Frequently asked questions (FAQ’s)

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General Questions

How is Pure Exploration different from other programs?


We are a small and specialized company, allowing us to respond to feedback and continuously improve our programs for the changing needs of our participants. We have significant international experience, Adventure Tourism & Tourism experience, and are connected to Climbing Queenstown and Arrow Expeditions. 

Where do the participants come from?

Most of our participants are from Western Europe and North America. However we have hosted participants from South America, Asia, Australia and so on. The majority of our participants come from countries with Working Holiday Visas in New Zealand, allowing them to stay, work, and travel for up to a year. 

What about physical or medical conditions?

 Please discuss with us any physical or medical conditions so we can offer the best advice. 

How do I get more information?

Just hit the enquiry button, send us a message, and we will be in touch ASAP to arrange a time to talk. 

Alternatively you can email us directly on

Fitness & Experience

Do I need any experience in the outdoors?

Absolutely no experience is required. Just an adventurous, social and active attitude that’s open to being immersed into new cultures, environments and trying new things.

All we ask for is a positive attitude and a willingness to participate in the activities we engage in throughout the course. We can discuss your suitability for the program on enquiry and point you in the right direction. 

We do require a demonstrable ability to conduct low level adventure activities and therefore require a moderate fitness level. 


How fit or active do I really need to be?

We do require a demonstrable ability to conduct low level adventure activities and therefore require a moderate fitness level.

Participants will engage in activities like rock climbing, tramping, and swimming, and should be comfortable doing such. Prior experience in these activities is not necessary, but participants should be fit enough to carry single to multi-day packs for a minimum of 5 km and will find more enjoyment in the activities we do on course with higher fitness levels. 

There will always be group members who are fitter and stronger than the majority of the group, and some who are a bit slower. In a group instruction situation, if a participant’s lack of fitness/ability severely affects the running of the program the participant(s) will be asked to remain at the hut or other location for certain activities. The guide is the final arbiter in these decisions.

What about Eligibility and Registration?

The majority of our participants are between 18-30yo. 

We will discuss eligibility and pre requisites (eg - reasonable spoken english competency) in a phone or skype call with you. 

Explore NZ Summer Program

Will I Get To See Much of NZ?

YES! Over three months we travel quite extensively throughout the program. You will visit many towns, national parks, sight seeing locations and areas of interest, many of which are not on the 'standard' itineraries of tour operators or activity providers. The time of year of your course will determine which areas/regions of the South Island we visit.


As an optional add-on to the Adventure Guide Internship, the final program component is self directed and includes a self led expedition. During this final component, participants are able to choose destinations, nature of trip (i.e. tramping, climbing, kayaking, etc), accommodation, and all other aspects. This also allows you to explore any areas, travel styles, or activities the group is most interested in! This offers amazing flexibility for the group to customize their NZ experience, while providing a capstone to personal development and leadership skills! 

Safety & Security

How does Pure Exploration maintain safety?

Medical & Security Assistance

This is a true advantage and commitment to safety. We retain a medical and security assistance company who provide specialist advice prior to our departures regarding all aspects of our travel itineraries and physical on the ground support in the event of an emergency. Money shouldn’t become an issue because we maintain our insurance levels at a point where we can guarantee a chartered jet to repatriate you home if need arises!



We maintain a ratio of 1 leader for every 6 participants for adventure travel, and our ratios change based on the industry best practise standards for our delivery of adventure activities. This means we have really personal levels of support available to you at all times!



Participants are given training early during orientation specific to the country and culture. This includes tips on personal safety, health and hygiene, hazards, food, and much more. Our leaders then monitor and support this throughout the program. Adherence to our few simple behaviour rules ensures this keeps you fully focussed on exploration and development.


External Auditing

Pure Exploration is a subsidiary of Arrow Expeditions Limited (NZ), a government audited and certified Adventure Activity Provider. We are also voluntarily audited by the highly regarded Qualmark New Zealand as a Tourism Operator, and are a partner organisation of the Department of Conservation New Zealand. We strive to exceed New Zealand’s rigorous and proven standards of excellence in tourism and adventure.


Who Can Apply?

Pure Exploration programmes are open to anyone. Generally participants are 18-30 years old, those taking gap years, university students, graduates, or those looking for an employment break or professional development in the outdoor industry.

Is there selection?

We do generally screen our applicants. This is on the basis of our program prerequisites, which are generally requirements needed for us to maintain safety. But don’t worry too much, it’s not a selection and requirements are simple and straightforward given the awesome stuff you participate in on the program.

Is this an outdoors program?

We offer adventure tourism and travel programs. They provide an excellent window into outdoor education or guiding, as it pertains to the adventure industry. We do also cover adventure leadership. However, the program is about personal development and growth through travel and adventure as well. A big part of that is interacting with the natural environment and experiencing adventure sports in the outdoors.

