Bay of Fires Bushwalk

The second week of June saw the last trip for the Certificate III in Guiding students and our first overnight hiking trip.  We left Hobart bright and early on Tuesday morning in two mini-buses for the long trip up to Ansons Bay and the Bay of Fires area.

The groups of ten students each, called ‘Larapuna‘ and ‘Wukalina‘ were led by Cody McCracken and Tom Keith respectively, who are alumni from our sister program – the Certificate IV in Outdoor Recreation course eight years ago and now work for Tasmanian Walking Co.

The new teachers posed a refreshing change in style, with all the students gaining a valuable personal connection with the Bay of Fires region and learning the realities of adventure guiding.  We walked between Stumpys Bay to Ansons Bay via Deep Creek along the Bay of Fires coastline, with the two groups walking in opposite directions.  This trip was ran in a similar fashion as the commercial trip ‘Bay of Fires Lodge’ 4-day walk and was a great learning experience for all.  The dinner provided by the caterers in each group were spectacular, which was a great achievement for the first groups cook entirely on the shellite MSR stoves rather than gas camp stoves.

Hearing the experienced interpretation of the local landscape, continuously engaged and awed students.  Interestingly, we learnt how the beaches became different over the winter months due to increased southerly storm systems, piling up metres of soft sand at the northern end of some of the beaches making for difficult walking.  We also learnt about the Bay of Fires lichen; composition of sand; ocean currents; rocks and Aboriginal History among many others.  The communication skills presented in these interpretations by our teachers provided great examples of how dense information can be communicated simply and concisely – a goal we can all work towards.

Eddystone Point Light House was also a special experience for everyone, learning the history, understanding the granite and seeing Southern Right whales offshore!  Both groups also got the chance to go swimming near several dolphins playing in the surf, which was spectacular.

On the final day, the ‘Larapuna’ group had a wonderful Sun Salutation yoga and meditation session overlooking the ocean at sunrise, ran by our student leader for the day.  After a relaxed morning packing up, we met up with the other group and headed back towards Hobart.  After well-deserved pies for lunch at the Bicheno Bakery, we got back to Hobart in the late afternoon.

As the last trip for the Certificate III in Guiding program and our first overnight walk, we are all keen and ready for Certificate IV in Guiding and the many fantastic winter walks starting in July!


Hazards Traverse

Two weeks ago our Certificate III in Outdoor Recreation students enjoyed a two-night trip to the Freycinet Peninsula, where the group further developed their bushwalking and navigation skills.  Accompanied by Cody McCracken of Wild Pedder and TasTAFE Teacher Renee Harrington, the group were blessed with glorious weather and stunning scenery.

Departing from Sleepy Bay, the group followed the coastline to the summit of Mt Parsons and then ascended Mt Baudin where they enjoyed a night sleeping in a cave.  The next morning saw student’s abseiling down a cliff which put many participants out of their comfort zone but proved to be a very rewarding experience.

After descending back to Sleepy Bay, the group continued on to Wineglass Bay and were greeted by a friendly wallaby on the beach and a pod of dolphins in the bay.  The students spent the night sleeping under a blanket of stars on Wineglass Bay beach.

The final day consisted of a small group of students hiking up to the Mt Graham lookout, whilst others enjoyed the glorious beach before returning to the bus and back to Hobart.

The trip was a great opportunity for students to demonstrate their leadership and guiding skills, occupational health and safety policies, cooking, food hygiene practices, weather interpretation and off track navigation.


Lost Falls

The Certificate III Outdoor Recreation group set off on the first bushwalk for the year to Lost falls in the North East of Tasmania.

With a wonderful high pressure system sitting over Tasmania the group had lunch and photos at the Lost Falls Lookout.  After providing the students with a thorough bushwalk safety briefing we began our hike, in a warm 22 °C, sunny skies with a slight breeze.

This bushwalk was an evaluation bushwalk for all students and Course Coordinator, Renee Harrington and Coordinator of the Certificate IV in Outdoor Recreation, Nate Welch soon took the group off track, to really test their bushwalking abilities and equipment.

Using maps of the area, a pre-planned route and compasses, we arrived at the highpoint of Crossing Hill, which we had a stunning view of the abundant White Peppermint Eucalyptus, (Eucalypts Pulchella) the steep Sclerophyll valleys, and in the distance the calm, blue waters of Oyster Bay and the Freycinet Peninsula.

