The Maria Island Walk

Maria Island

Two weeks ago, our Adventure Guiding students departed Drysdale Campus and drove up the Tasman Highway towards Triabunna, where we would catch the new and refurbished ‘Encounter Maria‘ ferry to Maria Island.

It was wonderful to have ex-student Daniel Fisher, who now works as a Guide for The Maria Island Walk join us on this trip, providing beneficial information regarding the industry and other Tasmanian knowledge.

Lucky enough for Dan, he was able to relive some of his own Guide training memories by  listening to the student Leaders’ bus commentaries on the way up – which provided an interesting insight into the surrounding area.

On the ferry, we were lucky to admire plenty of sea birds and after we arrived on the Island, we set up camp and got underway with the day’s activities!

Splitting into two separate groups – Nicholas Baudin and Bara-Ourou, we parted ways with one group heading on a half day walk up Bishop and Clerk, whilst the other group enjoyed a circuit walk to the Painted Cliffs and Oust House via The Maria Island Walk accommodation.

Returning to the campsite, it wasn’t long until our student Caterers dished up mouth-watering meals that were soon devoured.

The next morning, we enjoyed some ice breakers which was a nice way to start the day.  We split into small groups and practiced our Interpretive tours and presenting our information to our fellow students.  We received feedback and were then given a chance to amend the tours.  Everyone found this constructive feedback really helped us improve our tours the second time we delivered them.

After dinner we went for a night walk to see if we could find a Tasmanian Devil.  We saw a lot of different animals but no Devils – but it was a great way to finish the day.

For our last day, we left camp as a whole group and walked to the Fossil Cliffs where Bruce and Daniel gave us a real insight into the geological events that happened to create the Fossil Cliffs.  We then split into our two groups again, mimicking the first day’s events in reverse with Bara-Ourou summiting Bishop and Clerk and the Nicholas Baudin group completing the circuit walk with Dan.

Returning back to camp, the Certificate III in Guiding students were quick to pack up before departing Maria Island to get stuck into their weekend ahead!


Graduate Profile : Sara Freeland

Where are you currently working?  The Maria Island Walk and The Freycinet Experience Walk.

What do you love most about your job?  Connecting people to the land!  It’s the history of a place, the links between flora and fauna, the subtle changes in vegetation; all these little elements add up to make a place really special and the best thing about being a Guide is sharing this knowledge with people and connecting them to the place they are in.

What training did you undertake with TasTAFE?  Certificate III  and Certificate IV in Adventure Guiding  in 2016.

What did you value about your training at TasTAFE?  The knowledge!  My training really was one of the best years of my life and it completely opened up my eyes to the world around me.  From the training I have developed a real passion for the environment and I know my life will now take a completely new course because of my year at TasTAFE.

How has your training helped you with your Guiding career?  Again, the knowledge.  As I said before, understanding a place really brings it to life and I couldn’t do that without the amazing learning I received at TasTAFE.

What is your most memorable moment you have experienced on a trip?  Getting guests to the summit of Bishop and Clarke. It’s a stereotypical moment, but people underestimate their abilities and it’s always amazing coaching people to the top.  It’s a really rewarding part of the job, to see people’s faces on the summit and the pride they have for themselves.

If you could invite anyone on a trip, who would it be?  A Tasmanian Aboriginal Elder from before the arrival of the British.  It would be an incredible insight into the traditional customs of the Tasmanian Aboriginals.  How amazing would it be to learn from an elder the stories of the people and to develop a better understanding of the intricate connection they had to the land.

If you could give one piece of advice for someone contemplating a career in the outdoors, what would it be?  Stay passionate!  The guiding course can give anyone an amazing foundation of knowledge, but those that keep learning and continue to question what’s around them are the best guides.

 RTO Code: 60142

Graduate Profile : Holly Schorta

Where are you currently working?  I am currently working in Tasmania for the The Maria Island Walk and the Bay of Fires Lodge Walk.

What do you love most about your job?  There are so many things to love about the job; but if I had to think of a couple, it would be the buzz of being able to share my knowledge and love for Tasmania with people from across Australia and the world.  Also having the opportunity to facilitate and encourage people to get out of their comfort zone, is a great privilege.

What training did you undertake with TasTAFE?  I completed my Certificate III and IV in Guiding in 2016.

What did you value about your training at TasTAFE?  The teachers and students alone made the whole course worthwhile.  It’s so lovely to have teachers who show such passion and love for what they are teaching, who are willing to share their first-hand experiences of the job.  I also can’t forget to mention the amazing peers that I was surrounded by for the year – friends that I will treasure for a long time.

How has your training helped you with your Guiding career?  I felt well prepared going into the industry, knowing what to expect (the people, the cooking, the cleaning, the interpretation).

On my first ever guided trip, although I was extremely nervous about the new experience, I was able to look back on all of the teachings that TasTAFE provided.  It also helped my confidence in being able to talk to people who I had never met before.

What is your most memorable moment you have experienced on a trip?  There are far too many memorable moments to name just one but the biggest highlight for me is seeing people’s faces when they reach the summit of mountains, which makes the climb worth it!  I also love seeing people faces when they go for a swim as they don’t expect the water to be so ‘fresh’.

If you could invite anyone on a trip, who would it be?  My mum, because she’s a superstar and so she can also see first-hand what I do for a job.

If you could give one piece of advice for someone contemplating a career in the outdoors, what would it be?  I believe that guiding is all about how you enrich someone’s experience in a particular environment.

“I’ve learnt that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel”  Maya Angelou

This quote reminds me that I have the ability to shape and enrich how people feel about the location that I am sharing with them.  Giving information about the flora/fauna, geology, human history and so on can enhance a persons connection through knowledge.  But how you make them feel and care about a place is the ultimate goal.  People can see without words, how you as a Guide feel about a location.  This is why a career in guiding is such a rewarding job, because of the lasting impression you have on the people you take on tour.

RTO Code: 60142