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.

- - - 

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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Exactly one year ago today, a group of 10 strangers embarked on a journey they'll never forget! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ While currently separated over 3 different continents, some of the group still live together, some have reunion plans on hold, some are glad to never, ever, see a long drop again, and others are living that rad van life! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ We caught up with program Alumni, Summar, to get her take one year on...


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Our Outdoor Instructor Training & Industry Experience is the true zero to hero program, for those with the determination, drive and aptitude to explore, grow and succeed! It is an accelerated, practical immersion program, which offers a unique pathway from training to employment in the outdoor industry. It offers an unparalleled combination of training, qualifications and mentored transition from practitioner, to leader, and then to instructor, with quality industry experience. Pure Exploration Director, Zach Johnston, gives us the inside scoop on the Outdoor Instructor Program! Watch to find out more...


Such a great day and milestone for New Zealand, our home. An early and tough lockdown meant we now have zero cases and life from midnight tonight is set to look almost normal! We look forward to welcoming you into our bubble soon, as other countries begin their own recovery. 🎉🎉


We're excited to announce that our Outdoor Essentials online program is now underway! Thanks for all of the support so far, we're pretty pumped to get back in the classroom even if that means indoors! If you're interested in one of our courses, talk to us today! We'd love to hear from you. https://www.pureexploration.nz/online-adventure-training-programs/


Start preparing for the good times ahead with our Online Adventure Training Programs! Study in your own time with one of our 4 - 8 week programs taught by NZOIA qualified Hiking and Rock Climbing Instructors. Program Topics; 1. Outdoor Essentials 2. Global Citizenship 3. Mindset & Resilience 4. Jungle & Altitude #stayhome but #staylearning and lock in your core skills today! Visit our website for more details: https://www.pureexploration.nz/online-adventure-training-programs/


2021 ASPIRING OUTDOOR LEADER SCHOLARSHIP APPLICATIONS HAVE NOW CLOSED!⠀ Our team is going to have a hard time choosing a winner among all the amazing applicants!⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ But if you missed the deadline no need to worry because we’ve got you covered with some sweet early bird deals for our 2021 programs! Or if you are craving adventure right now, sign up for one of our BRAND NEW ONLINE PROGRAMS. See our website for details.


Caroline McQuistan has touched down in New Zealand for the Adventure Guide Progam based in Queenstown. Over the next few weeks we will follow the crew with Caroline's updates as they begin their technical climbing and hiking modules and explore our beautiful corner of the world! Learn more about this program here https://hubs.ly/H0n7k1C0


It's officially the end of an era as we say goodbye to our Sales Account Manager and original member of the Pure Exploration team, Kerie Stewart. Kerie has been a part of the Pure Ex fam since day one, joining the team in the pursuit of setting up a company which was committed to teaching eager participants the skills required to become successful Adventure Guide's here in Queenstown, NZ whilst undertaking some epic missions along the way! Kerie, we'll all miss you immensely but we're looking forward to catching you up the mountain or by the lake for a drink. We're sure our pool of graduates will join us in wishing you the best of luck with your future ventures and thank you for everything you've done to make Pure Exploration the place it is today!


We are proud to work alongside the Wakatipu Reforestation Trust and are thrilled that our students get to work alongside, and learn from, their deeply passionate and driven team! This excellent charity is committed to helping grow and plant native species within the Wakatipu Basin and would hugely benefit from receiving funding from 2020 Crux/The Hills Charity Gold Day. If you have a spare few minutes please take the time to click on the below and place your vote. 🌲🌲🌲


We think the biggest benefit of travel is the feeling of reinvigoration and inspiration you feel from surrounding yourself with new things. Shake away the dust, move those limbs, challenge the mind. Our Adventure Guide Programs are an epic way for people to get a foot in the door to a hiking or climbing guiding career, or the perfect option for those looking for a comprehensive course that helps them gain 100% confidence to navigate, hike, climb, guide and survive in the outdoors. This year our scholarships will offer deserving people the chance to join us on one of our Adventure Guide Program intakes in 2021, based in New Zealand and Patagonia. With more than NZ$200,000 in financial aid available, we are super excited to get some motivated and deserving individuals on our programs that are keen to grab this chance to challenge themselves and grow their leadership skills. We are offering one full scholarship worth NZ$13,975 to a deserving individual who embodies the enthusiasm we have for exploring the outdoors, who demonstrates leadership among their peers, and someone understands the importance of looking after our environment as we enter a new decade with heightened ecological challenges. We will also be offering several Partial Scholarships to people who are keen followers of our story. They will be outdoor lovers who are keen to use hiking and climbing as a way to challenge themselves, who understand the impact experiential travel can have in positive change. Applications close 31st March 2020, so don’t miss out! Learn more here: https://hubs.ly/H0mRsmK0