Why New Zealand is the best place for adventure travel

One of our upcoming Adventure Guide Interns, Kaylee Pickett, has been loving her time NZ. We thought we'd let her explain why New Zealand is an epic place for adventure travel. 


About Me 

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 my internship in New Zealand has surely sealed my fate as a professional dirtbag living in paradise. 


Kaylee pic 


Before NZ

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 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.


ResizedImage600354 QT Summer 2000w

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 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.


Join us!

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 internships and programs available with Pure Exploration here.


Tell me more...

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18th September 2018

Beautiful intro to hike module 1 with a day hike in Arrowtown! Team 3 was introduced to new navigation skills including compass and map reading, identifying local and exotic flora and fauna, and some people skills to go along with guiding. Ivor entertained the team with stories and facts along the way to split up the trek. What a way to spend your Tuesday!

17th September 2018

If you see an out of office on our emails today, this is why.

17th September 2018

Some surprise snow for Spring in Queenstown, New Zealand! Movie day for our team ❄❄☃️

10th September 2018

Founder Zach instructing team three on their first day on the rock. Pure Exploration's immersive and hands on program takes first time climbers and trains them to be rock leaders. Giving them the tools and knowledge to pass on to future climbers. At first sight the walls can be intimidating, but the intimate teaching environment and one on one instructor-trainee relationship gave these first timers the confidence to send their first routes.

9th September 2018

We currently have three groups in Queenstown, New Zealand taking part in the Adventure Guide Program. Here's Team three packing up their twelve person van like absolute pros!

9th September 2018

Team three setting up camp in Wanaka for their first week of climbing. Not a bad view, I guess!

6th September 2018

When adventure guides meet Real Country

6th September 2018

Guys, meet Team Honey Badger. We can tell its gonna be a good 3 months!

5th September 2018

Double cone in the setting sun. Queenstown is truly amazing. The perfect place that lends inspiration for all of us aspiring adventure guides. #neverstopexploring

5th September 2018

Team two crushing the poses around Queenstown today, and perhaps catching the occasional goat! Orientation week has gone off without a hitch and everyone is really bonding as a unit. Can't wait to get on the trail next week!

3rd September 2018

John from Real Country showing @crystalgraham_ from our August Pure Ex crew how to drench a hogget (giving them a dose of vitamins!). Thanks again to Real Country for an amazing afternoon of fun and learning. Cheers!

3rd September 2018

Because its there - George Mallory.

3rd September 2018

The NZ AGP September crew getting a feel for their new hometown!

1st September 2018

Pure Exploration's Adventure Guide Program is a three month immersive outdoor guide training program. Twelve strangers from around the world learning and pushing new boundaries together. You live with your crew, you cook with them, eat with them, travel, hike, climb, sweat and struggle with them. They become like family. Your #pureexploration family! Learn more about this program here https://hubs.ly/H0dPgCz0

1st September 2018

Experience real New Zealand culture with Pure Ex. Like sheep. Literally millions of sheep.

30th August 2018

Hey guys, just want to introduce Ken Shafer who will be taking part in our Adventure Guide Program that started this week! Can't wait to see what goes down in the next 3 months Ken! 💪

29th August 2018

Are you keen to work in the adventure/expedition industry? Our Expedition Leader Program will set you up with an impressive CV of skills and experience. There is no other program in the world that specifically offers the core skills required to become an expedition leader whilst immersed in the Andes and the Himalaya. It's 3 months of immersive learning. Check it out here https://hubs.ly/H0ddfVg0

29th August 2018

Make your #StudyAbroadGoals come true with our mates GoAbroad.com Lonely Planet and STA Travel and enter to win a study abroad experience in 2019! (We have a few ideas on how you could spend this prize... 😜) Winner gets a scholarship, flights, and lots of travel goodies + there are weekly giveaways that you can’t miss! http://ow.ly/Ny7w30livpT

27th August 2018

Founder Zach getting to know the new team.

27th August 2018

Day 1 of the AGP in New Zealand! New crew has arrived, the sun is shining, 12 weeks of good times await!! @ Arrowtown

26th August 2018

Yes our programs are all about constructive travel, learning specific skills to help you in the outdoors or negotiate team situations for volunteering. But let's not forget what may be the most awesome part of our programs - the people you will meet! You'll meet guys and girls from all over the globe doing super interesting things with their lives. Bring on the good times!

26th August 2018

What does a normal day look for someone on a Pure Ex Adventure Guide Program? Let's see!

26th August 2018

Tomorrow another group of awesome peeps from around the globe will begin their three month Adventure Guide Program with us in New Zealand! Kerie and Zach have been super busy preparing all the kit needed for their time dominating the outdoors. Bring it on!

23rd August 2018

Wilderness first aid might make the difference between life and death one day. If you don't learn it for your own benefit, do it for your hiking buddies! Knowledge is power 💪

22nd August 2018

After a big hike on a cold morning, how outrageously good is that cup of tea? Why does everything taste better out in the bush? Because it's earned!