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!