Two weeks ago, the ‘Nunatak’ Adventure Tour Guiding students were out and about for three days following the Tasman Peninsula Circuit along bush tracks, long stretches of board walks and steep, slippery wet eucalyptus banks.
This was our final bushwalking trip within the comfort of the Adventure Tour Guiding program before heading into the summer season as qualified guides. Some students had already been assessed on previous trips and could happily tag along as ‘customers’ while others were bearing the full load of guiding, catering and interpreting. The scenery was spectacular, food was palatable and the weather was kind.
Managing the group whilst navigating unknown terrain proved a great challenge for the up-and-coming guides who all did their best to provide a great walking experience, whilst keeping everyone safe, happy, hydrated and fuelled across long days of walking.
After an easy first day heading inland from Fortescue Bay along the Cape Pillar Track we based ourselves at the Wughalee Falls campground for two nights. We headed out on the 17 km return trip to Cape Pillar’s stunning cliffs overlooking Tasman Island on Day 2, and braved the steep ascent over Mount Fortescue on Day 3. By this stage, the final track to Cape Hauy was just a hop, skip and jump. By the end of it all everyone was relieved to have made it back to the bus at Fortescue Bay as the day was slipping away rapidly.
Highlights included a look-behind-the–scenes of Tas Walking Co.’s brand-new hut along the Cape Pillar Track, the enchanting rainforest around Mount Fortescue and, of course, the vast expanse of ocean crashing into Australia’s highest sea cliffs. Other key learning points from the last trip of the year included:
- As a guide, be caring and compassionate! Check in with individual group members to make sure everyone is in good spirits!
- $500 to walk the Three Capes Track is well worth the investment; and if you want to get pampered, spend some extra on the Tas Walking Co’s experience!
- Just because it’s raining and freezing doesn’t mean you have to put on extra layers! (Look after yourself, Rhianna!)
- Cooking on camp stoves always takes longer than estimated!
- Snakes and spiders are much less frightening and dangerous than their reputation!
- You can disguise fake-meat in a Bolognese and no one will notice!
- Walking meditations are a great way to quieten the group and connect people to their surroundings. (Nicely done, Tristan!)
During the last week of September, the Certificate IV in Outdoor Recreation split again into their electives. The climbers headed off to the Tasman Peninsula to explore the area. The main focus of this week was to improve the groups personal climbing skills and coaching.
On day one the troops headed to Parrot Shelf. We quickly set up four exciting climbs including a challenging chimney. With the sun beaming down on us we all spent hours on the wall on the various climbs, practicing move after move and challenging ourselves. We then headed back to our glorious accommodation at Eagle Hawk Neck provided by a group members relative where Lucy cooked the group a fabulous feast!
On day two we were blessed again with amazing clear skies and warm temperatures. We made our way to Paradiso, abseiling ourselves and our gear to the bottom shelf. The group was soon exploring the impressive area, we were amazed by the 40m overhang and the amount of possible climbs in front of us. We even had a lovely little whale swim directly under our climb popping its head up to see what we were up to. Many, many routes were set up and the team went about solving the various climbing move puzzles the cliff presented. By the end of the day there were many sore bodies and blistered hands as proof of an excellent climbing day. As we walked back to the bus the dark clouds began to creep in and the winds picked up.
By day three the weather had deteriorated, with a cold front covering most of the south with large amounts of rain. With high swells and slippery rocks it was unsafe to continue climbing so to make the most of the day the crew hopped on the bus and went for a tour of unique climbing spots in the Hobart area. It was insightful for all exposing us to spots we had never seen before.
Overall a productive week, a big thanks to Richard, Renee and Jessie for researching and setting up some fantastic climbs for the group.
Last week the Certificate III in Tour Guiding students travelled to the Tasman Peninsula for 3 days to study Tasmania’s internationally renowned Convict Heritage.
We visited sites including Eaglehawk Neck, the Convict Coalmines near Saltwater River and of course, the Port Arthur Historic Site itself.
On the final day, the group were able to step into the shoes (or leg irons?) of a “Port Arthur Guide” and hone their interpretive guiding skills. Working in pairs, students studied a particular aspect of convict life, constructed a half-hour tour and presented it to their peers.
Topics included ‘Convict Industries’ and ‘Punishment at Port Arthur’.