Adventure Guide Program - New Zealand

Video and Photos

Hiking in to the amazing Routeburn
Hiking in to the amazing Routeburn
Great group in front of mountain after adventures hike!
Great group in front of mountain after adventures hike!
Climbing New Zealand
Climbing New Zealand
Rock climbing on the AGP
Rock climbing on the AGP
Learning the ropes!
Learning the ropes!
Hiking just outside of Queenstown
Hiking just outside of Queenstown
Camping in tents
Camping in tents
Best views for a lunch break!
Best views for a lunch break!

About

Head to New Zealand for 12 weeks of adventure travel to rival any other. Whether you are 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, surround you with awesome like-minded travellers and showcase the most unreal New Zealand back country locations.

Over twelve weeks of adventure and travel, you’ll find yourself on the top of the highest peaks, meandering down enormous glacier-driven river valleys, exploring new golden sand beaches and hanging from rock faces with your new mates supporting you all the way. New Zealand’s diverse and spectacular outdoors will be your classroom, with lessons on leadership, new outdoor skills and strategies to help in every area of life.

You’ll also complete world-recognised outdoor adventure guiding certifications, real world industry work experience and gain invaluable networking connections to help get you into the dream job.

Highlights
  • 12 week adventure tourism training and qualification program based in Queenstown, New Zealand.
  • 12 weeks accommodation and 10 weeks meals (the last 2 weeks self-catered).
  • All technical equipment, program related transport & travel.
  • 2 x NZ Outdoor instructor association leader qualifications (hiking + rock climbing or canyon leader), Extensive First Aid training, Swift Water Rescue Certificate.
  • Modules on guiding and leadership skills, critical incident management & technical skills.

Last September places for Adventure Guide Program Queenstown at old prices!

We currently have two spots available on our Queenstown Adventure Guide Program. These are the two last New Zealand places for 2019 and are therefore at a cheaper rate. Check out the website for more info!

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

Reviews

96%
based on 8 reviews
  • Housing 8.8
  • Support 9.6
  • Fun 9.6
  • Value 9.6
  • Safety 9.6
  • Growth 9
  • Support 8.7
  • Fun 9.7
  • Housing 10
  • Safety 10
Showing 1 - 8 of 8
Default avatar
Katherine
9/10
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.
Default avatar
Tyler
8/10
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.
Default avatar
Ethan
10/10
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.

Vlaho Mustahinic
Vlaho
10/10
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.

Bethany
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Surpassed my expectations

I found Pure Exploration while researching ways to tour New Zealand outside of the typical tour busses and adventure programs. Being in my 30's and operating on a very strict budget, I was intent on finding something that would not only show me the beauty of New Zealand but also teach me skills that I could use back home in my volunteer work with teens. New Zealand has been my dream place to visit since High School, but I had always thought it was outside of my reach. Pure Exploration made that dream possible. I liked what I read, but honestly had no idea just how awesome this trip was going to be! Due to life circumstances, I was only able to stay for the first month, but that month has impacted me in ways beyond what I was expecting. I am so much more confident in my abilities as a climber, hiker and camper. It was great to get back home and be able to go climbing with a local group and give advice to some of the beginners because of what I learned from the Pure Exploration instructors. I highly recommend Pure Exploration for anyone doing a gap year or who is just in that stage of life where you're looking for something different. Even if you don't end up becoming an adventure guide, I can guarantee that you will come away from this program with new life skills that are invaluable, and you will learn a lot about yourself and what you are truly capable of. I was stretched beyond my comfort zone many times and am better now because of it! And, as if I needed to say it, this is New Zealand we're talking about! It is an absolutely breathtakingly beautiful country that I think everyone should visit at least once in their life!

Default avatar
Michel
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Great opportunity for every outdoor enthusiast

As I applied for this program I had no idea what I want to do in my life, but I wanted to get more into Rock Climbing and Outdoor Sports in general. Also, New Zealand was on my bucket list for years, so I couldn’t help myself and cancelled the job I had lined up at a husky farm in Norway and booked my place at Pure Ex. And man, I can tell it was a good decision.

I would recommend this program to anybody who is interested in rock climbing, hiking, or generally the outdoors. No matter if it is to enhance your personal skills or learn, how to deal with clients, groups and instruct other people.

