Exploring beautiful New Zealand

New Zealand is renowned for its varied landscape, beautiful at every turn. Our Adventure Guide Program participants had a chance to explore this week with a classic road trip around the South Island. Ken, our ambassador extraordinaire was on the case to give us the lowdown...


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Week 8 was one big epic road trip around the South Island. We started in Queenstown and headed to the West Coast. The goal of this week was to take the guiding responsibilities off the instructors and shift this role to us. We split up into groups of 2 or 3 and planned an entire day for the rest of the team. Each guiding team would cook breakfast, lunch and dinner, get the crew from point A to point B, guide them through a hike or interpretation day and facilitate the team just as if we were clients on a paid job.

We spent the first night at Lake Peringa on the West Coast. I set my tent up only a few feet from the lake shore and snapped this photo of my tent that night. The next shot, is the incredible mirror lake I woke up to. The third shot is 4 hours later on the summit of Alex Knob at 1,303 meters and our hike destination for the day. It’s days like that that really stick with you.



Here's some shots of my crew walking down back through the clouds after after our epic summit.


On my day I took the crew through Arthurs Pass. One of my favorite places in New Zealand.  I took them to Devils Punchbowl waterfall and then to Castle Hill. I had traveled here by myself a few years back and was super keen to share it with the group. Castle Hill is one of the most stunning and unique landscapes I have ever seen and it really had an impact on me. I love the opportunity to take them all there.



Castle Hill is known to have some of the South Islands climbing and bouldering. It was great see the crew to hop on some boulders and have a play around.




It was another epic day of exploring with the crew and sharing in everyone's excitement. For some of them, their first time truly bouldering.


We finished the week with some relaxed day hikes and local interpretation. Each team did really well leading. Each day starts at the crack of dawn, prepping breakfast for everyone, driving, guiding and cooking lunch and dinner. The night doesn't end until a debrief is had and a hand over to the next days team is complete. We finally climbed into our tents at around 8 or 9 each night. Long days, but packed with new knowledge and fulfillment.

The team and I got a nice day off to break up the training and went for a mountain bike around the hills of Wanaka with our head guide Ivor. After a long week it was nice to have a change of activity. The team crushed it.



It's pretty crazy how much we pack into each of our weeks, how much we do and see. We managed to drive 1,217 Kilometers that week. Along with hiking, bouldering, exploring and interpretations each day. It’s going to be hard to go back to real life after all this is over.


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Ken's loving New Zealand, we are really enjoying getting his updates and seeing firsthand how the group is developing, not only with their technical skills and confidence, but also as a team. These guys are a tight crew with friendships that we know will last well beyond their time here.

If you are looking for an experience like Ken's, then please do get in touch! We can email you a detailed itinerary about this program or one of our others. We'd love to share an epic adventure with you!


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11th June 2019

And they're off!! Over the next 12 weeks the students on our Expedition Leader program will be sharing their incredible journey with us..Check out blog #1 written by Chloe from Canada - filling us in on arriving into Ecuador and how things went for orientation week 🔥 https://www.pureexploration.nz/about/news/week-one-orientation-expedition-leader-program/

8th June 2019

Day one of the Expedition Leader program 💥 Instructors Keri & Jess are taking the team through orientation to set everyone up mentally for the next three months of travel and experiential education. The crew range from 18-34yo, hailing from Aus, Canada, the US and Hungary 🙌 📷: Jessica Thomas

5th June 2019

Pure Exploration Instructors Keri & Jess have arrived in Quito, Ecuador - ready to welcome the crew to the start of the Expedition Leader Program in a couple of days..The new students will be learning about adventure travel management, group leadership, logistics, expedition style travel in developing regions, along with trekking in some of the world’s most famous and spectacular mountainous and remote regions. Have the best time guys, we can't wait for updates! 🔥 #expeditionleaderprogram #ELP #Pureexploration

18th April 2019

This exceptional bunch of humans have finished up their time with us on the Adventure Guide Program in NZ. Its been so fun having them join us, alongside their awesome instructor Rosey. Keep in touch guys! 😘

