Certificate IV Outdoor Recreation

Climbing on the Tasman Peninsula


During the last week of September, the Certificate IV in Outdoor Recreation split again into their electives.  The climbers headed off to the Tasman Peninsula to explore the area.  The main focus of this week was to improve the groups personal climbing skills and coaching.

On day one the troops headed to Parrot Shelf.  We quickly set up four exciting climbs including a challenging chimney.  With the sun beaming down on us we all spent hours on the wall on the various climbs, practicing move after move and challenging ourselves.  We then headed back to our glorious accommodation at Eagle Hawk Neck provided by a group members relative where Lucy cooked the group a fabulous feast!

On day two we were blessed again with amazing clear skies and warm temperatures.  We made our way to Paradiso, abseiling ourselves and our gear to the bottom shelf.  The group was soon exploring the impressive area, we were amazed by the 40m overhang and the amount of possible climbs in front of us.  We even had a lovely little whale swim directly under our climb popping its head up to see what we were up to.  Many, many routes were set up and the team went about solving the various climbing move puzzles the cliff presented.  By the end of the day there were many sore bodies and blistered hands as proof of an excellent climbing day.  As we walked back to the bus the dark clouds began to creep in and the winds picked up.

By day three the weather had deteriorated, with a cold front covering most of the south with large amounts of rain.  With high swells and slippery rocks it was unsafe to continue climbing so to make the most of the day the crew hopped on the bus and went for a tour of unique climbing spots in the Hobart area.  It was insightful for all exposing us to spots we had never seen before.

Overall a productive week, a big thanks to Richard, Renee and Jessie for researching and setting up some fantastic climbs for the group.

Climbing  Climbing

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.

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Nate Welch – VET Teacher/Trainer of the Year


We are delighted that Nate Welch our Certificate IV in Outdoor Recreation Teacher and Coordinator was awarded the VET Teacher/Trainer of the Year at the Tasmanian Training Awards on Friday night.

The Awards recognise the achievements of apprentices, trainees and vocational students who strive for the highest standards of knowledge and skills within their industry.  They also recognise industry, employers, small businesses and training organisations dedicated to providing high quality training and improving the skills of the workforce in this State.

The Awards offer finalists the chance to gain personal satisfaction and the prestige of being part of an elite group who unequivocally represent the State’s best in vocational education and training.

This is a well deserved win as Nate has had such a positive influence on so many of his students.  He really is a committed team member and one who is incredibly passionate about his program and his students.

Congratulations once again Nate and we wish you all the best at the Australian Training Awards in Darwin this November.




Nate Rafting




RTO Code:  60142

The Adventure Begins


Two weeks ago the Certificate IV in Outdoor Recreation White Water Kayaking/Rafting students departed on their first white water paddling induction on the Huon River.

We departed from the TasTafe Drysdale campus bright and early on the bus packed with all the essentials – boats, paddles, emergency gear, and a bright pink ball for lunchtime playtime.  We reached our destination – the Huon River, for three consecutive days of flat water paddling instruction with our captains, Nate Welch and Leon Bedford.

After going through the basic strokes (on dry-land) required to function adequately on the water, it is time to get down to business and we enter the river and practice and critique our form with guidance from Nate and Leon.  We also learn the importance of  safety aspects involved with teaching and taking out groups of clients, and how to breakdown and deliver what look like very simple strokes (in the hands of the right individual) into simple step-by-step actions.

Once we reach day three, the class has developed their skills quicker than originally anticipated and as a result we embark on a 12km kayak down the Huon River.  Like sprouting grass blades at the end of winter the smiles begin to stretch from ear to ear.  The trip goes down a treat, and you would be none the wiser to the fact that for some of the class, this was their first time in a white-water boat.

The day taught us so much about rapids, eddies, and the ease of paddling when combined with good technique.  We arrive at our end point with a soft sun on the horizon and everyone tired, cold, shoulders aching but smiles remaining.

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RTO Code:  60142

Single Pitch Abseil and Top Rope Climbing Instructor Assessments

Two weeks ago the Certificate IV in Outdoor Recreation Climbing and Abseiling team made tracks from Hobart to Freycinet National Park for their final assessments to become qualified TCIA instructors.

