Maria Island

Maria Island

Two weeks ago, our Adventure Guiding students departed Drysdale Campus and drove up the Tasman Highway towards Triabunna, where we would catch the new and refurbished ‘Encounter Maria‘ ferry to Maria Island.

It was wonderful to have ex-student Daniel Fisher, who now works as a Guide for The Maria Island Walk join us on this trip, providing beneficial information regarding the industry and other Tasmanian knowledge.

Lucky enough for Dan, he was able to relive some of his own Guide training memories by  listening to the student Leaders’ bus commentaries on the way up – which provided an interesting insight into the surrounding area.

On the ferry, we were lucky to admire plenty of sea birds and after we arrived on the Island, we set up camp and got underway with the day’s activities!

Splitting into two separate groups – Nicholas Baudin and Bara-Ourou, we parted ways with one group heading on a half day walk up Bishop and Clerk, whilst the other group enjoyed a circuit walk to the Painted Cliffs and Oust House via The Maria Island Walk accommodation.

Returning to the campsite, it wasn’t long until our student Caterers dished up mouth-watering meals that were soon devoured.

The next morning, we enjoyed some ice breakers which was a nice way to start the day.  We split into small groups and practiced our Interpretive tours and presenting our information to our fellow students.  We received feedback and were then given a chance to amend the tours.  Everyone found this constructive feedback really helped us improve our tours the second time we delivered them.

After dinner we went for a night walk to see if we could find a Tasmanian Devil.  We saw a lot of different animals but no Devils – but it was a great way to finish the day.

For our last day, we left camp as a whole group and walked to the Fossil Cliffs where Bruce and Daniel gave us a real insight into the geological events that happened to create the Fossil Cliffs.  We then split into our two groups again, mimicking the first day’s events in reverse with Bara-Ourou summiting Bishop and Clerk and the Nicholas Baudin group completing the circuit walk with Dan.

Returning back to camp, the Certificate III in Guiding students were quick to pack up before departing Maria Island to get stuck into their weekend ahead!

Advertisements

Graduate Profile : Steve Wilks

Where are you currently working?  I have just finished a season with Senna and Stan Ellerm at Tasmanian Hikes.  Most of my work was guiding on their three night camping tour of Maria Island.

What do you love most about your job?  I love talking to the guests about their travel experiences and future travel plans.  A lot of our guests are well-travelled and it is the out-of-the-way and off the beaten track experiences I love to hear about.  Also I love helping the guests see and experience the Tasmanian environment and ecology.  No matter how many times you walk along the same track – we always see something different and something unexpected.

What training did you undertake with TasTAFE?  I completed the Certificate III & IV in Guiding and Certificate III in Outdoor Recreation during a very busy 2015.

What did you value about your training at TasTAFE?  The hands on experience and the opportunity to push myself outside my comfort zone.  Also the close involvement with the experienced and passionate teachers.  I also enjoyed the diverse group of fellow students from so many varied backgrounds and life experiences.

How has your training helped you with your Guiding career?  In so many ways – hard skills like using MSR stoves, catering, learning to find that quirky, intriguing set of facts about the plant or bird or rock that people encounter.  Then there was all the focus on the soft skills – people management in a nutshell.

What is your most memorable moment you have experienced on a trip?  I worked on an Overland Trip last January with a group of seven guests including a lady from Cardiff in Wales.  She was absolutely astounded and thrilled to see Wombats, Echidnas and Pademelons in the wild.  It was really rewarding to see her enjoy her trip so much.

If you could invite anyone on a trip, who would it be?  I think it would be someone who has spent their entire life in a large city.  Someone who has never seen a rainbow, a Scarlet Robin perching in the sunshine or an Echidna foraging for insects. Someone who has never seen a crystal clear wave breaking on a deserted beach, someone who has never seen a hundred Scoparia in full flower, or someone who has never seen thousands of stars on a dark cool night.

If you could give one piece of advice for someone contemplating a career in the outdoors, what would it be?  Send an email to the great staff at TasTAFE and organise to have a chat to one of them.  You will know in your heart whether you want to be a Guide or an Outdoor Instructor, so don’t die wondering.  Give it a go.  You will find your niche in the outdoors and when you do you will “never go to work again” – you will just do what you love and help others experience it too.

 RTO Code: 60142

Maria Island

 IMG_5433.1

The Certificate III in Guiding students recently spent four days camping on Maria Island.  The group was immersed in the history and geology of the island and had a chance to develop their walking and catering skills, away from the comforts of home.

Kindly supported by The Maria Island Walk, the group had the opportunity to see one of their standing camps as they walked from Darlington to French’s Farm.

The weather was on their side and the students had an excellent experience.  Watching the wildlife roam free and being able to be in a learning environment in a World Heritage Area site, really brought home the experience, be it the rough living of the early convicts or the scale and beauty of the Mathina Beds and the Painted Cliffs.

The students also delivered their own short interpretive tours and presented the history of the island to their peers and the subjects were as colourful and varied as the presenting styles. Interactive learning experiences were presented on the different eras of convict history, the final meeting of the indigenous prior to European settlement and the island’s industrious Diego Bernacchi.

We also had all the favourable circumstances to provide time to develop our leadership skills, run seemingly innocent icebreakers and provide a fair amount of head-torch catering much to the delight of the mischievous marsupials with their gleaming eyes on our food.  With just enough free time to relax and absorb the beauty and atmosphere of Maria Island.

IMG_5345

IMG_5508IMG_5426 IMG_5460.1  IMG_5423 IMG_5382 IMG_5379 IMG_5356 IMG_5347.1