One of our upcoming Adventure Guide participants, Kaylee Pickett, has been loving her time experiencing adventure travel in New Zealand. We thought we'd let her explain why New Zealand is an epic place for adventure travel.
I studied Natural Resource Recreation and Tourism at Colorado State University, a program which emphasizes the ‘do what you love’ mentality by educating students on sustainability, resource management, tourism enterprise, and, of course, getting after it.
My upbringing in Colorado ensured a fierce love for snow and all the ways to slide down it, a desire to spend most my time outside, and a refusal to sit in an office working the traditional 9 to 5 spirit-crushing job. My educational pursuits got me half the way, but my decision to do a program in New Zealand has surely sealed my fate as a professional dirtbag living in paradise.
I’ve moved around quite a bit in the last few years, starting with a semester abroad in Madrid, Spain during my junior year of high school (16 years old), then on to Washington state, Utah, and back to Colorado to finish my undergrad.
I set my sights on New Zealand and the universe carried me to the outdoor recreation mecca: Queenstown. I interviewed with several gap year companies on both the North and South islands of New Zealand, and although they all offered something unique and interesting, none could compete with both the company I chose and the location.
For those of us who love snowboarding, rock climbing, and hiking, or pretty much anything to do with the outdoors, I think New Zealand is always in the back of our minds as the place.
Queenstown, in one word, is paradise. Nestled next to the largest fresh water body of water I’ve ever seen and tucked between some of the steepest peaks on the southern hemisphere, QT provides on all cylinders. The Remarkables and Coronet Peak are quite close and deliver awesome on- and off-piste terrain as well as a community of skiers unique to such a small town. City centre, adorable, clean, and safe, is a collection of delicious restaurants, high-adrenaline tour operators, retail shops, and lots and lots of bars. The population in town is a collection of locals, those here long term, skiers here for the season, and tourists. You’ll be hard pressed to find anyone not stoked out of their mind to be here; the atmosphere in town is unlike any place I’ve ever been.
In New Zealand
I’ve lived and worked in Queenstown for two months now, and it just keeps getting better. The world opens up when you say yes – yes to a storm-chasing road trip, yes to jumping in the lake during winter, yes to a night out with the people in your hostel, yes to any opportunity that comes your way!
New Zealand truly has something for everyone. The North Island has beaches, surfing, and the largest city in the country. The South Island bodes tons of resort and backcountry skiing, insane places like Fiordland National Park, and a laid-back vibe only Kiwis can provide.
Anyone looking to do an adventure tourism internship abroad can rest assured that New Zealand will not only meet, but exceed, any and all expectations. Gain valuable work experience in an English-speaking country that’s home to endless outdoor opportunities, wildly interesting people from around the world, and the chance learn what it’s like to live and work abroad.
If you have a passion for the outdoors, the time has come for you to get on a plane and join us in NZ. With tourism the biggest driver of the kiwi economy, adventure tourism looks set to continue to grow.
You can check out the range of programs available with Pure Exploration here.