• New Zealand
    • Queenstown
4 - 26 weeks
Payment plans
Health & Safety

Program Details

Backpacking Bird Watching Camping Hiking Remote Exploring Rock Climbing Trekking
Fall Spring Summer Year Round
Lodge Tent
Primary Language
Age Min.
Age Max


Starting Price
Price Details
- Adventure travel and outdoor education Program based in Queenstown, New Zealand
- All accommodation
- All climbing equipment, program related transport & travel
- Qualified & experienced technical instructors
- NZOIA Certifications and Qualifications
What's Included
Accommodation Activities Equipment Meals Park Fees Tour Guide Transportation
What's Included (Extra)

Highly skilled program instructors. NZOIA assessment fees. All national park entry fees and camping fees. All technical equipment is included.

What's Not Included
Airfare Airport Transfers Meals Some Meals Travel Insurance Visa
What's Not Included (Extra)

Rock climbing shoes, sleeping bag and other personal rock climbing and hiking gear.

Apr 11, 2024
Jun 23, 2023
76 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

Head to New Zealand for 12 weeks of adventure travel and outdoor exploration! Whether you're looking for a foot in the door to an adventure tourism career or the ultimate adventure holiday, this program will perfect your outdoor survival skills, be surrounded by awesome like-minded travellers, and experience the most unreal New Zealand backcountry locations.

Our New Zealand Adventure Guide Program offers you an epic time in some of the most impressive landscapes in the world. You will hike and climb your way through Aoraki Mt. Cook National Park, Mt Aspiring National Park and even Fiordland! But while this is an Adventure Guide Program, it's not all about the outdoors and outdoor pursuits, there will be cultural activities and exchange; sightseeing and touring; personal development; community and social events; free time and plenty of opportunity for exploration. What are you waiting for? Explore New Zealand today!

Video and Photos

Diversity & Inclusion

BIPOC Support

We are committed to fostering a more diverse and inclusive organisation, and we recognise that this requires time, effort, and resources. We welcome everyone and anyone to our Pure Exploration Programs including students, staff, local guides and external stakeholders.

LGBTQIA+ Support

All of our Pure Exploration programs are LGBTQIA+ friendly. We provide an open and non-judgemental space for students to explore who they are and to take their initial steps into the outdoor adventure world. We welcome everyone and anyone to our Pure Exploration Programs including students, staff, local guides and external stakeholders.

Neurodivergent Support

We welcome everyone and anyone to our Pure Exploration Programs including students, staff, local guides and external stakeholders.



Sustainability is one of the four core components of each Pure Exploration program, where we provide students with the environment to learn about local environmental issues, how to travel sustainably and have them think deeply about their impact and what they can do in their daily lives to affect change.

Ethical Impact

We make a conscious decision to partner with suppliers who are passionate about our students' participation and involvement with them being of a positive benefit to the community. We want our presence to enable positive, sustainable growth for our partners and this mantra is ingrained in the fabric of our programs.

Program Highlights

  • Develop the skills to be a confident outdoor adventurer
  • Gain industry recognised outdoor guiding qualifications (NZOIA Bush Leader and NZOIA Rock Leader)
  • Dive into an incredible journey of learning, coaching, and experiences in New Zealand's breathtaking outdoors
  • Enjoy free time to explore Queenstown, which is known as 'the Adventure Capital of the World'
  • Hike some of New Zealand's Great Walks

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Program Reviews

4.67 Rating
based on 12 reviews
  • 5 rating 66.67%
  • 4 rating 33.33%
  • 3 rating 0%
  • 2 rating 0%
  • 1 rating 0%
  • Housing 4.25
  • Support 4.8
  • Fun 4.9
  • Value 4.8
  • Safety 4.9
  • Growth 4.7
  • Support 4.7
  • Fun 5
  • Housing 5
  • Safety 5
Showing 1 - 8 of 12 reviews
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program


I had a great time on course did 2 amazing hikes, and went climbing so meany times. Great fun with great views. The only thing I would change would be the work I would put that at the end of the course instead of the middle so that you can focus on what you need to learn more and not on work. This way you can make the work optional too for people who want to stay longer. But overall great experience just be prepared to study and teach yourself a bit about plants and climbing and knots. The end :)

  • Meet new people and make friends
  • Learn so much about climbing
  • Have new certificates at the end
  • Having to say bye to them when you leave
  • Having to learn bush stuff for yourself
  • Sand flys
92 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

If you want to have the best three months of your life, sign up for this program!!!

