Walking on Wineglass Bay | Michael Hall
We chat with guide Michael Hall, to find out what it is about guiding that he loves so much!
Can you tell us a bit about yourself, your qualifications, and experience?
I grew up in Tasmania and always had a love for the outdoors and the beautiful places we have here in Tasmania. I could always be found out in the bush fishing or exploring and trying to find new places I hadn’t seen. After leaving school I joined the Army which gave me some great outdoor skills and funnily enough allowed me to see some amazing land scapes both in Australia and overseas. After leaving the Army I spent around eight years in the mining industry as an exploration driller then latter as a drilling supervisor which was the catalyst for me finding a career in guiding, I was no longer satisfied with a job that paid the bills and even more so I didn’t see this role as sustainable in any way, both economically and environmentally so I decided to make a change. I did not know what I was going to do when I left my mining career behind but I knew I wanted to do something I was passionate about.
What inspired you to start guiding?
After travelling around for a while and enjoying getting back out in the wilderness of Tassie I ran in to an old friend I hadn’t seen since high school. As we sipped on a cup of coffee I noticed a book on her table, it was a photo book she had made, with all these amazing pictures of her in all these beautiful places. I made a comment saying how lucky she was to have holidayed in so many amazing areas. That’s when things changed for me in an instant, she looked at me and said that was work! She had been guiding for the past ten years. In that moment I had a million questions running through my head but the end result was in February 2015, I completed a year of guide training with TasTafe, which gave me a certificate IV in adventure guiding as well as a certificate III in outdoor recreation. I have never been happier at work than I have been since I started showing people the special places we have here in Tassie.
Do you remember the first time you trekked in Tasmania? Has anything changed?
When I was younger I had some favourite places to go fishing and years later when I returned they had been logged right up to the river banks and were no longer recognisable to me. I love that I can show travellers how special Tasmania is and I hope that this will educate them and spread the word that we need to protect these special areas for future generations. Growing up in Tasmania I have seen many changes that have occurred and it gives me great pleasure to say that I think in the whole its been very much in the right direction with the protection of so much of our beautiful wilderness and the removal of many unsustainable practices.
Do you have a favorite place that you like to trek to?
If I had to pick one favourite place to hike it would probably be the Overland Track because it has so much variety as it weaves its way in and out of the alpine areas, through rain forest and across button grass plains. It’s really hard to choose a favourite place to hike in Tasmania though because I still keep finding places I didn’t know about that amaze me, Tasmania has the ability to constantly keep revealing new surprises.
How does the trekking experience differ in Tasmania from Australia?
Trekking in Tasmania is like trekking in no other place in Australia; the amount of endemic flora we have in the alpine regions here makes it a place you can not find anywhere else in the country, or the world. The geology is very different to the mainland and we have some very special animals you can’t find anywhere else, like the Tasmanian Devil. Tasmania is small in comparison to the mainland of Australia, but it offers so much from the alpine regions of the central highlands, to the white beaches and blue water on the east coast and then the rugged coast on the west. I don’t think anywhere else has so many different landscapes in such close proximity of each other.
What do you consider to be the most amazing sights around Tasmania?
The most amazing sights I have seen are places like the summit of Mt Ossa the highest peak in Tasmania, with mountain views to the horizon. The top of Mt Amos and Mt Freycinet on the east coast looking over the most beautiful beaches in Tasmania and the dolerite sea cliffs of the Tasman Peninsula that form part of the Three Capes Track.
What is the best piece of advice you can give to someone who is planning on doing a trek in Tasmania?
The best advice I can give someone who wants to visit Tasmania is not to be overwhelmed by how many places there are to visit as you can always come back ! And don’t forget your warm clothes even in summer.