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

Graduate Profile : Hannah Ling

Where are you currently working?  The Sea Kayak Company in the Abel Tasman National Park, and Awarua Guides in Fiordland, New ZealandBut actually right now, I’m sea kayaking the west coast of Scotland with my partner and a great friend!!  Both of whom have done the TasTAFE Adventure Courses too!

What do you love most about your job?  Helping people reconnect with and appreciate the natural world around us, and seeing or at least knowing the positive flow on effects they experience from such interactions.  Also, I just love fresh air – I can’t spend too long in four-walled surroundings!

What training did you undertake with TasTAFE?  Certificate III  & Certificate IV in Adventure Guiding  in 2010 and Certificate IV in Outdoor Recreation in 2012.

What did you value about your training at TasTAFE?  Having the privilege to be taught and trained by the most experienced and passionate people in their fields!  Not to mention the fellow classmate legends, where amazing lifetime friendships were formed.

How has your training helped you with your Guiding career?  It really gave me a solid knowledge and experience base to build on and opened numerous doors of possibilities both locally and overseas!  Although, from my experiences and observations elsewhere, there really is no place like home!  For an enjoyable, safe and respectful workplace, where the company takes pride in caring for our greatest asset – the natural environment … Tasmanian guiding is where it’s at!

What is your most memorable moment you have experienced on a trip?  Too many to name!  But sharing the love of water with people and seeing them embrace our refreshing Tasmanian coastlines, rivers and lakes for the first time is always a favourite!  The joy that is brought to them and also to myself, is very satisfying.

If you could invite anyone on a trip, who would it be?  Anyone needing a breath of fresh air, to re-energise, redirect and/or excite them about life and the possibilities out there!

If you could give one piece of advice for someone contemplating a career in the outdoors, what would it be?  Say YES! Start living the dream!

 RTO Code: 60142

Introduction to Abseiling

For us allured to the vertical life, the first trip away for the students from the Certificate IV in Outdoor Recreation was an intense, information filled week spent at Freycinet National park.

The training was the first part of our BAI (Basic Abseil Instructor) and consisted of drilling into us the concepts of rigging bomb proof anchors.  Utilising natural features such as monolithic boulders and well girthed trees, the training oversaw and guided us all so that by the end of the week our final products were at an industry standard that even Steve Bannon wouldn’t hesitate to advise Trump to rap off them.

Apart from blue bird days, still calm waters, summer temperatures, great company and getting our vertical fix we were also blessed with the presence of Humpback Whales who came within 50m of the cliffs we were rigging.

Our instructors from the TCIA (Tasmanian Climbing Instructors Association), Stu Scott and Richard ‘Youdy’ Youd provided our group with enough information so that we all left feeling competent and confident.  It was truly a fantastic week.


Guiding Dominique Crenn

On Monday, our Guiding team-member, Larni Davies along with International Guiding student – Francesco Aimassi and Brand Tasmania were fortunate to host Dominique Crenn – the worlds Best Female Chef for 2016, as part of the Great Chef Series.  The group spent the day on a Pennicott Wilderness Journeys’ Seafood Seduction Tour.

Between the months of March to August, TasTAFE Drysdale presents the ‘Great Chefs Series’ in Launceston and Hobart.  The Great Chefs Series is an opportunity for some of the most influential culinary minds on the planet to mentor, coach and collaborate with the developing talent within the Tasmanian hospitality industry and TasTAFE Drysdale using Tasmanian produce.

Dominique Crenn, a two Michelin star chef at Atelier Crenn in San Francisco’s Cow Hollow district (and two-time Michelin star chef at Luce in 2009 and 2010) focuses on cuisine as a craft and the community as an inspiration. “Atelier” can be defined as a workshop or studio, especially for an artist or designer, and this concept drives Chef Crenn’s modern vision for fine-French cuisine, where artistry is at the forefront.

The full-day cruise began in Hobart where the group were treated to an unforgettable day of indulgence and amazing food.  Dominique and her Chef Felix, savored the delicious seafood feast served up by Robert Pennicott himself, accompanied by gourmet local produce.

The tour ventured into the sheltered waters of the D’Entrecasteaux Channel to enjoy some freshly shucked Oysters and Sea Urchin.  In the afternoon we continued around the North Eastern tip of Bruny Island where Dominique and Felix were able to enjoy more Tasmanian fare, including Southern Rock Lobster, freshly caught Wild Abalone and more local produce.

It was a once in a lifetime opportunity for Francesco – a Guiding student who has performed very well in his course this year, to experience a successful Tourism operation, engaging guiding skills … and to spend the day with a World Class Chef!

Maria Island


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.


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