Training

Sea Kayaking

Over the past month our Certificate IV Adventure Guiding students have been focusing on their Sea Kayaking skills and spending time on the water.  The students spent time learning the basic skills of sea kayaking from the experienced Guides from Roaring 40’s Kayaking.  The lessons included learning skills such as forward and back paddle and quickly moving to more technical skills such as the draw stroke and self rescues.  The students also learnt the importance of how to guide and manage groups on the water in a range of conditions.

The students were able to experience some beautiful surrounding areas of Hobart including the Iron Pot Lighthouse and Cape Hauy on the Tasman Peninsula.  They also spent a wet and windy week on the water in the mouth of the Huon River.  It was their first overnight expedition paddling from Franklin to Dover over a four-day period.  Highlights of the week included watching sea eagles land in lofty nests, seals pose on sunny rocks, and chasing rainbows through sun showers.  It was also great to learn about marine mammals from Emma’s interpretation.

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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.

 

Bay of Fires Bushwalk

The second week of June saw the last trip for the Certificate III in Guiding students and our first overnight hiking trip.  We left Hobart bright and early on Tuesday morning in two mini-buses for the long trip up to Ansons Bay and the Bay of Fires area.

The groups of ten students each, called ‘Larapuna‘ and ‘Wukalina‘ were led by Cody McCracken and Tom Keith respectively, who are alumni from our sister program – the Certificate IV in Outdoor Recreation course eight years ago and now work for Tasmanian Walking Co.

The new teachers posed a refreshing change in style, with all the students gaining a valuable personal connection with the Bay of Fires region and learning the realities of adventure guiding.  We walked between Stumpys Bay to Ansons Bay via Deep Creek along the Bay of Fires coastline, with the two groups walking in opposite directions.  This trip was ran in a similar fashion as the commercial trip ‘Bay of Fires Lodge’ 4-day walk and was a great learning experience for all.  The dinner provided by the caterers in each group were spectacular, which was a great achievement for the first groups cook entirely on the shellite MSR stoves rather than gas camp stoves.

Hearing the experienced interpretation of the local landscape, continuously engaged and awed students.  Interestingly, we learnt how the beaches became different over the winter months due to increased southerly storm systems, piling up metres of soft sand at the northern end of some of the beaches making for difficult walking.  We also learnt about the Bay of Fires lichen; composition of sand; ocean currents; rocks and Aboriginal History among many others.  The communication skills presented in these interpretations by our teachers provided great examples of how dense information can be communicated simply and concisely – a goal we can all work towards.

Eddystone Point Light House was also a special experience for everyone, learning the history, understanding the granite and seeing Southern Right whales offshore!  Both groups also got the chance to go swimming near several dolphins playing in the surf, which was spectacular.

On the final day, the ‘Larapuna’ group had a wonderful Sun Salutation yoga and meditation session overlooking the ocean at sunrise, ran by our student leader for the day.  After a relaxed morning packing up, we met up with the other group and headed back towards Hobart.  After well-deserved pies for lunch at the Bicheno Bakery, we got back to Hobart in the late afternoon.

As the last trip for the Certificate III in Guiding program and our first overnight walk, we are all keen and ready for Certificate IV in Guiding and the many fantastic winter walks starting in July!

Introduction – Flat Water Kayaking

Several weeks ago, the students from the Certificate IV in Outdoor Recreation program conducted their three-day introduction into flat water kayaking on the beautiful Huon River.

Students spent three days learning the basic fundamentals of kayaking, rescue techniques, different types of strokes, operating a kayak safely, loading and unloading and setting up for safe kayak adventures.  The Autumn weather turned it on for the first two days with no rain or clouds in sight, however the third day was a little less favourable!

The highlight was the third day where students paddled for approximately four hours.  The day allowed students to consolidate what they had learnt over the first two days and culminated with some white water induction.

The students had a blast and are hungry for more white water action and will get plenty more opportunities as the course rolls forward over the next six months.

Graduate Profile : Dave Lane

Today we are delighted to feature Dave Lane as our Graduate Profile.  Dave was recently awarded the Tasmanian Hospitality Association (THA) Drysdale (Tourism Hospitality and Cookery) Award at the TasTAFE Student Excellence Awards.

Where are you currently working?  I am currently working with the team at The Bruny Island Long Weekend.

