Man On Mountain


I used to work in an office. I would spend my weeks counting down the hours until I could be outside at the weekend. I didn’t just pass the “obsessed with fishing test”; I breezed it. Work just became a way to fill the time between my next kayaking day trip or my next offshore fishing charter. There was no enjoyment from it and I felt like my life was slowly slipping through my fingers, like grains of sand through an hourglass.

I knew I had to change my life and find something more in tune with my passions. The environment I thrived in wasn’t the office; it was the mountains, the rivers, and the ocean. I quit my job and after a couple of uncertain months, I made my dream come true. If I can manage it, then I think anyone can.

Here are some career changes that an outdoor enthusiast might be tempted by. See what you think…


If you have a knack for survival and love self-sufficient camping trips and catching fish with nothing but some line and your hand, you sound like just the person to become a guide. Adventurous city types need someone to show them the outback who knows how to keep them safe and share their knowledge about the local flora and fauna. You just need a sociable and outgoing personality to put the clients at ease and an extensive knowledge of outback life and survival.


You need a bit of know-how, creativity and design flair to do this one. Landscape architects design green spaces and gardens for both public projects and private gardens. If you have green thumbs and a good understanding of construction and design, it might just be for you. They are rewarded handsomely for their efforts as well.


Australia has an abundance of National Parks, which means there are relatively a lot of park ranger jobs. The park rangers are responsible for overseeing natural resource management and visitor safety in the national parks, as well as monitoring wildlife and delivering public presentations. It is the perfect job for anyone who longs to spend their days safeguarding Australia’s natural beauty and turning people on to the wonders of our ecosystem.


This is not for the faint-hearted but if you are seriously passionate about protecting the land and are as tough as they come, you might want to consider a career in fighting wildfires. They are not the easiest jobs to get but for the men and women that do these jobs, there is nothing else they would rather do. You can always start as a volunteer but be aware even volunteers end up in the thick of it.


I have a lot of friends who took this up after realising that they weren’t cut out for paper pushing behind a desk. Tree surgeons scale trees and cut off unsafe or diseased branches. Sounds like fun? That’s because it is. Scaling trees with a chainsaw sounds exactly like the buzz it is.


I did this every summer from my teenage years into my early twenties. Getting paid to be at the beach or by the pool all day beat sitting in an office and there were several incidents which made the job interesting and incredibly rewarding.


As a nation of surf lovers, there is no shortage of work as a surf instructor. It is the ultimate job for turning your passion into an income earner. You are out in the sand exporting your passion to the world.


This certainly isn’t the easiest option. You will need to spend several weeks getting a Coxswain licence for boats under 12 metres. Then crew your boat with a skipper for the first 30 days to get the 30 days experience on a commercial vessel. After that, the real hard work begins; bringing in the clients. If you really love fishing, the hard work is worth thinking about and you can start this business on weekends to get going first.


Do you have any more careers for outdoor enthusiasts? Let us know in the comments section below.

Oli Ward

Oli has camped and hiked his way around Australia and most of Europe. He also loves writing about his experiences and sharing his knowledge.