Adventure Guide Internship

Outdoor Guide Training, Experience & Work


90 Days


New Zealand


From technical skills to emergency safety and group dynamics, this comprehensive course will prep you with all the skills needed to pass your guiding qualifications and feel confident to guide groups. Work experience and an adventure tourism job offer round off this awesome three month adventure in New Zealand.


3 Sept - 1 Dec


1 Mar - 29 May


3 Jun - 31 Aug


2 Sept - 30 Nov


8 weeks intensive practical and theoretical training, world-recognised guiding qualifications, plus work placements in the adventure tourism industry in New Zealand to gain you the best entry into the adventure travel industry possible. Ongoing job placements available with some programs.


Our aim is to prepare our participants for entry-level employment in global front-line adventure tourism positions.


While this is an Adventure Guide Internship, 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.  


To become a global guide, you will embark on a remarkable journey of learning, experiences and coaching. New Zealand’s diverse and spectacular outdoors will be your classroom, with lessons on leadership, technical skills, group dynamics and group psychology, and strategies to help in every area of life. 


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 and work in the most amazing places on earth, the Pure Exploration Adventure Guide Internship is an epic, constructive, and rewarding way to spend 3 months in New Zealand. 


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  • NZ Outdoor Instructor Association Qualifications (Hiking + Rock climbing OR Canyoning OR Mountain Biking OR Sea Kayaking)
  • Pre Hospital Emergency Care Qualification
  • 8 Week Adventure Guide Training program
  • Swift Water Rescue Certificate
  • Accommodation and Meals During Training
  • 4 Week work experience and assessment module
  • Qualification resources, registration and assessment
  • All technical equipment & program related transport
  • 3 month Paid work placement opportunities


  • English Language Fluency
  • Be 18 years or older 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!

Note spaces on this program are extremely limited, as work placements are held with tourism operators for limited staff numbers. 



Becoming an adventure guide in NZ

Cyril Delteil, France

Coming from France I was worried about my English, but being here everyday and speaking with native speakers means my English has improved so much, alongside my outdoor skills.
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Exciting & Adventurous Times!

Dana Ester - Florida, USA

"If you're considering this program, just go for it! I've always wanted to come to NZ, this course was the perfect opportunity to come here but also further my adventure career goals. If you push yourself, this course will help you get where you want to go."
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Climbing, exploring, loving NZ

Michel Affkerback, Germany

The highlight of the course so far for me is learning to climb multi-pitch by myself, or with a friend, and knowing what to do. If you are into the outdoors and thinking of becoming a guide, do this course! It's based in beautiful New Zealand and you'll learn a lot.


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


Queenstown Orientation

Get to know your program mates and your base camp – the stunning adventure capital of the world, Queenstown! Spend a few days getting familiar with the local area, learn local customs and culture, do a bit of administration, and fully absorb exactly what you’ll get up to over the next 12 weeks.


Introduction to Adventure Skills & Leadership

Time for an introduction to the disciplines that will become your bread and butter for the next eight weeks. You'll get an in-depth briefing and training on hiking, guiding and climbing/biking/canyoning, giving you the core skills needed for the training ahead. Not to mention exploring some stunning local sights along the way! 

You’ll begin developing technical skills in rope systems, rock climbing, and bush walking. We’ll build on your existing knowledge of equipment, weather, and nutrition, then introduce you to essential training in group management, risk analysis, and leadership.


Become an Expert

After getting loads of practice in the bush and on the rock, choose a strand to continue developing your abilities in the outdoors.

In groups of 8, you’ll receive training to satisfy NZOIA leader qualifications in:

  • Sea / Flat Water Kayaking
  • Riverboarding
  • Climbing
  • Canyoning
  • Mountain Biking, or
  • Hiking 


Complete your training with two safety certificates

  • 40-hour Pre-Hospital Emergency Care
  • Swift Water Rescue

Then jump right into guiding!

You’ll be placed with various employers over these final weeks to satisfy log book requirements, giving each of you a minimum of 5 client days as lead or assistant guides in bush walking and in your chosen strand.

Finally, crunch time! Buckle down and consolidate your learning in preparation for your NZOIA assessments. 


Each week will include*

  • 4 days of Technical Training
  • 1 day of Self-Directed Learning
  • 1 day for Classroom Learning
  • 1 day for Admin or as Free Day

*The order of days will change each week and as your training progresses. This is simply a general outline.


Able to stick around a bit after your assessments? Grab your gear & your program mates and put your skills to the final test on a fully self-planned and self-led expedition!

Travel up the South Island to a dreamy NZ location like the Abel Tasman National Park (or wherever takes your fancy) for some off-track bush walking, climbing, kayaking, or whatever gets your heart pounding! We’ll provide all the gear you’ll need and you can put all your learning into action!


Paid add-ons -

Guaranteed* work placement position - NZD$1500
If you pass your assessments, and have demonstrated a great attitude and potential for guiding, this is when we support your preparation and assist you in being placed into your paid work!

Self Led Expedition - NZD$1875 - Choose a location, plan and lead your own expedition! Put all your new outdoor guiding skills to use for a self led 2 week adventure including transport, equipment, meals and accommodation. Chat to us for more details. 




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

*Guaranteed work placement positions are available as a paid add-on to your course fee, paid in full along with your course fee. We will assist you wherever possible in obtaining employment post course, on the conditions that you have passed your relevant assessments, hold a Working Holiday Visa in New Zealand, and have demonstrated a good attitude. You will be placed with one of our partner companies.