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Zipping into action: Driving Creek internship story

Zipping from treetop to treetop, taking customers on tours via railcart, and working with various conservation initiatives. These are just some of the amazing experiences that Bailey Harwood is exposed to on his current 9-month fully paid internship placement with Driving Creek in the Coromandel township.

What’s a day in the life for you?

A day in the life for me starts at work at 8:45am for a 2-hour zipline tour. After I get back to the base station, the cycle begins and it’s off to railcart driving! Then back onto ziplining at midday and another railcart tour and a final zipline in the late afternoon, wrapping up at around 6pm. I head down to the beach for swim and head home afterwards.

What’s involved in being a zipline or railcart tour guide? It consists of gearing customers up and ensuring they’re aware of the health and safety involved. Depending on the day, we may be assigned as “sender” or “breaker”, either attaching customers to the zipline and preparing them for the jump or helping them brake when descending to the next station. Throughout the zipline tour, I give nature and history talks providing a bit of background on the region and what it has to offer! When railcart driving, I also complete pre-safety check of the trains and give live commentary to customers when heading up the hill, as well as performing some stops along the way to let them walk around and take in the views.

I’m also very lucky to be involved in some of the conservation efforts that Driving Creek has. From checking pest traps, tidying garden areas and performing routine pruning on nearby trees to ensure the trip routes are safe, taking part in these conservation efforts is important in ensuring these types of tourism can go on for years to come while also making sure we’re doing our part to give back to the special natural places we operate out of.

What has been a highlight of internship so far?

The biggest highlight from my internship so far would have to be getting signed off on guiding and taking my first tour on my own. The feeling of making customers’ trips an enjoyable experience is unmatched.

How did the internship managers help you find your internship?

I am extremely thankful for my internship teacher, Lizzie. She was the first person to bring Driving Creek into my eyeline and got me in touch with the management and recruitment team. Lizzie followed my application process closely, supporting me every step of the way to secure this dream internship!

Any advice or tips for students preparing to go out on internship?

I would suggest thinking about your internship as soon as possible. Start planning and inquiring about different companies and locations very early.

Don’t limit yourself! There are opportunities in other countries but there are also awesome placements available right here in New Zealand. Take this opportunity and use it to the fullest!

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