After completing an outdoor recreation course in the Blue Mountains, Adam has been working in seasonal jobs all over Australia. From the slopes to the waves, he guides and instructs in all types of roles.
For the last few summers, Adam has been working as manager and surf instructor at Surf Camp Australia’s south coast camp. Each week around 90 people of all ages and nationalities take a chance on the waves and stay onsite to swap surf stories. Instructors are out in the water for support and encouragement, and the odd push of the board as the punters try their luck for a wave.
I supervise staff, order food and other supplies, and keep an eye on lessons so that they run safely and on time. On the more interesting side of it, I often run lessons with the campers – up to around 90 people a week. We get people from over the world, as well as Australians. Lessons start on the sand, where we show them the moves and what to do when they get in the water. After that, the fun begins!
I’m doing what I love – surfing and being at the beach. I get to meet lots of cool people and everyone’s happy – they pay to be there, and they’re just happy to be on the beach, surfing in Australia. It’s a great lifestyle – more of a lifestyle than a job, really.
There’s so many – everything here is always such good fun that it’s hard to find a standout moment. I guess the best thing is when someone who doesn’t think they will be able to surf, whether because of their physical size or strength, actually stands up on a wave. One guy did that and cried because he was so happy.
There was another guy who was so big that we didn’t have a board big enough for him to surf on. We got two boards and tied them together on top of each other to get some more buoyancy, and he actually caught a few breaks. That was a pretty good moment – for him and everyone else.
The surfing season here runs from September to May, so there’s quite a bit of time between that to work elsewhere. Last season I went to the snowfields to work for the winter, and the season before that I worked in a backpacker hostel. Next winter season I think I might go travelling overseas.
Just do a search on the Internet for the sort of thing you want to do, and then find the businesses operating in that area. You can usually find vacancies on their website, or approach them directly. There’s also a few websites that list outdoor recreation jobs.
There’s heaps to do – just about anything that involves guiding or instructing. You can take groups hiking, teach skiing or snowboarding, lead rafting groups, or work in a more general role at an adventure camp – doing ropes courses, rock climbing and things like that. There are also quite a few opportunities overseas. For many roles you need a guiding or outdoor education qualification, but others you don’t.