I had a lot of hesitancies when signing up for this program. Is the cost really worth it? Am I fit enough to do three months of climbing and hiking? Is this something that I really want to do?
Thankfully for me (and most likely for you as well), the answer to all of these questions is yes!!
From personal experience I know, the cost of the program can seem daunting at first, but there is SO much that is covered for you in that program fee. Accommodation for the entire duration of the course, a weekly stipend for food (I often found myself having money leftover from the stipend), all of the costs that go into earning your NZOIA certifications, a pre-hospital emergency care course, an activity budget (which for us meant a day doing via ferrata, a morning on a stand up paddle board made for twenty people, and even a week long road trip to two different cities on the south island!), and so much more is all covered within that program fee!
Additionally, I know a lot of people may wonder if they are fit enough for this program. I will tell you that I am not strongest climber by any means of the definition. I came into the program having never done outdoor top rope before in my life. This was the case for most of my program mates. Our instructors taught us absolutely everything from the very basics of top rope and continued to expand our knowledge throughout the course and by the end, we all had more than enough capability to not only earn our Rock leader certifications, but to also have fun, successful client days. Going alongside that, I'm also not the fastest hiker. What can I say, I like to enjoy the view whilst heavy breathing! Nonetheless, I managed to have so much fun on all of our bush days and find my place in the group. Over the course of the twelve weeks, I gained so much strength and confidence in my own abilities, which leads me into my third point.
Is this something you really want to do? Of course, you know yourself better than I do, but I think you should do it. The most important thing you gain from this course isn't the certifications, it isn't the bragging rights you get after spending three months in New Zealand, it isn't even the fun excursions and beautiful hikes and climbs you get to complete on program. The most important thing that you gain from this program is growth. You grow as a person, as an instructor, as a leader, as a lover of the outdoors, throughout the 12 weeks you spend on this program, you will grow more than you ever thought was possible. Your instructors will be right alongside you as you evolve and change and the relationships that you will build with both your instructors and your program mates will be unmatched. Even if there are days where you are tired or homesick or can't remember why you came to New Zealand in the first place, the people you are surrounded by most will be the ones to pick you right up and remind you how far you've come from the start of the program and how amazing the work that you've put into it is.
The Pure Exploration Adventure Guide Program is like no other.
After reading this, I hope you are only asking yourself one final question: "Am I ready to have the best three months of my life?"

95 people found this review helpful.
Read my full story
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

My Young Adventure

For any young travellers looking to meet some rad and interesting mates this program is for you!!

I just made the cut (age wise) and was a little nervous to be spending three months away from my friends and family; not knowing anyone in kiwi land. Little did I know I would meet the coolest and friendliest people out here (actually I was told I would, besides the point) and live amongst them for three months! They’re now my family away from home that I will remember forever. Till next time AGP.

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
Spending more time disconnected in the wilderness.
176 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Just DO it

Being a part of the AGP was an incredible experience and I would recommend it to anyone wanting insight into the outdoor industry. The program is a good mix of technical skill building like rock climbing and bush safety combined with personal development. This is a program where you have to work within a group all the time, meal planning, food shopping, gear organization etc. All in all the nature of the program teaches you more skills than what is required for the NZIOA award and leaves you more prepared to take your friends into the bush for a hiking or rock climbing adventure.

