Work Travel Train Program New Zealand
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Work & Train Program



24 Weeks


Queenstown, New Zealand


Challenge yourself, venture into the New Zealand wilderness, expand your outdoor skill set, and work in the tourism industry while you're at it! On this program, you will explore the South Island's awe-inspiring mountains, beaches and vast landscapes as you learn to navigate, hike, climb, guide and work in the outdoors.


1 Nov 2023 - 16 Apr 2024


This adventure tourism training program offers you an epic 6 months in some of the most impressive landscapes in the world. You will gain PAID adventure tourism industry experience as you join the crew of one of our adventure-travel partners for three months, and spend the rest of the program making your way through Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park, Mt Aspiring National Park, and Fjordland National Park while gaining world-recognized outdoor guiding qualifications in hiking and rock climbing!


This program gains the following qualifications:

  • NZOIA Bush Leader qualification
  • NZOIA Rock Leader 
  • Pure Exploration Certificate of Guiding 
  • Pre-hospital Emergency Care Certification (PHEC)
  • Swift Water Rescue training



Since the tourism industry is notoriously difficult to get into, this program includes work at one of the leading adventure tourism providers (recruitment dependent) in Queenstown. 

You will have the chance to join an adventure travel industry expert. This could be a range of different providers all providing exhilarating experiences across the South Island of New Zealand.



You’ll love your stay in 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.


But Queenstown is not only famous for its sheer beauty, but also for the vast amount of activities available for eager adventure travelers! Pretty much every adventurous outdoor activity you can think of is available in Queenstown. Past participants have enjoyed spending time skydiving, cliff jumping, jet boating, river surfing, and mountain biking down Coronet Peak.



This adventure tourism training program is suitable for anyone who wants to embark on a career in the outdoor guiding or tourism industry, or simply wants to take a break from work or school and is looking for a unique experience. This program will have you challenge your own understanding of what it means to take on the wild as you gain skills that you'll use for the rest of your life as a hiker, climber and lover of exploring untouched regions. Bring on the adventures!


  • Paid work experience with leading tourism provider (interview dependent)
  • All technical equipment, program related transport & travel
  • Qualified & experienced technical instructors
  • Opportunity to be assessed to 2 x NZ Outdoor instructor association leader qualifications (hiking + rock climbing)
  • Pure Exploration Certificate of Adventure Guiding
  • Advanced Outdoor First Aid
  • Outdoor River Rescue and Intro to Packrafting
  • Employer networking opportunities
  • Flexible payment plans available
  • *food and accommodation not included in program cost


  • 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!
  • Requires a New Zealand Working Holiday Visa



Do you want to know more?

We have answered the most frequently asked questions in the FAQ SectionIf you still have any other questions, feel free to fill in this form or to schedule a call with one of our program advisors for more information.


Book a call


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 part of the Sept 2018 Adventure Guide Program, where I met 12 new friends and explored the beautiful South Island of New Zealand. I totally recommend Pure Ex to anyone whose looking for something new and exciting. If you're a nature lover, Pure Ex is calling your name!

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, working, social and free time.



Welcome to Queenstown! We spend a few days having a group orientation where the group will get to know each other, settle into accommodation and have a typical kiwi BBQ and few beers. Over the next few days you'll all discuss the learning outcomes for the program, spend time participating in team bonding exercises, play various games and have time to explore your new back yard whilst taking part in an organised scavenger hunt! It's a really great few days and will solidify lifelong friendships with your Pure Ex family really quickly!

You’ll get an in-depth briefing providing you the core skills needed for the training ahead. Not to mention exploring some stunning local sights along the way!

Hike Module one will introduce you to day-hikes, overnight hikes, navigation, weather and map reading then introduce you to essential training in group management, risk analysis, and leadership.



On your third week we get you all kitted out to spend some time on the rock face climbing! In rock module one you get stuck into training on equipment, safety, top-roping and an intro to lead climbing. 

On the fourth week we spend time in Queenstown, where participants will undertake Pre Hospital Emergency Care (PHEC) training. Upon satisfactory completion of the program, participants will receive an internationally recognised qualification. PHEC is known as "the beast" of first aid training and is the industry standard for adventure industry professionals. It's delivered by leading outdoor safety and emergency care professionals who we have worked closely with for a number of years and is ideal for those who are looking to lead groups in an outdoor environment. Participants become familiar with the use of advanced emergency care equipment such as oxygen, defibrillators and BP cuffs as well as other resuscitation techniques.

MONTH 2 -3: PAID WORK EXPERIENCE AT A LEADING TOURISM PROVIDER (border restrictions and recruitment dependent)

We have worked hard to bring you PAID work experience at a leading tourism provider in the South Island of New Zealand. There is so much going on here in the hub of tourism for New Zealand. The work we provide could see you on the front desk, providing information for tourists or
it could see you out in the field assisting guiding across the mountains of New Zealand. We can’t wait to match you up with one of our partners and get you on the road to REAL and PAID work experience in the field that you are training in. This is the first step into your future as part of the adventure tourism industry.
*recruitment and border restrictions dependent



It's not all work and no play. After 2 months of gaining industry experience, we get back to the outdoors and take it up a notch. It’s time to test your limits and push those new skills. We take you to a few more challenging locations where you’ll have to pull together as a team to get through, and where you’ll really start to see the value in ensuring processes are followed and back-up plans are in place!

  • Hike Module 2 covers: Multi-day hiking, camping, nutrition, leadership, navigation, flora and fauna and natural interpretation skills
  • Rock Module 2 covers: Lead climbing, top-roping systems, abseiling, transitions and clifftop safety 
  • Hike Modules 3 & 4 cover: practicing leading your group, trip planning and gaining some mileage for your logbook! A couple more multi-day adventures await
  • Rock Modules 3 & 4 cover: leading your group, route planning, safety assessments and risk management. A couple of awesome road trips to find the best hidden crags!

Two days are also spent in the water, with our custom SWIFT water rescue training. This course will teach you the skills needed in order to read and understand water patterns, water safety, rules and regulations, environmental and cultural practices, as well as how to conduct river rescues. It's a great course to compliment the PHEC qualification, and it will instill in you a general sense of confidence around water.





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. Everyone is allocated 5 days where you’ll be acting as leader, guide and instructor in bush walking and rock climbing.

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.

As well as completing your hiking and rock climbing disciplines to NZOIA standard, you’ll also complete two crucial safety certifications to add to your repertoire: 40-hour Pre-Hospital Emergency Care & Swift Water Rescue.

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. 


After all this time away, you might be missing getting involved with paying tourists and practicing your skills! Once again, you will join a team* and put your best step forward in providing a memorable customer experience. The adventure tourism culture is a unique one as innovation and fun are at the core of everything they do, so you won’t be short of a laugh while you’re working in this industry. And not unimportant, you’ll even leave with some pocket money for your next adventure if you don’t decide to go skydiving every other weekend.
*border and recruitment restrictions dependent


This is a sample guide to what you can expect to do on the program. Please note that treks, locations and the order in which the activities occur may be subject to change, due to seasonality, operational requirements or health & safety.



Enrollment is open, so the next step would be to check current availability here and then apply.