Tag: TasTAFE

Rafting – The Franklin River

I’m taking a little trip down memory lane, as it is exactly 10 years ago to the day (Hobart Show Day) that I embarked on a 9 day trip down the famous Franklin River.

It was 2006 and I was fortunate to have the opportunity to raft the river with my work at TasTAFE (or Drysdale Institute back then).  This was the last trip for the Certificate IV in Outdoor Recreation students for the year and there was a spare seat!  As an added bonus, I got to experience this majestic place with my teaching colleague’s – Marcus Morse, Tanky (Shaun Clement) and his wife Anna Fealy.  All very experienced guides who had spent countless commercial trips on ‘The Ditch‘!

I have had many bushwalking adventures in the Tasmanian wilderness over the years, but after experiencing this rafting trip, I gained a new found love and appreciation for our wild places in Tasmania.

The below quote from commercial operator – World Expeditions, sums this trip up beautifully:

There are few great frontiers left in the world – the Franklin is one of them. Free of pasture and any human habitation, it is a veritable feast for the intrepid explorer. Rafting down this superb river is the only way to truly appreciate its wild beauty. It is acknowledged as one of the most spectacular and challenging river trips around, attracting adventurers from all over the world. The opportunity of an expedition-style trip, rather than merely “thrills and spills” makes this the ultimate wilderness experience. At times on the trip, like all great expeditions, there will be times when patience is required. However, you will be one of the privileged few to have experienced this relatively untouched wilderness area – one of Australia’s most scenic and prized destinations.

I was so inspired by this majestic place, I even wrote a poem whilst on the river:

The Journey

An impending adventure

Surrounded by mystique and intrigue

A true wildness

A fight to save

A beauty beyond words

Forest like no other

Fluid, churning, meandering.

Rapids with descriptive names such as The Corkscrew, The Churn and Thunderush

Conjuring up anticipation and in some cases – fear.

Relaxing, drifting rafts

Bright red, contrasting with forest green

Camaraderie and team work

Loading, unloading

Lining and portaging.

Sleeping under snowy tarps,

Stars and a silver moon.

This journey down the mighty Franklin

Evoking emotions, challenges and wonder.

Rationed tea bags

Sandy bivvy pads

Cameras clicking

Smiles widening.

This journey of ours … down the mighty Franklin!

I will get back down there again one day – hopefully before another ten years pass!  Xx

Franlin River Franlin River Franlin River Franlin River Franlin River Franlin River Franlin River

Anna Fealy


Tasmanian Guide Agency

TGASometimes in life opportunities present themselves that you have to embrace … and recently I took a leap of faith and launched the Tasmanian Guide Agency with two of my industry colleagues.

During my role with Tourism Tasmania, it became evident that many Inbound Tour Operators struggled to find and secure professional Tour Guides for their guests whilst in Tasmania.  I was also offered additional guiding jobs but due to my existing demands, I was never able to assist.

I pondered the idea for 6 months or so and in May I casually mentioned it to my trusted colleague Alex, where we work in the Adventure Tour Guiding team at TasTAFE.  We share an office and have many conversations about the industry, tour guiding and of course our hopes and dreams.  This was an idea that I didn’t want to go alone and Alex expressed interest.

Unbeknownst to me, his best buddy – Rob Knight, rang Alex two days later with excitement in his voice!  Rob had a business idea that he wanted to chat with Alex about and arranged a catch up on the weekend.  It turns out that Rob also came to Alex with exactly the same idea – as he too works for Tourism Tasmania and had also heard of the challenges of securing professional guides on a freelance basis in the State.  The worlds had aligned!

Early the next week we all met up and talked about the concept further.  It has been a flurry of business meetings, development of a website, Facebook page, interviews and applying for all our necessary licenses, before we truly ‘go to market’.  We are holding on for the ride!

Today is a momentous day as we had our first ‘official trip’ with a mother and daughter travelling from New York and San Francisco in search of our unique fauna in Tasmania.  They are in good hands with our experienced guide who has a passion for nature, wildlife and most importantly … sharing that with visitors from far off shores.

We look forward to evolving and learning on this new found journey!



Sneaky Peek : Settlement Secrets

Settlement SecretsNow that I am back at work again, I am teaching a new group of Certificate III Tourism Guiding students and I took them on a fabulous tour in Hobart last week called Settlement Secrets.

Thanks to our tour guide – Colin Dean, who provided a perfect mix of interesting characters, intriguing stories, audience participation and some good old-fashioned humour.  I would highly recommend you jump on this tour as you will learn so much about Hobart in an entertaining way, plus have special access to those ‘out of the way’ places in the museum.  Thanks Colin!

Nestled in the heart of the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery are the earliest buildings that still exist following first European settlement of Hobart, 1804. “Settlement Secrets” is a theatrical journey amongst these buildings and more.

Step back in time with an invitation to meet with the Lt Governor, Sir John Eardley-Wilmot, in his private secretary’s cottage.

Stroll through the basement of the Bond Store and learn the secrets of early settlement from an escaped convict turned bushranger who….”shouldn’t really be here”!

Secrets and Cover-ups: The magnificent new Custom House….is it really what it seems?

Meet the man who built it and discover its hidden secrets. Pass through the front door beneath the statues that herald Federation and stand in the inner courtyard that spans the decades between 1824 and 1901.

History and Entertainment intertwined: “Settlement Secrets” is the best way to explore these amazing buildings and to hear the stories about those who forged Hobart’s heritage from convict beginnings in 1804 to Federation, 1901. The theatrical style in which this journey is presented brings the site to life in an entertaining and informative way.

Settlement Secrets

Settlement Secrets

Settlement Secrets

Settlement Secrets

Settlement Secrets

Settlement Secrets

Settlement Secrets

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