Who Else Will I Meet?

Will I fit in?

We spend a fair amount of time early in the program focussing on the team spirit and dynamic. You will be surprised how quickly people from diverse backgrounds form close bonds and create supportive, fun and social environments with quirky little routines.

The friends you make, and tightness of the group, will be a significant memory and part of your adventure that you will take immense satisfaction from.

Staff & Leaders

What will my leaders be like?

Your leaders are all primarily very experienced travelers and most are outdoors instructors/guides. This means they are generally quite an interesting and diverse bunch. They love sharing experiences and themselves with others, are naturally inclined to be funny, storytellers or social butterflies. They also, to be where they are in their roles, are very grounded in accepting responsibility for other's safety and enjoyment, and are primarily there to facilitate the experiences and development the group is there to achieve.

Eudcational Qualifications

What qualifications will I gain?

On completion of the Adventure Guide Internship program you will receive a Pure Exploration Certificate in Adventure Tourism, a Pre-Hospital Emergency Care certificate, and a Swift Water Rescue certificate. Those who pass their assessments at the end of the course will also receive NZOIA Leader awards in Rock, Bush, Kayaking, and/or Canyoning.

Will I be more employable?

Your newfound understanding of the Adventure Tourism Industry, Adventure Recreation and New Zealand destinations, activities, and culture will certainly be appreciated by employers in New Zealand and abroad. 

Select spots on the Adventure Guide Internship offer guaranteed work placement with a tourism operator in Queenstown, New Zealand. Other spots are available which guarantee two interviews with companies in town. Our vast network of New Zealand tourism operators, guides, and outdoor education centres allow us to help you get connected to the right employer when possible. 

Accommodation & Meals

Will I Share Accommodation?

Your accommodation is generally twin or triple share. Linen and bedding is provided.

Will I get independent free time?

You will have one scheduled admin/free-time day per week, but some weeks may have more. 

We generally aim to give you a bit of time off when possible to allow you to integrate, explore and socialise in our vibrant resort community.

That said, we are either training or out exploring for a fair portion of the program! The program is based on modules, so after each module there is a bit of allocated free time, and a mid-program break. During the break participants going exploring in groups or solo, and many use their newly discovered passions while there away!

What facilities are there?

Shared spotless showers and toilets, a large kitchen with all necessary utensils, flatware, pots and pans, etc., a large family-style table, and a TV Lounge Area.

Travel Insurance & Visa

Are all meals included?

Meals are provided during the course training period excluding admin days. You will shop as a team with a weekly budget, allowing you to get creative and share favourite recipes and meals from home. 

Meals when you are on free time are yours to source. This enables you to get time out, explore, or just plain old eat whatever you desire!

Do I need a Visa?

You may need a tourist visa depending on your citizenship - see here:


You will need a Working holiday Visa if you intend to work whilst in NZ / during your program. See below for information and support:

Do you cater for dietary requirements?

Yes we do cater for most requirements – Vegetarian, Vegan, Celiac. Since you do your own food shopping, it will mainly be your responsibility to make sure you are following any dietary requirements you may have.

This is always worth discussing with us on application.

Is Travel Insurance a Requirement? Why?

Yes. We will require to see proof of your travel insurance for the period you will be participating on our programmes. This is for the unlikely event you have a medical illness or emergency while away with us. We provide all assistance to you in terms of obtaining attention, however you will need your own insurance to cover any costs once you have sought medical advice or treatment.

free time

After My Program

Can I stay in New Zealand or Australia and Work?

Absolutely! If you have a ‘Working Holiday Visa’ you are able to stay for a minimum of 12 months in New Zealand. If you are able to obtain a NZ Working or Tourist Visa, you are most likely welcome in Australia too, if you obtain the necessary Visa.

Do you help with work?

We do not provide employment placement on our Explorer programs. However, we are well connected in the Adventure Tourism and Hospitality Industry in our region, and can provide excellent advice to get you underway. This includes some employers in America, Australia, and abroad.


On our Adventure Guide Internship, we include a work experience module, followed by a 3 month work placement opportunity. We can only guarantee Work Placements to a portion of each group, but as long as you have displayed an awesome attitude, and a sparkling personality during your training course (and passed your assessments) then it is likely we will be able to set you up with paid employment for a minimum of 3 months. Those who have not scored a guaranteed work placement position on the course may elect to use our network to obtain two interviews, which we facilitate. 

What are my job chances?

Being able to show employers what you have participated in, and getting a recommendation from a NZ Organisation, will be a big help. Whilst we do not guarantee work for everyone, or recommendations (these need to be earned!) we think you will be better positioned to obtain employment than most arriving into New Zealand.

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