Wrapping it up - my time in NZ on the Adventure Guide Program

It's time to say our farewells to the group of legends that joined us in New Zealand for the Adventure Guide Program for the last few months of 2018. It's always crazy how at the beginning, 3 months feels like forever. In the middle, it starts to sink in how great it is to have the freedom and fun of a life spent in the outdoors, and the fitness and health benefits that come along with it. By the end of the last month, the days are racing past and it seems hard to imagine life any other way.

It's been an absolute pleasure having Ken our ambassador tell his story through images, videos and writing. Its been super fun having him and the other team members join us this year and we can't wait to see where they all end up! Hearing Alumni updates is the best. For now, let's hear Ken sign off before his next adventure...



In my three and a half months shooting for Pure Exploration I’ve been exposed to, trekked and climbed through some of New Zealand’s most gorgeous landscapes. As a photographer this place somewhat makes my job a bit easier. I have never been one to play into the whole selfie game, however always being behind the camera I found myself adapting during this assignment because it wasn’t just the landscapes that I'll remember.

It will be spending time with people like this...


In places like this.


Sometimes my fingers are too frozen to flip the camera around and accidental selfies happen..

Pretty soon after my first few weeks on assignment, I became a selfie king. First I’d snap a few of the whole crew and then flip the camera and grab a few with myself and them as well. Not to long after that, the crew just began to expect it from me during our group photo sessions. They’d say “ Hang on, hang on, Ken’s gotta do his selfie now.” And it was true, they were right. I wanted to get a selfie with them, not only as part of the crew but because the experience we all had together during this course and the places we went together was truly unique and I didn’t want to just be remembered as that guy behind the camera again. I wanted to put a face to it this time.




From family dinners, to van camping, Snowy day treks to alpine saddles, we were always together. I’m not saying that living with 12 people is a breeze by any stretch of the imagination, but I wouldn’t have it any other way on a program like this. You really do become family, and team work becomes second nature. Everyone has a strength that they bring to the table  and we all play to those. Even if the only thing you contribute is making everyone laugh until they pee, that is just as valuable as anything else.




I owe a lot to these guys, Even if they don’t know it yet. I’ve learned so much from each one of them and have shared and experienced something new with each of them, that those memories and experiences wont soon be forgotten. If I can pass anything on to the next intakes and to those to come on the program after me is that, you could be looking at something like a sunrise over Mt. Cook, and don’t get be wrong it’s absolutely beautiful...




...But it will be better when you have people like this around to see it with you, every single time.




And that is the beauty of this program and everything that the directors have put together for you. Is that you are thrown into the challenging back countries of New Zealand, or find yourself 120 meters up a wall with four of your mates attached to the same anchor, or shivering around a wood stove trying to dry your soaking wet clothes and your doing with with like minded, adventurous people like yourselves. It’s hard to find something quite like it.




With the program now over, and looking back on the entire thing, I am so happy that I had the opportunity to shoot for a company like Pure Exploration and learn as much as I did. Since graduation I have worked as a glacier guide as an instructor at a climbing gym, and am in the process of training to test up to get my New Zealand Mountain Guide Association qualifications. I might even find myself lead guiding later this year. The opportunities just keep coming.

And with that, I'll leave you with this.


 Always follow your passion, and never stop exploring.

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If you are keen to learn more about our Adventure Guide Program and getting involved with this experience, then please fire through your details below and we can send you a detailed itinerary. Come join the crew!

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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!

26th February 2019

We love seeing the pics roll in from our Adventure Guide Programs. Good times speak for themselves, don't they!

13th February 2019

Nor'west skies are red, Guide ropes are blue, Coffee brewed over campfire black Means a great day ahead its true... Happy V day team, hope its filled with things that put a smile on your dial! 🥰