8th April 2019

This is Torres del Paine. No explanation required really. So rad. Is Patagonia on your bucket list yet? Go on... https://bit.ly/2IcDTEb

6th April 2019

Our adventure programs take you to some amazing places around the world. The pic is the Tiger Leaping Gorge in Southern China. If you're a hiker, you need to get here. Learn more about where we travel here https://bit.ly/2I0bmmd

4th April 2019

These guys are busy with their NZOIA assessments this week, the final step in our program to putting all the pieces together as far as skills and experiences go. Go team!

25th March 2019

Time to meet the team! This is John. He is one of our Program Instructors, currently leading a group completing the Adventure Guide Program in Queenstown, New Zealand. John grew up enjoying the outdoors of Florida. Having joined the military when he turned 18, he soon began traveling and seeing the world, thus instilling in him a passion for travel. In the military as a JTAC, he was responsible for directing the action of combat aircraft. He received training not only in his core job skills but also navigation, survival, and bushcraft. After the military, he moved to Bend, Oregon to pursue his helicopter pilots license. Climbing in the countless places available to him in Central Oregon, he soon developed a passion for the sport as well as a deeper appreciation for the outdoors. John is a legend with a heart of gold, and an even bigger appetite - for food and for the outdoors! It's awesome having him on our team

24th March 2019

Enjoying the long warm days of Autumn in New Zealand with a week in the glorious surrounds of Mt Cook National Park.

20th March 2019

Adventure Guide Program crew meeting some key adventure tourism industry employers from around New Zealand tonight at our networking event. It's so great to be able to make these connections and get CVs straight into the key recruiters hands.

19th March 2019

Step away from the desk job and join us for a few months of outdoor fun. Go on...

17th March 2019

Orientation week in New Zealand is a chance to settle in, get to know your new team mates and explore this new land which will become home for the next 12 weeks.

14th March 2019

What types of people come on our programs? People from all over the globe join us for adventure travel missions. Generally we see people who are between 19 - 32 years old - taking a break before college, taking a break for getting into the workplace, taking a break from their work desk! It's all about immersing yourself in the outdoors, forgetting the pressures of everyday and enjoying feeling fit, healthy and renews by visiting new places. Join the crew!

12th March 2019

A good spot for reflection (and a cup of tea) after a big week exploring the New Zealand back country.

10th March 2019

It's time to get the hiking backpack out of the cupboard and buy a ticket abroad. Go on....

8th March 2019

Our adventure travel programs are all about living life to the full, getting away from your work desk, putting down that phone and refreshing your soul. Fresh air, fascinating cultures, like minded mates, learning new skills. Join the crew and take some time to focus on you!

8th March 2019

Happy #internationalwomensday ! Women lead the way in so many ways. We are proud to offer young women from around the world the chance to gain confidence in themselves and their skills. Bring on the future!

8th March 2019

When your thousands of kms from home, if you're lucky, you'll find another kind of oddball/amazing family to call your own.

6th March 2019

Views for days

5th March 2019

New kiwi maaaaaaaaates... 🐑🐑🐑

5th March 2019

A huge welcome to the newest crew to join us for an Adventure Guide Program. Enjoy your awesome Orientation Week, then it's business time!

3rd March 2019

Outdoor climbing is a bit scary and can take you a bit to get your head around. But like anything else that pushes you out of your comfort zone, the elation felt with nailing it is unreal! Would you be game to hang from a 20 metre rock face?

1st March 2019

From ultra-light bivvy bags, moisture wicking tops and merino bottoms, to polarized sunglasses, flint firelighters and seam-sealed jackets ... gear nerds are our kinds of people.

1st March 2019

Hailing from: The Netherlands, United Kingdom, Sweden, USA, Australia, Greece, Poland and Canada!!! Introducing the March Adventure guide crew on their first day in Queenstown 🙌 Welcome team we are so stoked to have you here!