Visitor Centre Volunteer Program At Cradle Mountain
The Cradle Mountain Visitors Centre has welcomed Wildcare volunteers this summer. Volunteers are an important part of the Parks & Wildlife visitor services team with the contribution enabling to extend the service and activities on offer. While the program is still running (to February), volunteers have assisted in delivering a visitor experience that is educational, memorable and enjoyable.
Below are recounts from four of the volunteers – Julie Gale, Robin Sullivan and Mick & Helen Statham from their stays at Cradle Mountain.
” What a lovely time I had with the staff, workers and bus drivers at Cradle while doing a stint of Meet & Greet at the Visitors Centre, they all made me feel welcomed and appreciated. Being able to help so many people and to have them come back and thank me for the advice I had given them was great.
Being able to stay at Mount Kate house was such a privilege too, to wake up with a view of Cradle Mountain through the window. I had a great time walking to work on the boardwalk or waiting till later and walking around Dove lake. The choices are endless and I recommend the opportunity to anyone, I really enjoyed it” -Julie Gale
“We enjoyed our time volunteering at the Visitor Centre both straight after Christmas and later in January. We were amazed by the number and varied backgrounds of the visitors and very impressed by the friendliness and support of all the Parks staff shared with us and visitors. Both staff and visitors were appreciative of our help. It was particularly nice when some visitors made a point of coming back into the Visitors Centre to thank us for suggesting a walk they enjoyed, or to let us know they saw 20 wombats on the boardwalk after we suggested they drive in to Ronny Creek in the evening or even to say they got a photo of a pink robin in the patch of forest we suggested.” – Mick and Helen Statham
” We were well prepared for our arrival at the Visitors Centre (VC) as we had received a comprehensive induction booklet prior and on arrival were introduced to most of the staff who made us feel welcome to use the staff-room but as it happened, we used the outside tables for the fresh air and chatted to more visitors out there.
Our main role was to be another pair of hands and voices for when people arrived at the VC. The week before our arrival had seen large numbers of visitors arrive at the park. We had maps to give out and also bus tickets to those who already had parks passes. We were able to use the map to spend time chatting to people regarding their options for the day. We both really enjoyed this mostly lighthearted interaction as we were not constrained by a queue and time was not an issue for us. We got some good feedback from the people we had talked to in the VC or on the tracks when they returned later that day.
Some of the humorous and interesting interactions:
- Family with 4 children, two in backpacks, on a rainy day, all purchasing wet weather gear. The baby became a bit frazzled.. my job was to find and insert the lost dummy, replace beanie and all was quiet and happy again.
- A couple in shorts on a rainy cold day, with trousers in the car but worried about getting wet. Did I have any plastic bags to put over his joggers? I obliged by rummaging through the bin in the merchandise storeroom and coming up with something suitable. I explained bushwalkers sometimes put the plastic between the sock and shoe so off he went, a very happy customer. Wife was most amused!
- A mainland couple who had walked the Overland track 37 years ago, came back to see Dove lake and the mountain as when they walked the track the weather was so bad they did not get a view. Unfortunately it was raining again with the mountain under cloud. I was able to give them options for the morning (short walks) giving time for the weather to improve so they could see the view they had traveled so far to see. They really enjoyed reminiscing with me and I equally loved hearing their stories.” – Robin Sullivan
Parks and Wildlife staff are planning towards holding another Visitors Centre Volunteer Program next summer, 2019/2020 (Stay Tuned!) and would like to thank the volunteers for their enthusiasm, knowledge and skills that have been highly valued.
Photo contributions: Julie Gale, Robin Sullivan and Mick & Helen Statham
- Jenna Huisman- Regional Volunteer Coordinator