TasTAFE Training

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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White Water Introduction

Two weeks ago the Certificate III in Outdoor Recreation students participated in an introduction to White Water Rafting.

The students spent two consecutive days on the Lower Derwent River starting from Plenty Bridge to Hayes.  With the intention of introducing students to the units: Guide a Raft on Moving Water and Demonstrate Self-Rescue Skills in Whitewater, the group participated in a variety of activities.

As leaders of the activity, Millie Legge and Alex Coutts were able to demonstrate awareness and understanding of the following units: Planning Recreational Activities, Guiding Outdoor Recreation Sessions, Facilitating Groups, Providing Customer Service and Following Occupational Health and Safety Procedures.

The whole group were exposed to rafting equipment/clothing and briefings; rafting safety; rafting procedures; river signals, reading river water features; personal orientation on a river and floating positions.

The students were also instructed in paddle strokes including forward and back paddle, forward and back sweep, draw stroke, rudder and J-stroke techniques.  The students also participated in a flipping a raft, re-righting the raft and defensive and aggressive swimming in white water.

Navigation Skills

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Two weeks ago, a group of nine Certificate III in Outdoor Recreation students took part in a navigation skills demonstration and consolidation day at the nearby Risdon Brook Reserve.  The trip followed a navigation exercise day up in the wilderness between The Springs and summit of kunanyi.

Whilst some students were able to accomplish their navigation assessments, others voiced, with pride, a more thorough understanding of the navigation skills they’ve been learning.

The weather and conditions were pleasant and Risdon Brook provided the perfect durable environment to practice reading the lay of the land and compass work whilst remaining safe and leaving little impact.

Special thanks to Nate Welch and Renee Harrington for acting as great role models as professional outdoor leaders, and their continued patience and enthusiasm for teaching the TasTAFE students the fine skill of wandering around the bush and still knowing where you are.

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