The assessments took place at the popular and extremely beautiful White Water Wall area which provides incredible oceanic views and numerous world-class climbs on stable granite faces. Students chose to spend four days prior to the assessment, getting to know each of the site’s unique and sometimes frustrating characteristics, perfecting their rigging work, practicing rescues and simply enjoying the time spent in such a spectacular place.

When Wednesday finally came around, bringing assessment time with it, the team could not have been better prepared. They met each morning with students from the Kingston High School Year 10 Outdoor Education Class who have been heavily involved with the TasTAFE training program this year and were very keen for three days of vertical hauling up rock slabs and abseiling from cliff tops.

All of the practice and hard work that the Certificate IV students had invested in preparation for this moment became immediately apparent; the sessions that they ran were conducted in a very safe, efficient and enjoyable manner, creating a thoroughly enjoyable experience for the students and instructors alike. A fantastic progression in confidence and ability was demonstrated by all and at the end of the program students walked away as qualified TCIA instructors.

To top off an amazing week, the trip also happened to coincide with the annual Humpback Whale migration. Over the course of the week there were multiple sightings of these truly magnificent gentle giants as they moved south towards Antarctica to feed on krill, several swam by and played within 20m of the cliff base. Using their extremely large and powerful flippers, humpback whales are able to perform incredible breaches and aerial manoeuvres, sometimes launching their entire 30,000-40,000 kg frame out of the water! To witness such a majestic performance so closely was a truly special experience for all of the students.

Humpback Whale


Expedition Medicine

Expedition Medicine

Expedition Medicine began with the pursuit of knowledge…

During early September, in the heart of the Tassie wilderness, a mixture of Outdoor Recreation students and Doctors were thrust together on a week-long intensive course.  Add to this mixture a group of highly talented instructors, orchestrating medical and trauma based scenarios with a mad glint to their eye.  The result was nothing short of magical.

… The instant the scenario unfolds there is a moment of chaos.  Screams and cries for help draw us to the scene. Then, a leader emerges and the wheels start to churn, gathering momentum. We work as team, tackling head on whatever our head torches reveal to us from out of the darkness. Each individual has their role to play.  We grow together in confidence and mutual respect quickly becomes friendship and before long we are a well-oiled, disaster management machine.

The scenarios are designed to test us; our strengths, our weaknesses, our endurance, both physical and mental.  The scenarios cement the fact that out here in the wilderness, the rules are different. You are the front line; there are those who are relying on you and who look to you for aid.

Over the course of the week, we are tested time and again, until our responses are second nature. That initial moment of chaos no longer holds any sway; we simply take a deep breath and RESPOND.

Thanks to Expedition Medicine we can travel out into the wild places of the world, toolboxes brimming, armed to the teeth with the common thread that had joined us all on this epic journey from the start – The pursuit of knowledge and skills to help SAVE a life.

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River Crossings

River Crossings

On Tuesday the 15th September 2015, the TasTAFE Certificate IV Outdoor Recreation and Cert IV in Guiding students joined forces for a day of learning and instructing.  The session was focused on teaching the Certificate IV in Guiding group some useful river crossing techniques with all instruction delivered by the Certificate IV Outdoor Recreation class.

Participants arrived early in the morning at a section of the Derwent River just up from New Norfolk where they covered some very important river safety and theory sessions prior to getting their feet wet and wading out into some small, yet powerful rapids.  The section of river chosen was ideal for the learning activity which provided channels and rapids of varying depths, widths and current strengths to challenge the skills and abilities of participants.

At the commencement of the session’s practical component, students were introduced to crossing techniques in a fairly shallow section of swift water before progressing to a deeper and much faster flowing rapid.  Each individual trialled a number of methods including assisted crossings using a pole for support and wearing a full multi-day backpack for an added challenge and real-life simulation.

A ‘strainer’ obstacle was set up downstream for students to negotiate, practice in white water defensive and aggressive swimming was also covered.

All students rose to the challenge and achieved a high level of competency and confidence in an activity that can prove quite intimidating upon first contemplation.

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