Sharing Knowledge on the Great Ocean Walk on the way to Twelve Apostles
The Twelve Apostles Lodge Walk attracts a lot of unique individuals who come to stay at the lodge and experience the beauty of the Great Ocean Walk. It also attracts a lot of passionate people who come to work as a Guide, to take people on their journey to the Twelve Apostles.
Being a guide is not a simple task, you have to be dedicated and love what you do. It requires studying the landscape, European history, Indigenous history, geological history, the biology of the plants, local stories and has a desire to be share that knowledge with people.
Introducing Tom Stayner: Guide - Australian Walking Company
The thing that strikes you most about Tom is his genuine interest in others. He’s quietly spoken and thoughtful. When he’s not teaching guests about the surroundings, he’s listening intently to what others are saying.
In any moment along the Great Ocean Walk, Tom is genuinely happy to be there. He loves being outdoors in a beautiful place and sharing that experience with others. He enjoys being there with someone in that special moment when they are in a state of awe.
“The places that we are, are pretty incredible,” Tom said. “We come out to a view, and no matter how many times I've seen it, you hear the responses of the people who’s jaws are dropping and they're like, oh, wow!”
The more we know about nature on the Great Ocean Walk the more respect there is for it
The landscape on the Great Ocean Walk is diverse, there is so much to learn about it. The task of a Guide is to learn as much as possible, to be able to share that knowledge with others.
What is interesting about Tom is that his drive to teach others is more to do with respect for the land. He believes that the more people know about a place, the more connected to that place they become.
For Tom, the more he can learn, the more he can teach. And by being able to show others interesting things about the place they are walking on, the more respect they will have.
“I love serving these places by being able to share knowledge and understanding,” Tom said passionately. “The more we know about a place the more respect there is for it and the more love there is for those places. Pay your respects to the actions that you take. By learning as much as you can about a place, by caring for it as much as you can.”
Enjoying the company of others while walking to the Twelve Apostles
Traversing the terrain with Tom and hiking with him along one of the most iconic coastal walking tracks of Australia is pretty special. His depth of knowledge and respect for the land is inspiring, it makes the walk more interesting.
With his friendliness and openness, you will find yourself having very in-depth conversations on topics most people know little about it. It is in the middle of some of the deeper conversations, in locations that take your breath away, that you realise Tom is right in his element.
“Just walking and facing the same way as someone,” Tom said. “Having time and having space and not feeling rushed. You can know someone for a couple of days and be having a really meaningful conversation with them.”