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Schouten Island caretakers wanted


The Parks and Wildlife Service is once again offering keen volunteers the opportunity to play host on their very own remote island this summer.

PWS ranger Fiona Everts said the Schouten Island Volunteer Campground Host program will run 14 day ‘tours of duty’ for pairs of volunteers between December 2010 and May 2011.

Access to Schouten Island, part of Freycinet National Park, is by a 30-minute boat trip from the township of Coles Bay on Tasmania’s East Coast. The island is approximately 6 kilometres by 7 kilometres and is bounded by a picturesque coastline of small sandy beaches and rocky granite bays. It is a popular stopover for fishermen and sea kayakers and many others who wish to explore its unique natural and historical features.

Campground hosts are provided with transport to and from the island and a base camp which includes tent accommodation and cooking facilities. A mobile phone is provided for a daily check-in with the ranger at Freycinet National Park.

Ms Everts said the main role of the campground host is to meet and greet visitors to the island and promote “Leave No Trace” principles.

“These are a simple set of guidelines which provide a way to enjoy our parks, now and in the long term. Each principle is aimed at minimising our impact on the natural world,” Ms Everts said.

“Campground hosts provide a very valuable service to visitors answering an amazing range of questions from identifying different plants and animals, to where the nearest toilet can be found.”

Other duties include recording visitor statistics, locations of weed species and any other interesting observations during the course of their stay. They also undertake basic maintenance works on the island’s walking tracks and historic huts

A level of good fitness is required and the job will suit those who love to camp, enjoy the outdoors, the natural world and talking with fellow campers.

The Schouten Island Volunteer Campground Host program is one of a number offered by the PWS. Programs also run at Melaleuca in the far South-West and at Cockle Creek in southern Tasmania.

People interested  in finding out more about the Schouten Island program are invited to contact Fiona Everts, ranger at Freycinet on 6256 7011 or 0457 758 232 or email Fiona.Everts@parks.tas.gov.au .

For information about the Melaleuca or Cockle Creek program please contact Pip Gowen, PWS volunteer facilitator (South) on 0427 648 463 or email Phillippa.Gowen@parks.tas.gov.au