Pure Exploration NZ

Pure Exploration



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 shots, it’s about authentic experiences spent with new friends who inspire you to think about the world and yourself in new ways.



Unit 54
159 Gorge Road
Queenstown Central
Queenstown 9300
New Zealand


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Yes, I recommend this program

I had the most incredible experience traveling with the team on the Expedition Leader Program earlier this year. Coming into the program with high expectations, I can genuinely say that every single one of them was surpassed. Pure Exploration absolutely blew it out of the park. Not only was the team made up of fantastic individuals, our instructors Keri and Jessica were incredible mentors from whom I was able to learn so much in what felt like so little time, and the office team back in NZ provided support beyond anything we could've asked for. I recommend the ELP to anyone looking for growth, adventure, challenges and connections that will last a lifetime. This program lit a fire in me that will forever push me to chase my dreams. I cannot wait to see where this experience will take me in the future!

What was the most unfamiliar thing you ate?
Bugs! There were so many types available for us to try specifically in China and in eastern Ecuador!
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Yes, I recommend this 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.
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Yes, I recommend this program

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.
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Yes, I recommend this program

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
Yes, I recommend this program

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.


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Staff Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with program leaders.

Rosey Joyce

Job Title
Senior Instructor
After completing a Bachelor of Sustainability and Outdoor Education in Christchurch, New Zealand, Rosey moved to Australia and worked in both outdoor education and the tourism industry. New Zealand would always be home, though, so after a few years living on the other side of the ditch, she made the move back home, locating herself in Queenstown and took on an instructor role at Pure Exploration. Rosey is now fully immersed in her role as Chief Instructor. Rosey loves working as part of a close-knit team and thrives off sharing her passion for nature, adventure and exploration.

What is your favorite travel memory?

Two years ago, my partner and I took a side-trip from Vietnam into Myanmar. We decided to travel far south into the Tanintharyi Region for a week and for those full seven days we saw no other tourists, not one! Being the minority within a completely different culture opened my eyes to the diversity within the world and encouraged me to analyze my values and belief system, as well as what my own priorities were. As a result of this trip, I realized that what I accept as normal is not the same for everyone and it taught me to be more considerate of people’s faith, opinions, and actions. Diversity is one of those beautiful things that make this world such an amazing place and without it, I think, the world would be an incredibly boring place.

How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?

Since starting with Pure Exploration, I’ve had the opportunity to grow and learn, which has been a great opportunity. I started with PE as a field instructor and then, after running my first Adventure Guide Program here in Queenstown, I moved into the Chief Instructor role. I’m now spending winter in the office working alongside the operations, logistics, marketing, and sales teams.

This role has given me insight into all the work that goes on behind the scenes to make our programs as successful as they are. The commitment and dedication of these teams fuel my passion for the company even more. Seeing how much work goes into creating a successful program inspires me to fully commit to my role as a leader, motivating my team of instructors to be the best they possibly can be.

What is the best story you've heard from a return student?

We had a student on one of our Adventure Guide Programs who showed amazing leadership, facilitation, and technical skills and after graduating went on to join the team as an Instructor – leading Adventure Guide Programs themselves. Watching someone grow and sharing in the celebration of their success is always a great thing!

If you could go on any program that your company offers, which one would you choose and why?

Despite growing up in New Zealand and having lead the Adventure Guide Program here in Queenstown, I would still choose it as my favorite!

Queenstown is known as the Adventure Capital of the World for good reason! The landscape and culture here is like no other. We are incredibly privileged in Queenstown to have such stunning rugged wilderness right here on our doorstep. Groups get to hike and rock-climb in some of the most spectacular locations in New Zealand including; Milford Sound, Wanaka, Routeburn Valley, and Mount Cook.

The Adventure Guide Program attracts an amazing group of like-minded people from all over the globe and over the twelve weeks, some of the best life-long friendships are formed.

The training and internationally recognized qualifications that are gained through the program set you up to be easily employable straight out of the program. With the wide array of adventure tourism operators here in Queenstown, any dedicated graduate would be able to gain employment on completion of the program.

What makes your company unique? When were you especially proud of your team?

Pure Exploration is the only company running programs of this type, that makes it unique! The mix of travel, skill-based learning, qualifications, and work experience is like no other.

I am proud to be part of a team that, even in the face of growth and customer demand, continues to maintain our core values and vision.

What do you believe to be the biggest factor in being a successful company?

Cooperation among teammates is one of the key elements of success. Working together towards a common goal, rather than competing for personal glory leads to great achievements. A team that works well together will foster a spirit of camaraderie, loyalty, and synergy that will go on and shape the company culture - something we're very proud of at Pure Exploration! Working in a positive environment boosts morale and overall happiness and satisfaction, creating a feeling of belonging to something bigger than yourself. Eventually, the team becomes a community, in which everyone understands their role and plays their part for the common good.

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