The two main aspects this program focusses on are Rock Climbing and Hiking/Tramping.

My experience in Rock Climbing was basic before I came here. I had climbed top rope once outside, had a few lead climbs inside and went indoor bouldering every now and then. But I was just too afraid to go climb outside, because I had no Idea what to do.
Now after this program I’m going out at least once a week and do intermediate (multi pitch) lead climbs and take my friends and can explain them how things should be done.
Also I feel way more confident since we learned almost everything about sport climbing, if it is setting up an anchor at the top, where there are bolts or using a tree – I can do it. I can safely abseil a route to retrieve gear or set up top topes. And I can ensure my personal and the groups safety is guaranteed.

In terms of hiking/tramping I had a bit more experience. I did a 5-day hike and multiple one or two day hikes before I came here. But once covering the topics in the program I realized that what I was doing before wasn’t wrong but I was missing so much knowledge.
The two most important skills I took away from the tramping module was the navigation with map and compass, and making my own weather forecasts. Besides that, we covered plenty of other skills like good, cheap & light food on the trail, group management and leader ship, shelter building, fire lighting, emergency procedures, safe river crossing, how to pack a bag.

Besides all the above we did a swift water rescue course and hand down the best pre-hospital emergency care course!

For me the learning was the perfect mixture between hands on, practical learning, and a bit of theoretical information. And all that was mixed up or during nice trips around the South Island.

With the 3 moth of work experience I would recommend this program to anyone who is thinking about getting a foot in the outdoor industry or is not sure if this is the right path for you. I’m quite sure that after this program you will know it!
And even if you just want to spent a good time in New Zealand and learn a plenty of cool skills, you should join. Be prepared for last minute changes of plans and schedules, because that’s just how it works in this industry.

If you think all this sounds good and you want to join don’t overthink it – chances of meeting a great group of awesome, likeminded people is super high… you might even end up as a climbing/outdoor nerd and invest in your own gear!

Default avatar
Kaylee
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Absolutely amazing 3 months in NZ!

After studying Natural Resource Recreation and Tourism at uni and doing an internship learning about the business side of a guiding and tour operating company, I wanted to check out the other side of the industry to see if I could hack it as a guide. The AGP provided the perfect opportunity for this, to start from the basics and train up to a leader position under the world-recognized NZOIA qualifications. I gained so many technical skills in rock climbing, abseiling, and trekking, as well as personal and group skills living, working, and training with the other interns over three full-on months. We got to experience some of the most amazing parts of New Zealand in ways many don’t get the chance to, namely by being fully in and amongst it in the outdoors. There’s nowhere quite like New Zealand, from its landscapes to its people to its never-ending possibilities for exploration. I am so happy with this program and everything it gave me, and am so looking forward to continuing in the outdoor industry thanks to the confidence and competence Pure Exploration’s AGP has provided me.

Default avatar
Dana
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Learning in Paradise!

I chose this program as something to help me gain entry into the outdoor education and guiding industry, and I could not have been more thrilled about how things worked out here. I learned so many new skills that are going to help me secure jobs in an industry that I never dreamed I would be able to get into, and now I'm prepared for anything the wilderness recreation jobs can throw at me. I worked directly with experts in the field that taught me how to keep myself and others safe, but also gave me incredibly useful advice through real work experience. I can honestly say I now feel super confident in my ability to apply all this new knowledge to navigate a tough job market and come out exactly where I want to be. Not to mention, New Zealand is beyond beautiful and every day spent working outside here has been so much fun. Through this program I got to see so much of the South Island, and really immerse myself in the natural beauty of the areas I visited.

What would you improve about this program?
I would have liked to spend more time tramping in New Zealand's wonderful wilderness. I understand the time constraints placed on the program, but I definitely wish we could have spent more time out doing overnights in the mountains.

Interviews

Staff Interviews

About Pure Exploration

GLOBAL LEADERS IN ADVENTURE EDUCATION AND EXPERIENTIAL TRAVEL The team at Pure Exploration are everyday people, helping people have extraordinary experiences. We think real travel isn’t just about box-ticking guidebook recommendations or Instagram...