What would you improve about this program?
The quality of the program is quite high, it could be improved with explicitly sharing the learning goals of each module.
171 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Great Program

This is a great program that provided an awesome experience in New Zealand. The program is full-on, with great adventures and a lot of teaching - if you're thinking about this and planning to pursue the qualifications, be prepared for a lot of self-managed learning. We were able to see some of the most famous parts of the South Island (Milford, Aoraki/Mt. Cook, etc.), and develop a lot of technical skills. If you're planning to pursue work in outdoor education or outdoor tourism, this is a great first step, as it provides excellent training as well as great industry connections in New Zealand. The instructors are highly qualified and have more knowledge than you could possibly absorb in 3 months, and they have great industry connections. Everyone on the Pure Ex team works really hard to make sure the students are getting as much as possible out of the program both personally and professionally, and the qualifications and skills gained are marketable in a lot of industries.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
If you're thinking of doing this program, plan for an intense 3 months! The learning and travel can be exhausting at times. I bought a notebook the first week I was here to take notes and try to retain everything I'd learned. I also used my phone to take photos of notes that were drawn out by instructors, and videos of various climbing setups, etc. I bought a decent phone case that's waterproof and drop-proof prior to this course, and it was one of the best investments I made - it allowed me to use my phone for notes and photos without having to worry about it.

If you're thinking you want to be employed after the program, look into using a tourist visa while you're here for the program and then transitioning to a working holiday visa toward the end of your program to make the most of your time here! If you can, get a CV pulled together before the program starts so that it's easy to update with your pending qualifications, as job hunting during the program was especially time consuming and exhausting - the more you can do to set yourself up for success on that front, the better off you'll be when it comes time to find a job.

Generally, bring less than you think you'll need - there's very little from the US/Canada that you can't get once you're here - but bring a couple fun/comfort things. One of the best things I brought were my cozy fuzzy socks (the kind you would never wear out of the house) and a cozy sweatshirt. I already had a lot of camping/climbing/hiking gear, so I brought what I had, but you can definitely purchase additional things here quite easily if you're worried that what you have isn't correct. It's more expensive here than in the States, but better than bringing a bunch of stuff you don't need.
173 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

an Exceptional way to learn and discover New Zealand

If you are looking for a way to pick up life experience and are interested in a career outdoors Pure Ex is an excellent choice.
Taking the adventure guide program is an exceptional way to not only learn about the outdoor industry but to discover New Zealand and intergrate yourself into the kiwi culture. Sure there are some hurdles and challenges to get throw but most of that is on you and your coursemates to figure out how you overcome those hurdles and deal with those challenges. The course itself is pretty simple but requires a lot of self discipline and responsibility. Long days hiking amazing treks, climbing solid rock, learning to cook mediocre to great meals with coursemates as you figure out what it means to be self sufficient and exploring some of the worlds most wild places. You’ll be faced with opportunities to step up or step out of your comfort zone. It’s up to you what you decide to make of it, but everyone is there to support you and encourages you to evolve yourself. Go explore!

What would you improve about this program?
When I was with pure exploration, they were going through some growing pains to say the least but they always have their students best interests and mind and are always encouraging to keep you going. They have doubled down on their curriculum and provide you everything you need to successfully obtain your certifications as well as provide you with some awesome experiences non certification related to keep your stoke high and passions up.
173 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

AGP Pure Exploration

I went to pure exploration without any real experience in outdoor adventure but they provided a fully immersive 3 months training which provided me with a lot of new skills and knowledge, bringing me to a place where I now feel ready to be a leader. It also brought me the opportunity to make such great new friends while getting to live in Queenstown. The staff there are amazing and always willing to help, I know when I go back to New Zealand they will be there to still help me after the course.

167 people found this review helpful.
Vlaho Mustahinic
Yes, I recommend this program

excelent experience

What a great experience! Chance to learn from world class guides and climbers. So much spended time in a clean and healthy enviroment of New Zeland.
After 3 months with Pure Ex, I got whole new perspective about outdoor world, bunch of new skills, and for sure improvement as a person!
For sure I woud reccomend this training program to all those who are interested in traveling, outdoors,learning and personal development.

168 people found this review helpful.

Questions & Answers

Hi Lauren. All food is catered for the first 8 weeks (5 days a week) - you're given a group food budget to shop, cook and eat together. The final month it's up to you to buy and organise your own food. Hope that helps! Pure Exploration Team