Innovation Fund Grant for King River Rafting Taster Day

The West Coast Council arranged a ‘Taster Day’ between the Mountain Heights School and King River Rafting. The ‘Taster Day’ was targeted at local senior high school students to expose them to career pathways in Adventure Guiding and tourism.

The aim of this day being to show students that with their local knowledge, they can live, work, and share their passion for the West Coast with visitors. Benefits included; the possibility of future careers in the tourism sector, an experience of being on the water, to learn about the industry, and experience adventure tourism that is right on their doorstep.

Eighteen students and teacher Jessie Smith from Mountain Heights met with the King River Rafting crew at the Queenstown Wilderness Railway at 8 am on Friday morning. The students from Grades 9, 10, 11, and 12 had an exciting day on the water learning to paddle rafts.

Council provided King River Rafting with an Innovation Grant to support the program. It will be looked upon as a fantastic opportunity for those all involved. It is a great experience to become immersed in local history and enjoy the experience of a rugged West Coast gorge lined with Huon Pine and ancient rain forest. This application for an Innovation Grant was supported by The West Coast Council Education and Training Committee, Destination West Coast and the Principal from Mountain Heights High School.

“Everybody enjoyed the day and hopefully some of the students will consider a career in tourism. Destination West Coast members can encourage students along this path through work experience, mentoring, or casual employment. For students wishing to stay on the West Coast, The Zeehan Study Hub can facilitate a range of training opportunities. A big thanks to the West Coast Council for making this possible. We see this initiative as one in a series to guide the regions’ youth into new areas of opportunity.” – Paul Steane (King River Rafting)

“The rapids were both fun and scary with two students falling out! On the flatwater section, students had the chance to replace the guide and steer the boat by themselves. Students really enjoyed the scenery and listening to Paul talk about the history of our surroundings. They also found it interesting to learn about opportunities to work in the outdoors and tourism industry. One student said it was the best thing he has ever done at school! Mountain Heights School looks forward to working with King River Rafting in the future to provide work experience opportunities to students” – Jessie Smith (Outdoor Education Teacher, Mountain Heights School)


Interview opportunities: David Midson, General Manager West Coast Council

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