Janet Watson says it’s sometimes easy to take for granted all the sounds and sights of Australia.
Ms Watson has been a volunteer guide at Sea Acres National Park at Shelly Beach since 2006.
When international tourists pay a visit to the park they are often shocked by how many different sounds of nature there are.
“The kookaburras were calling and the tourists panicked and said ‘what’s that noise?’,” Ms Watson said.
“I had to stop and listen then because we don’t often hear the kookaburras they are just part of our environment.
“I told them it’s ok, it’s just a kookaburra.
“It’s something we just take for granted here but for them it was incredibly new and exciting.”
Ms Watson said it was wonderful to see the expression on their faces when she told them it was a bird.
She said it is easy for people to become a guide.
“I went to an information session, had some training with the Department of Parks and Wildlife and then had on the job experience with guides.”
Ms Watson has worked within the environmental field since she left school.
Ms Watson loves to show off the environment of Sea Acres.
“It’s a pretty unique site for local, international and school visitors,” she said.
Ms Watson said the animals can be quite hard to see sometimes because a lot of them camouflage themselves in the colours of the rainforest.
One day she was with a family group and one of the young boys said ‘I can see a snake out there’.
“I thought he was pulling our leg,” she said.
“He pointed out and there was a green tree snake down near the creek.”
Unlike others Ms Watson enjoys working in the rain.
“I think the leaves become greener and walking through the rainforest you can hear the creek flowing, frogs and birds calling,” she said.
Ms Watson said she loves to view the Christmas Orchid in full bloom which is best seen over the December/January period. The Diamond Python snake also comes out in summer and has beautiful colours.
“It’s not a venomous snake so it’s no bother that there are right there on the boardwalk,” Ms Watson said.
As a guide Ms Watson communicates with a diverse demographic of people from all over the world. She encourages people to become a guide if they have a passion for being outdoors and enjoy talking to people.
Ms Watson said the sub-tropical rainforest vegetation has been conserved for over 100 years.
An information session for prospective volunteers is on June 26 from 10am to 11am at the Sea Acres centre. To register call 6582 3355.
For more information about Sea Acres National Park visit www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au