Following the ridge line towards the Wye River and introducing the students to the unit ‘Navigating in Controlled Environments‘ we arrived at our destination with an opened and cleared campsite and close to the water, which was just perfect our needs.

The aim of this trip was not only to evaluate the students on their bushwalk abilities, but to also make a connection with all group members, the environment and for Renee and Nate to emulate the standards in which TasTAFE requires their students to conduct themselves on their journey as aspiring Outdoor Recreation professionals.

Hazards Circuit at Freycinet



On the 1st of June, the Certificate III  in Guiding students completed the Hazards Circuit on the Freycinet Peninsula.

Freycinet provided a fantastic opportunity for us, as students to get out of the classroom and apply the knowledge that we have learnt throughout the semester.  By listening and seeing different birds, as well as identifying different species of plants along the track.  It was also fantastic to  complete a multi day walk; whilst developing the fundamental skills of backpack based camping.

The weather was on our side during the trip as we experienced beautiful crispy, but sunny winter days.  It was also great to test out our gear.

Overall, the trip enabled time for reflection and served as a reinforcement as to why we are all so passionate about the outdoors and the desire to share it with locals and visitors in the future.

We would all like to say a special thank you to Stacey for assisting one group and getting us to Freycinet and back safely.  As well as a thank you to Alex for sharing his knowledge of birds and plants with the group.

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Walking in the Walls of Jerusalem

Walls of Jerusalem

Two weeks ago the Certificate III in Outdoor Recreation students went to the Walls of Jerusalem for a 4 day bushwalk to hone our guiding and bushwalking skills.

On arrival, the group split into two groups with the intention to meet halfway at Dixons Kingdom.  The first group headed south and camped the night at Stretcher Lake, whilst the other group headed southeast and stayed at the Wild Dog Creek campsite.  After meeting at Dixons Kingdom the two groups then retraced each others steps back to the bus.

On the first night we set up camp in the dark and the rain, but woke to a clear morning with a fresh blanket of snow which completely changed the landscape.  This was truly a breath-taking experience.

One group even climbed Mt. Jerusalem pre-dawn and were rewarded with an amazing sunrise on the summit.

On the last couple of days, the weather cleared up providing us with amazing conditions, especially for this time of year and finishing off our trip on a high note.

A big thank you to Bruce Morley and Gemma Gooley for coming along and for the fun we had along the way.

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RTO Code: 60142

Bushwalking in Freycinet National Park

Frecyinet Bushwalk

Last month the Certificate III in Outdoor Recreation students spent a scenic three days in the stunning Freycinet National Park, bushwalking and demonstrating outdoor leadership and navigation skills.

The group pushed through two long days to Cooks Beach and Wineglass Bay campsites with good humour, setting up in the dark on the first night without any trouble at all.  We powered on, in very strong winds and rain crossing Mt Graham on our second day, before enjoying a surprisingly sunny lunch where we all warmed up and dried out.

Highlights were late night contests such as the Table Challenge and sumo wrestling in the sand.  On the last day we crossed Wineglass Bay in record time playing Tiggy, with guest instructor Cody McCraken, uncatchable despite all strategies.  We enjoyed a brisk swim in the bay before a short climb to the lookout and on to the car park to finish at lunchtime.  Special thanks to our instructors Renee Harrington and Cody McCraken and our 24 contact, Nate Welch on this trip.

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Lost Falls 2016

Lost Falls

In March the Certificate III in Outdoor Recreation students had their first field trip for the year to Lost Falls.

A beautiful landscape lost in time, veiled in the Lake Leake district of Tasmania.  Shrouded by cliffs and jutting ridge lines covered in low vegetated scrub.  The basis of the trip was to demonstrate basic bushwalking and navigational skills.

Although at first glance you would expect an area of severe vegetation and difficulty.  The location allowed the team to trust themselves and gave them the abilities to stride on a bearing and use other tools to make their way through its tranquil land.

We were auspicious enough to have such an enthusiastic group and people willing to try out their newfound skills or refreshing past knowledge, in an unaccustomed location.

Our campsites were isolated and pretty ‘bomber’, with waterholes scattered at the extremity of the ravine.  A quick dip was all it took to quench our swimming desires.

Tim McEldowney stated that the trip was a great success and he cannot wait for the next.  The overall rating was a 9.955555 … out of 10. (as stated by Daniel Gillie)!

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