Outdoor Recreation

River Crossings

On Tuesday the 11th of September the Certificate IV in Outdoor Recreation students donned their instructor hats and took the ‘Nunatak’ Adventure Guiding Class for a day of River Crossing training.

The Derwent River (at the Plenty Railway Bridge) provided an excellent setting to practice a variety of solo and group crossing techniques, as well as whitewater swimming.  The infamous artificial strainer was set up in two locations, but it didn’t quite live up to its fearsome reputation as all the Adventure Guiding students negotiated it with ease.  The day ended with a convoluted “scenario” involving a broken femur, asthma, a daring white-water rescue and an impending job interview (which the leader thought was real!).

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Navigation Skills

Certificate IV in Outdoor Recreation students hit the bush again recently.  The vibes were high and the snow flakes were falling.  The students spent the four days consolidating off track Navigation skills such as walking on a bearing, interpreting micro features in the landscape and observation of vegetation changes.

The group split in to two teams, and were lucky to be accompanied by Instructor and legend Sue Beaumont and Teachers Assistant and champion Ash Kestle.

Off-Track Navigation

The Certificate IV in Outdoor Recreation students recently headed to the East Coast for two days of Off-track Navigation.

In the Wielangta State Forest, students honed their navigation skills in challenging (scrubby undergrowth) yet beautiful floristic structure with large eucalyptus towering above.  We had originally planned a four-day trip to the Central Plateau, however a gale warning prevented that.

Students and instructors also had to deal with the giant leeches.  Yeech!

Thanks to all students that attended and Renee and Sue for imparting their navigation knowledge.

Navigation

 The TasTAFE Certificate IV in Outdoor Recreation students had to recently change their plans because of a severe weather warning across the state.  Proving their flexibility, they spent two days finessing their off-track navigation skills on the slopes of kunanyi / Mt Wellington.

kunanyi / Mt Wellington provided plenty of opportunities for the lively discussions regarding the nature of re-entrants, spurs and compass needles and the accuracy of counting paces.  The students are looking forward to soon demonstrating their navigational skills in an off-track multi-day bushwalking environment.

 

Flatwater Kayaking

The Certificate IV in Outdoor Recreation students recently finished their second week of training to be Flatwater Kayaking Instructors.  We paddled the waterfront from Sandy Bay, took a trip down the Derwent River and went kayak surfing at Clifton Beach.

Thanks to instructors Nate Welch and Ange Cunningham, we all had the opportunity to consolidate our techniques in a variety of conditions and practiced delivering briefings.

It was a great week in challenging weather – a highlight was watching Sam carve some waves at Clifton, and come out smiling after a huge backflip wipe out!

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

Introduction to White Water Rafting & Kayaking

Last month the students in the white-water stream of the 2017 Certificate IV in Outdoor Recreation had their first introduction to white-water rafting and kayaking on the Picton and Derwent Rivers.  The scenery was beautiful and the group were keen and ready for a big week of learning new skills, visiting new places and having great experiences!  Water levels were perfect for learning on both rivers and students had a great time negotiating the rapids and honing their paddling skills, as well as learning how to run an overnight rafting trip.

The rafting trip was a great success with students learning valuable lessons about navigation on the water, features on the river and team work.  We spent a night camped at Arve Plains where we shared many stories whilst enjoying a four course (yes four courses) meal prepared by the group!  It was delicious!

The melting snow and low temperatures on Tuesday provided some challenging conditions, as well as a great learning opportunity for managing people’s comfort and safety on the water – many extra layers were put on and copious snacks were consumed to fend off the cold!

On Wednesday our group we decided to spend an extra day doing two rafting runs of the Picton River to gain more skills guiding a raft and to build up our confidence.  On Thursday students were introduced to some new paddling strokes in the kayaks and given some valuable one-on-one instruction on their paddling technique.  We had a park and play session in the morning, followed by a river journey where we were able to further practice our newly learnt strokes!

Friday was a fantastic day of park and play at Plenty Railway Bridge where the group gained massive progress in skill and technique, flying from eddy to eddy and smashing personal goals.

It was a massive week of learning and hard work, but being able to see how far we had all come by the end of the week made it worthwhile!  Thanks to our great instructors for showing us the way and telling us tales of their summers’ guiding together on the Franklin River – it really gave us all something to dream about!