10 months ago

Selwyn Times: July 05, 2016

26 Tuesday

26 Tuesday July 5 2016 Travel SELWYN TIMES Falling for a girl named Tinkerbell • By Barry Clarke DON’T TELL the wife but I’ve fallen for a girl called Tinkerbell. She’s 26, has a smile and eyes I’ll never forget, has beautiful sleek lines, and amazing skin. And, I have to admit I got close up and personal with Tinkerbell at Tangalooma Resort on Moreton Island, about an hour’s ferry trip from Brisbane during a weekend away from home. All sound a bit fishy? You’re right. Tinkerbell is of course a wild dolphin, and a magnificent one at that. But then they all are. She’s part of a pod of wild dolphins that come to the island around the same time every night to be fed by the tourists. It’s a fantastic experience. Qantas now has three return flights from Christchurch-Brisbane a week. If you’re going to Brisbane don’t just think only of the traditional nearby must-visit spots of the Gold Coast or Sunshine Coast. Because Moreton Island is a gem. There is the day trip option on the ferry and while heading across you’re likely to see pods of dolphins. The ferry returns after dolphin feeding time by the main jetty on the island. If you’re staying overnight or for a few days the accommodation is very good, and affordable. The food is what you’d expect – great. Fire and Stone restaurant (Chinese) is a must. There’s scuba diving around a shipwreck, quad biking, sand hill tobogganing (not for the fainthearted) in what is known as the desert, sailing, and fishing. If you want something more leisurely there’s plenty of good walking, and beachside cafes to sit and sup on a coffee or something stronger. But more on those dolphins. They have been arriving at Tangalooma for decades, which is one of the few places in the world that you can wade out and hand-feed dolphins. There are fairly strict guidelines to keep them safe – you must wash your hands before wading out, and you are not allowed to touch them in case they catch an infection. If you have a cold or the flu you are told not to go near them. The dolphins first came to prominence in the late 1970s when the current owners of the resort, the Osbornes, would visit the island. Lights had just been installed on the jetty, which attracted bait fish which the dolphins were feeding on. The Osbornes bought the resort in 1980 and they began to identify and name the dolphins that came in at different times after sunset. They named the most regular Eric. But when Eric arrived with a calf one year, they renamed her Beauty, who is the lineage of the pod that arrives today, including Tinkerbell, who now has her own offspring. During the 1980s, tourists would throw fish to Beauty. Initially, she rejected the fish, but slowly she started to accept the offerings. She would raise her eyes above MAGNIFICENT: Tinkerbell and her newborn calf Calypso. Above right – The Tangalooma Resort. Left – Brisbane at night. the water and look for tourists. The Osbornes became concerned about the quality of the fish being fed to Beauty, so they would leave a bucket of fresh fish on the jetty each night for the tourists to feed Beauty. In late 1990 Beauty arrived with a new baby and she was named Tinkerbell. Just over a year later the Osbornes tried hand-feeding Beauty. It worked; she showed no signs of stress and the rest is history. Tangalooma installed a new jetty and grandstand and now has a Dolphin Education Centre staffed by marine biologists. Brisbane itself is now a very busy city of just over two million people, and a lot different to the place I last visited several years ago. The Brisbane river is flanked by great bars and cafes, there’s a fabulous bike tour (Brisbane By Bicycle) and fantastic night kayak tours on the river. You have to be reasonably fit for the 90min kayak but it’s •Qantas operates three weekly return Christchurch-Brisbane flights, and an extra return flight during school holidays. For times, fares go to •Tangalooma resort is a must see. For ferry departure times, accomodation costs at the resort and what to do go •For kayaking on the Brisbane River go to •For a cycle tour of Brisbane go to www. au worth the challenge. The skyline at night is fantastic, and if you’re taking part on a Friday or Saturday there’s prawns and/or a barbecue at the end of it. And Tinkerbell? Yes, I’ll probably return one day to see her again. And, this time I’ll take the wife. •Clarke visited Brisbane and Tangalooma courtesy of Qantas and the Christchurch Airport Company. Varicose Vein Treatment Non-surgical Vein Laser Treatments available Free Assessment Tired of aching and unsightly veins? No surgery, no scars, no stitches. No time off work - continue normal daily activities. An affiliated provider to Southern Cross Health Society (medical necessity criteria apply) - check your policy for cover. Enjoy skirts, short and cropped pants again. 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2 [Edition datE] SELWYN TIMES Tuesday July 5 2016 27 CONTINUING EDUCATION Horticulture Training for Christchurch Residents if yOu would like to enjoy gardening, improve your property value, produce fresh vegetables and fruit or get a job within the horticulture industry, this flexible programme can help you gain the necessary skills. skills update training institute has partnered with ara to offer an introductory ‘no fees’ horticulture blended learning course which combines both classrooms and online learning methods. tutorials have been scheduled weekly during evenings including the occasional weekend field trips to suit those currently working full time or part time. Our experienced tutors, Ryan young or Hamish kelland, are also available by phone and e-mail outside of classroom hours. Ryan, the winner of various horticultural awards and titles, says “as your learning facilitator, i will assist you throughout the duration of the programme and provide guidance for each assessment.” “i am passionate about sustainable horticulture and really enjoy working with students to achieve their study and educational goals” says Hamish, who has a wide range of experience across the industry as well as teaching in the tertiary sector. enrolments are still open for 2016. Call or email our team today. study over 40 weeks and earn the sought after national Certificate in Horticulture Level 3. Pasifika engineer reboots Plan A Pasifika students are slowly gravitating towards engineering. Third year Bachelor of engineering technology student at ara institute of technology, Richard Ofa, urges them to think long term. Richard is motivated. He has worked at a semi-skilled level. after graduating from an it qualification at ara (then CPit), he took a temporary job as a CnC machine operator at skOPe. The money was good at the time, but several years later he was still in the same position. Richard took stock and realised he wanted to be an engineer, designing the products that he had been assembling at skOPe. He needed an engineering qualification. The ara three year engineering degree offered evening classes, which allowed Richard to continue working. “i have a responsibility to my family and the community, so not working isn’t an option,” he says. Richard negotiated to work part time at skOPe and launched into his engineering studies. “Coming back to study, working with computers, doing 3d modelling, it’s what i have always wanted to do. “i love problem solving, being creative and coming up with new ideas. for my third year project, skOPe gave me a project to work on. it’s a sliding door design, a new design. i am quietly confident it will work out.” The degree will certainly open doors for Richard. “i am hoping to get a full time design job with skOPe when i graduate. My long term plan is project management – i will probably come back and do some project management papers at ara in five to 10 years’ time when i have some experience. “My family are happy, in that island way, now they can see the value of the qualification. Meanwhile, Richard is seeing more Pasifika students in engineering. “The first year i was the only fulltime Pasifika student, but numbers have increased in the last two years, including the number of female Pasifika engineering students. “The biggest challenge is managing the workload of studying and working. i work three days a week and study full time, so i look forward to a sleep-in on the weekend,” he says. to find out more about studying engineering at ara institute of Canterbury, visit STUDY HORTICULTURE Enrolment are now open. Entry to this programme is open to NZ Citizens and Residents and students over 18 years of age. Intake start dates are subject to student availability. No Fees! Hamish Kelland Ryan Young 021 222 9678