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Adventure Guide Program - Queenstown, NZ

Outdoor Guide Training & Industry Experience


12 Weeks


New Zealand


On every adventure traveller’s bucket list, New Zealand’s awe-inspiring mountains, beaches and vast landscapes won’t disappoint.

From technical skills to emergency safety and group dynamics, this comprehensive course will give you 100% confidence to navigate, hike, climb and guide in the outdoors.


17 Sep - 9 Dec


17 Jan - 11 April


16 Sept - 8 Dec


13 Jan - 7 Apr

This 12 week program is broken down into different key areas that focus on building your repertoire of skills and experience. Your time will be split between intensive practical and theoretical training, gaining world-recognised guiding qualifications, plus industry experience in the adventure tourism industry. All this will give you the best entry into the outdoor industry possible, or simply an advanced skill set for becoming a more confident outdoor adventurer.


This NZ program gains participants the following guiding qualifications:

  • NZOIA Bush Leader


  • NZOIA Rock Leader OR/ 
  • NZOIA Canyon Leader (Queenstown only)

You'll also get:

  • Pre-hospital Emergency Care Qualification (PHEC)
  • Swift Water Rescue Safety Level 1
  • Pure Exploration Certificate of Guiding 

Don't have 12 weeks to spare?? Check out our 6 week option! 




While this is an Adventure Guide Program, it's not all about the outdoors and outdoor pursuits. There will be cultural activities and exchange; sightseeing and touring; personal development; community and social events; free time and plenty of opportunity for exploration.  


Whether you are looking for a stepping stone into the adventure tourism career pathway as a guide, or just an awesome educational opportunity to live in the most amazing places on earth, the Pure Exploration Adventure Guide Program is an epic, constructive, and rewarding way to spend 3 months in New Zealand! 


You’ll love arriving into Queenstown – it’s a great place for hiking mountains, swimming in lakes and rivers, pub crawls, live music, locals food and drink specials, frisbee golf and fireside chats. Queenstown is filled with an exciting mix of backpackers, ski seasonnaires, outdoor enthusiasts and local legends.



  • 12 week adventure tourism training and qualification program based in Queenstown, New Zealand
  • 12 weeks accommodation
  • 10 weeks food allowance (Last 2 weeks self catered)
  • All technical equipment, program related transport & travel
  • Employer networking opportunities
  • Qualified & experienced technical instructors
  • Pure Exploration Certificate of Adventure Guiding
  • 2 x NZ Outdoor instructor association leader qualifications (hiking + rock climbing or canyon leader)
  • Pre-hospital emergency care qualification
  • Swift Water River Rescue Level 1 Certificate
  • Modules on guiding and leadership skills, critical incident management & technical skills
  • Live, learn, socialise and join the thriving resort community of Queenstown


  • English Language Fluency
  • Be 18-35 years old at time of commencement
  • Moderate fitness is recommended. All professional development and training is provided
  • Have a passion for travel, adventure, & tourism
  • A desire to accept challenges, a thirst for knowledge, a love of outdoor activities or for our natural environment
  • Be a social team player that enjoys helping others discover adventure!
  • Canyoning option - swimming ability

Note spaces on this program are extremely limited! Most of our candidates apply 8-12 months in advance of start date. 

 Adventure Guide training program in NZ



Katherine's reflection of the Adventure Guide Program

Katherine, Colorado USA

"I walked away with some really good friends, and some great skills that I anticipated learning, and some that I didn't anticipate learning!"

Curtis summarises his Adventure Guide Program experience


I found Pure Ex, through a facebook ad. I took a shot at signing up and 100% do not regret. I was apart of the Sept 2018 Adventure guide program. Where i met 12 new friends and tackle the beauty of New Zealand, South Island. Recommend to anyone whose looking for something new and exciting. If you're a nature lover any of these programs are calling your name!
Michel AGP

Michel's update 2 years after AGP!

Michel, from Germany

I had no idea what I want to do in my life, but I wanted to get more into Rock Climbing & Outdoor Sports. NZ was on my bucket list, so I cancelled the job I had lined up at a husky farm in Norway and booked my place at Pure Ex. And man, I can tell it was a good decision. I would recommend this program to anybody who is interested in rock climbing, hiking, or generally the outdoors. No matter if it is to enhance your personal skills or learn, how to deal with clients, groups and instruct other people.


A diverse and exciting program designed to keep everyone interested and busy throughout their stay, balancing plenty of action, learning, social and free time.

Day 1: Orientation

Orientation is a bit like your first week at college. You will get to know the local area, get to know your program mates, and really absorb the plan for your Expedition.

Day 2 - 4: The Routeburn Track

We are stepping straight into arguably New Zealand's most well-known Tramp (hike). This three-day hike will ease you into multi-day hiking. We are hoping to include the extra climb to the Conical above the Mackenzie shelter. This stop-off point offers incredible views down the valley over to Milford Sound. After this hike we will get the chance to cruise on Milford Sound as it's not one to be missed!


WEEKS 7 - 10 Leadership

Hike Modules Three and Four: are when you start practicing leading your group, trip planning and gaining some mileage for your logbook! A couple more multi-day adventures await 

Rock Modules Three and Four: again you will start leading your group, route planning, safety assessments and risk management. A couple of awesome road trips to find the best hidden crags! 


WEEKS 11- 12 Client days and assessments


Time to complete logbook requirements to enable you to sit your upcoming NZOIA Bush and Rock Leader assessments

We will set you up with leadership days to run hiking and climbing excursions, from trip planning, safety, pickups, equipment, working with clients, and leading groups! 

Get some real experience with what it takes to plan, risk assess and successfully lead a day expedition

Assessments take place in the final week of the program, a 2 day Bush Assessment and a 2 day Rock Assessment. We have an amazing 98% pass rate, so if you have put in the time and energy - by the end of the program you will 

be a certified NZOIA Rock and Bush Leader

To top off your 12 weeks with us we host an epic graduation dinner. 

For those looking to stay on in NZ and seek employment we provide plenty of support and assistance to get you hooked up with our industry partners. 


Other Pure Ex Programs
We have a number of exciting programs in a range of countries that you may be keen to experience. These include:

Expedition Leader Program - For those keen to push their skills in high alpine regions, and begin to specialise in altitude and advanced technical hiking. A global course that finishes in the Himalayas.


This is a sample itinerary. Modules may occur in a different order due to weather conditions or scheduling requirements