Skip to primary navigation Skip to content Skip to footer
Back to Blog

What is like to work in Adventure Tourism (Guides point of view)

Crystal Canyon River

If you have been looking for working on tourism industry, let me tell you about my experience in this field…

a man riding a motorcycle on a raft in the snow

Get there and try it on!

This is what my father used to say, encouraging me swinging on vines, jumping off rocks, swimming downstream on Swiftwater, since I started hiking, camping and fishing with him in a mountain region in south of Brazil. It was a long, long time ago . For my mother, everything could be dangerous but for my dad, there were several ways to do everything and anything safely, does not matter the environment conditions.

a person in a red raft in the water


The life changes

I love you mum but thank you dad, you were right. After been frustrated trying different kinds of jobs, I realized that my lifestyle should become my work. Why not? 2001 was the year I thought I was challenging myself, in fact, I was not. When I accepted a job offer of taking no experienced tourists down the river on grade 4+ rapids or trough canyons involving some massive abseiling sections, jumps, rockslides and Swings, I thought that could be harder. Ok, I quickly had to learn about what to say during my safety talk, trying to balance people`s expectations and fear. In my head, the right amount of adrenalin combined with environment particularities and history would provide the best trips for all kinds of personalities.

The reward

And I did it!

The region where I come from in Brazil which is colonized by Italians is famous about  grape and wine production. That area attracts thousands of people every year. The tourists discovered that they could do more than  eat Italian food and drink wine. In a few months in the role, I was already working over 40 hours per week. The dream was coming thru. It is quite logical, but I realized that people were always happy during the trips.  Of course, they were doing things by choice, there was no routine for them anymore and for me as well. Guiding guests in to the wild, rappelling into waterfalls, ziplining across deep valleys, having picnics in the meddle nowhere, was the combination that made me forget about money.

a man riding a wave on a surfboard in the water

The big challenge

After 11 years on the role, still enjoying working, somehow, I had the feeling of trying something else in my life. I decided leave everything behind and experiencing the life overseas. Coming from a small town, landing in a big city such as Sydney without been able to speak the Australian native language,  was challenging. It was like starting everything from the beginning again. How could I work as an adventure guide if communication is essential? Ok, no panic, there is always somehow to succeed on everything, I said to myself.  My first step was breaking the English  barrier and find any job to get some income. Secondly, I kept practicing my rope and Whitewater  skills on weekends and public holydays. Took me about 18 months to have courage to apply for a rafting guide position. It was still hard do understand people`s accent and I soon realized that it was not the right time to do that because I could not deliver what people expect and deserve.

a couple of people that are sitting on a motorcycle

The overcome

The time flies. After nearly 3 years  abroad, getting homesick and not doing what I love to, my decision was going back to Brazil where I started my own adventure company. Although the business was going well, my feeling was like I did not complete my tasks in AUS. Took me more than two years to make sure that my real desire was to be an International guide. Here I am, back in Australia, settled in a town called Cairns, surrounded by rainforest, canyons, rivers and the great barrier reef. I finally have the feeling that I am on the right track again, working for a reliable company called Cairns Canyoning,  providing the taste of adventure through the jungle while canyoning and river boarding, to people from everywhere in the world and blessed to see exotic creatures such as cassowaries and platypus on my trips.

a person riding a snow board in the water


Márcio Garbuio