Two weeks ago our Certificate III in Outdoor Recreation students enjoyed a two-night trip to the Freycinet Peninsula, where the group further developed their bushwalking and navigation skills. Accompanied by Cody McCracken of Wild Pedder and TasTAFE Teacher Renee Harrington, the group were blessed with glorious weather and stunning scenery.
Departing from Sleepy Bay, the group followed the coastline to the summit of Mt Parsons and then ascended Mt Baudin where they enjoyed a night sleeping in a cave. The next morning saw student’s abseiling down a cliff which put many participants out of their comfort zone but proved to be a very rewarding experience.
After descending back to Sleepy Bay, the group continued on to Wineglass Bay and were greeted by a friendly wallaby on the beach and a pod of dolphins in the bay. The students spent the night sleeping under a blanket of stars on Wineglass Bay beach.
The final day consisted of a small group of students hiking up to the Mt Graham lookout, whilst others enjoyed the glorious beach before returning to the bus and back to Hobart.
The trip was a great opportunity for students to demonstrate their leadership and guiding skills, occupational health and safety policies, cooking, food hygiene practices, weather interpretation and off track navigation.
In early March, the Certificate III in Guiding students had their first field trip for the year. From Hobart we drove out to Mount Field, where we stopped at important geological and historical points of interest along the way.
On the first day, we had two walks in the Florentine Valley. We walked to the top of Tim Shae to be rewarded with a fabulous 360° view into the South West of Tasmania. We then walked into the very significant and historical Churchill’s Hut. Elias Churchill trapped a Tasmanian Tiger that was supposedly the last specimen that died in the old Hobart Zoo in 1936.
We returned to the campground for a beautiful meal prepared in the dark by Larni and ably assisted by Bruce and Alex. This was a great practical example of adapting and being flexible with itinerary changes and leading and catering for guided groups.
One of our students also celebrated his birthday on this day – Happy Birthday Strath!
On our second day, we drove up to Lake Dobson where we walked amongst the Pandani Grove and up to Tarn Shelf. During the day we saw great examples of landforms, flora and fauna including Mountain Shrimps, which are best described as living fossils. Our student catering team provided yet another fantastic meal and after dinner we went for a walk to see the Glow Worms near Russell Falls.
On our last day we walked to the Mt. Field favourites – Russell and Horseshoe Falls and the Tall Trees Walk, where we admired the geology and flora along the way.
In the afternoon, Bruce and Alex provided information on the various tents available; how to use MSR Stoves and how to couple the bus and trailer. All essential skills for Guides.
We had a wonderful first field trip away and look forward to many more.
Upon arriving at Cradle Mountain, the group split into two with one group heading over Marion’s Lookout down to Waterfall Valley whilst the other group headed over Hanson’s Peak to the Scott Kilvert Memorial Hut. Here the weather threw out its first challenge, showering us with icy rain and snow. It was a wet and cold start, but the incredibly beautiful view of Cradle Mountain elegantly standing above it all, was a sight to remember.
As each day progressed, the weather continued to surprise us with an amazing two days allowing one group to summit Mt Ossa with perfectly clear skies, whilst the other group found an incredible waterfall in a valley filled with giant Pandani’s and Myrtle trees.
One of the most stimulating moments for everyone was seeing the geology in real life, from the giant glacial valleys to the million-year-old conglomerate with fossils encased. As each group walked along, we tested our flora and fauna knowledge, identifying the different plants and the calls of the birds from the distance.
We also enjoyed hearing stories about the Trappers and Snarers, who turned into the first tour guides and rangers of the National Park. History behind the mining era was also shared, bringing to life the vast and varied story of the Cradle Valley region.
The final three days saw the rain settle in deep and it was a wet finish to a remarkable walk. Huge congratulations to all the students for pushing through the rain and snow, keeping spirits high and for completing one of Australia’s most iconic walks.
Last month our Certificate IV in Outdoor Recreation students split into their chosen streams with the climbers heading off to Freycinet and the paddlers heading down to the Picton River.
The first three days of our White Water Introduction week were spent learning the basics of rafting, packing of the rafts, how to steer them and what to include in the safety briefings. Mechanical issues aside, we set off in two rafts and a two person inflatable by midday Monday. Twenty-four hours of banter and water-fight filled fun later, we reached Judbury where we spent a brisk night before heading back to Top Bridge on the Picton River to squeeze in another run.
Thursday and Friday were spent kayaking on the Derwent River. Thursday saw us honing our ferry gliding and eddy catching skills with the legendary Dan Firth. Friday was a river trip from Frog lodge to Hayes Corner to continue working on these areas. Leon Bedford made an appearance for this trip where he gained some serious ‘Bus Driver of the Year‘ points. The weather was rather mint … the blue sky may have been obscured by fog for part of the day but the sun always managed to make an appearance.
Last week the Certificate IV Outdoor Recreation climbing students were back at Freycinet’s White Water Wall to continue their skills in the vertical world. This time: Top Rope Climbing.
There’s a saying about the east coast: it never rains, but it pours. The weather was indeed challenging and powerful, with both high winds and heavy rain hitting the sea cliffs. Never-the-less the students persevered and conducted rescues from above and below in their rain jackets and over-pants. But the skies did clear when needed, creating windows for recreational climbing and sea-bird sightings.
For some added excitement one evening, the students were unexpectedly confronted with a challenging first aid scenario, where one of the instructors had fallen several meters down a fracture in the granite coastline; right to the edge of the rough ocean below. Putting their skills to the test the students worked together to rescue their instructor by torch-light, making for a very long day but still a longer night – as they returned to camp on the cusp of the winter solstice.
The students now look forward to taking real participants on climbing and abseiling experiences, and putting their new skills to good use.