What do you love most about your job?  Working in the outdoors, the variety and challenges from different guests, having a swim after a day’s hiking, taking people through the rainforest on Bruny and waking up to the sounds of the birds in the forest.

What training did you undertake with TasTAFE?  Certificate III in Guiding in second semester 2016.

What did you value about your training at TasTAFE?  The way the course brought together such a diverse group of people, the very practical approach with plenty of field work, the new areas I discovered that I was interested in and the depth of knowledge and insight that was shared with us.

How has your training helped you with your Guiding career?  The course gave me a great framework to use, it helped to broaden my knowledge and prepared me to work confidently as a professional guide.

What is your most memorable moment you have experienced on a trip?  Being on East Cloudy Head in the bright sunshine, admiring the South Bruny cliffs and beaches below and then having a cold front pass underneath us and transform the area into a cool, misty and mysterious mountain.

If you could invite anyone on a trip, who would it be?  I would have liked to have been able to take my Dad, who loved the bush and first introduced me to bushwalking all those years ago.

If you could give one piece of advice for someone contemplating a career in the outdoors, what would it be?  Give it a go, put all your energy into it, learn from those around you and be open to the new experiences and opportunities that come along.

RTO Code: 60142

Lost Falls

The Certificate III Outdoor Recreation group set off on the first bushwalk for the year to Lost falls in the North East of Tasmania.

With a wonderful high pressure system sitting over Tasmania the group had lunch and photos at the Lost Falls Lookout.  After providing the students with a thorough bushwalk safety briefing we began our hike, in a warm 22 °C, sunny skies with a slight breeze.

This bushwalk was an evaluation bushwalk for all students and Course Coordinator, Renee Harrington and Coordinator of the Certificate IV in Outdoor Recreation, Nate Welch soon took the group off track, to really test their bushwalking abilities and equipment.

Using maps of the area, a pre-planned route and compasses, we arrived at the highpoint of Crossing Hill, which we had a stunning view of the abundant White Peppermint Eucalyptus, (Eucalypts Pulchella) the steep Sclerophyll valleys, and in the distance the calm, blue waters of Oyster Bay and the Freycinet Peninsula.

Following the ridge line towards the Wye River and introducing the students to the unit ‘Navigating in Controlled Environments‘ we arrived at our destination with an opened and cleared campsite and close to the water, which was just perfect our needs.

The aim of this trip was not only to evaluate the students on their bushwalk abilities, but to also make a connection with all group members, the environment and for Renee and Nate to emulate the standards in which TasTAFE requires their students to conduct themselves on their journey as aspiring Outdoor Recreation professionals.

Leven River Trip

With the Certificate IV Outdoor Recreation course coming to an end, the white-water paddlers recently embarked on a week of white-water kayaking, and instructing students on the Leven River.  It was a new stretch of water for the group and had some fun rapids and features to play on (contend with!), at the level it was flowing.  After the first reconnaissance mission down the river, we all retired with the comfort of Paton Park Scout Camp facilities for the night.

The following day, we enjoyed another run down the river, which was flowing at a slightly lower level, and relished the opportunity to play on some waves and plough through a hole, before an afternoon of instruction that we were to provide to some of the outdoor education students from Don College.  It was decided that we should take the students to the mouth of the Forth River, where some flatter water could be utilised, with the possibility of surfing some waves at the end of the day, if the students were up to it.  Despite the broad range of abilities in the group of learners, all students ended up surfing waves and having an enjoyable experience together.

Given the level of the Leven River the following day, we decided to take the next group of Don College students there and provide instruction that would allow a short river trip to be run.  Again, the Don College students rose to the challenge and were able to negotiate some rapids and have a safe and enjoyable white-water experience.

As the following day was our last opportunity as a group to practice our paddling before our formal assessment, we spent the entire day being drilled by ‘Sergeant’ Nate Welch, who is largely responsible for the fantastic development of the group over the duration of the course.  There was more than one occasion where I stopped to think about how far we have all come with our white-water kayaking skills, ability to pass on those skills in an effective and empathetic manner and to safely facilitate a river trip with students who are quite new to kayaking.

Beyond the professional development that has occurred within the group, there has been a strong social connection between our student group and our leader, Nate Welch, which was clearly evident on the late-night drive back to Hobart.  I would like to thank all involved for making the trip such an enjoyable success!