Outdoor Guiding

Freycinet Circuit – Team Tombolo

Two weeks, Team Tombolo [Adventure Tour Guiding students] embarked on their second adventure to Freycinet National Park, the homeland of the Toorernomairremener clan.  The group was blessed with beautiful Spring weather and had an amazing time soaking up another beautiful part of Tasmania.

The two teams split off to walk the Freycinet Peninsula, and students were given the opportunity to guide their groups around sections of the 30km Circuit. It was awesome to see the students bring their own true personality into their ‘Guiding’.  The guides experimented with new group activities, supported individuals over difficult terrain, cooked up amazing meals on the MSR stoves, and really sunk into their position as group leaders.  It’s quite astounding to think about how far the class has come since the beginning of the course.  Many of us agreed that, for the first time, it really felt like we were guests on a guided tour.

Our wonderful teacher, Alex Hale, joined us for our trip to Freycinet.  Having spent some time working as a guide in the area, Alex was an endless source of knowledge of us all.  The group had a lot of fun identifying bird calls, spotting wildlife and combing the beach for washed up ocean creatures.  It was also really cool to spot some beautiful orchids poke up from the earth, and to see the vegetation shift from coastal, to dry woodland, to wet forest, to alpine species.

Students were also allocated topics on the area and shared stories and facts about some of the wonderful wildlife found on the East Coast.  We learnt about the fascinating history of the Thylacine and some amazing coastal birds, the Short-tailed Shearwater and the Little Penguin.  We also learnt about the snakes of Tasmania, the evolution of dragonflies and the story of the whales that visit our island.

For the group, some other highlights from the trip included a brisk dip in the waves at Wineglass Bay, reaching the summit of Mt Freycinet, soaking up the incredible views over the Peninsula, practicing midnight tarp maintenance and a friendly encounter with an Australian Fur Seal.

Returning somewhere for a second time can sometimes produce a very different experience.  You tend to tune into the particular subtleties about a place, and I think a vast majority of the group has left Freycinet National Park with a very special sense of connection.

All round, it was a great trip with some great friends.  Big thanks to the amazing teachers at TasTAFE and an incredible group of classmates.

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Adventure Tour Guiding : Sea Kayaking

The Nunatak Adventure Tour Guiding students who chose sea kayaking as their specialisation skill cluster, spent their first week learning basic paddling skills, deep water rescue techniques and how to interpret weather.

Our group of nine students and two teachers – Tom Keith, from Roaring 40ᴼS Kayaking and Gemma Gooley spent the first day in the classroom, then headed down to Short Beach in Sandy Bay for their first paddle.  After a quick briefing, the group paddled from Short Beach to the Hobart Waterfront and back.  With the wind picking up, there was also time for a quick skills session before heading back to TasTAFE.

The next day was spent at the Clarence Aquatic Centre, where the group had the chance to learn and practice a variety of vital rescue techniques, including the wet-exit; self-rescue with the aid of a paddle float and how to assist others back into their kayak from the water.

Unfortunately, the final day of class for the week was cancelled due to the extreme weather and flooding in Hobart, but the short introduction to Sea Kayaking Guiding left the class eagerly awaiting their next session on the water.

Thank you to our wonderful teachers and guides for the day!

Karl Villanueva

Since finishing TasTAFE’s Adventure Tour Guiding program, I have swapped my office in the city for some of the most beautiful and wild places in Tasmania.  I’ve been given a new lens to see the world around me with an amazing clarity and depth that I didn’t have before.  I have learnt that every single person I get to meet, whether they’re guests or colleagues have an incredible story just waiting to be heard. The course has changed my life and has opened doors that I could never have imagined“.

Karl Villaneuva