The Tour Guide Training Program at TasTAFE introduced a new course this year – the Certificate III in Outdoor Recreation. The course aims to equip students with the knowledge, skills and attitude to become a competent and professional Outdoor Recreation Assistant.

The course content consists of 24 subjects which are nationally recognised and have been selected based on the needs of employers in Tasmania.  Subjects include: customer service, planning outdoor recreation activities, risk management, minimal impact, Wilderness First Aid, work skill instruction and facilitating groups.  The students also focus on four specific activity streams including:

  • Bushwalking
  • Indoor Climbing
  • Mountain Biking
  • Flat water kayaking
  • Rafting

As part of the program, students also had a formalised Work Placement arrangement with a variety of schools and colleges based in Hobart. This program involved working in a school environment with the aim to:

  • To provide practical experience in working with groups in the outdoors
  • To consolidate practical and theory skills
  • To provide sufficient experience for students to enter the Certificate IV Outdoor Recreation program at TasTAFE.

We had 12 students enrolled in our program for 2015, with a total of 322 Work Placement days between the months of June and November at the following schools:

  • Dominic College
  • Friends School
  • Guildford Young College
  • Hutchins School
  • Hobart College
  • MacKillop College
  • Rosny College
  • St. Michaels Collegiate School
  • St. Virgil’s College
  • Sacred Heart College
  • Woollangara – Victoria

TasTAFE are currently enrolling for the 2016 intake.  If you are interested in this fabulous program, please contact Deb Balfour on 6165 5916 or at tourguiding@tastafe.tas.edu.au.

Certificate III Outdoor Recreation Certificate III Outdoor Recreation Certificate III Outdoor Recreation Certificate III Outdoor Recreation Certificate III Outdoor Recreation Certificate III Outdoor Recreation Certificate III Outdoor Recreation Certificate III Outdoor Recreation

Certificate III Outdoor Recreation Certificate III Outdoor Recreation Certificate III Outdoor Recreation

Certificate III Outdoor RecreationCertificate III Outdoor Recreation Certificate III Outdoor Recreation Certificate III Outdoor Recreation