New Zealand Guiding & Instructor Program

Our comprehensive Adventure Guide Program is designed for outdoor enthusiasts who are keen to elevate their technical skills and add validity to their outdoor pursuits. With experienced instructors and hands-on training, you'll refine your rock climbing, hiking, outdoor first aid and other outdoor abilities, preparing you for a successful future in the industry. Embrace the challenge, push your boundaries and prepare for a journey of personal and professional development that will set you apart in the field of outdoor adventure.

Globally Recognised Qualifications


12 Weeks

Program Price

$12,500 USD

Technical outdoor training

Group hiking next to Harris Lake on the Routeburn Track

Download the New Zealand Program Brochure

Adventure Guide Program Inclusions

What's Included

  • Outdoor skills training
  • 12-weeks accommodation in shared living environment in Queenstown
  • NZOIA Rock Leader & NZOIA Bush Leader Qualifications
  • Pure Exploration Certificate of Guiding
  • Swift Water Rescue Certificate (Rescue 3)
  • Technical equipment for rock climbing, hiking and camping
  • Transportation during program days
  • Advanced Outdoor First Aid Training
  • Leadership & teamwork
  • Networking & community interactions
  • Chance to lead and guide clients in the outdoors (great for your CV)
  • Logbook training and days

Technical Skills

  • Earn a Pure Exploration Certificate in Guiding
  • Gain NZOIA Bush Leader and Rock Leader training and qualifications which are recognised globally in the outdoor industry
  • Comprehensive Outdoor First Aid Training
  • Two day pack-rafting course where you will gain your Swift Water Rescue Certificate (Rescue 3)
  • Safe and well supported community
  • Learn the fundamentals of rock climbing before advancing to building anchors, lead climbing, multi-pitch climbing and instructor training
  • Learn bush navigation skills and spend your hiking weeks in remote backcountry on and off trail, along ridge lines and in sub alpine conditions
Who we work with, NZOIA logo | Pure Exploration
Who we work with, Department of Conservation logo | Pure Exploration

Adventure Guide Program Overview

New Zealand is the perfect location to undergo a comprehensive outdoor guide training program and our Adventure Guide Program is perfect for those looking to upskill in the outdoors. You'll hone your rock climbing techniques within sport, multipitch, tradtional and lead climbing as you traverse the South Island hitting the best crags. You'll dial in your hiking, navigation and bushcraft skills while you begin to understand outdoor group management and leadership.

Throughout the 12 weeks, you'll engage in a comprehensive program that includes advanced technical skills, group management, professional development and personal growth. You'll also learn essential outdoor skills such as wilderness first aid, rescue techniques and environmental stewardship ensuring you have what it takes to safely navigate new adventures. Each activity is designed to challenge you physically and mentally, ensuring you leave the program with a higher level of proficiency and confidence in your ability.

Whether you have prior outdoor experience or not, this program provides a progressive learning environment that builds on your existing skills. Under the mentorship of expert outdoor instructors, you'll tackle complex challenges and develop a deeper understanding of outdoor leadership. By the end of the program, you'll be well-prepared to pursue a career in the outdoor industry or simply take your passion for adventure to the next level.

Upcoming Departure Dates

Limited Spaces

Sept 2024

11 Sept 2024 - 3 Dec 2024
Book Now
Spaces Remaining

Jan 2025

15 Jan 2025 - 7 Apr 2025
Book Now
Spaces Remaining

Sept 2025

10 Sept 2025 - 2 Dec 2025
Book Now

Program Testimonials


The Adventure Guide Program is an amazing program! Learnt so much and had so much fun! Already been offered employment in adventure guiding!

Gabriel Foulkes

The adventure guide program not only equipped me with the technical skills for rock climbing and hiking, it also greatly helped me in my personal development and growth, my confidence in these activities, as well as working with others and as a team with my course-mates and instructors.

Rachel Teow

This program is fantastic for so many reasons. Whether you are trying to get a foothold in the adventure tourism industry, or just need a reset/break in your life, come out and explore New Zealand!

Grayson Redmond

Staying in New Zealand for these 3 months has been the best choice of my life. I've had a complete career change. Spending all of this time in the outdoors has made me very appreciative of the nature around us especially in these trying times of the world.

Chace Crowell

The experience was everything I could've hoped for. Learned a ton, had a blast, did awesome things in incredible places and made lifelong friends.

Max Stevens

Our Alumni

"This program is fantastic for so many reasons. Whether you are trying to get a foothold in the adventure tourism industry, or just need a reset/break in your life, come out and explore NZ!"

Grayson R. United States.

Read Our FAQs

Adventure Guide Program Itinerary

  • Pick up in Queenstown Central with your program instructor.
  • Meet your fellow adventure buddies and head to the house for orientation.
  • Māori Pōwhiri (welcoming)
  • Safety briefing, community orientation, program guidelines and overview
  • Start the week off with your advanced outdoor first aid course - setting you up nicely for the next few months of adventuring
  • Complete your first multi-day hike somewhere epic like the Matukituki Valley, Mt. Aspiring National Park or Fiordland National Park (weather dependant)
  • Travel to Wānaka to begin your introduction to climbing
  • Learn the fundamentals and technicalities to climb safely outdoors
  • It's time to journey through Fiordland National Park
  • Cruise alongside Hector Dolphins in Milford Sound
  • Hike parts of the famous Routeburn Track
  • Camp beneath the stars at a local DOC campsite
  • Visit a range of locations and rock types as you learn how to lead climb
  • Spend a day volunteering with the local climbing club
  • Time to visit Aoraki Mt. Cook National Park and hike among the beauty beneath New Zealand's highest mountain
  • Return to Queenstown and complete a two day pack rafting course while gaining your SWIFT Water Rescue 3 certification
  • Dive into the heart of Mt. Aspiring National Park as you explore the remote wilderness of the Gillespie Pass
  • Venture up the wild west coast of the South Island as you explore Hokitika, Franz Josef and climbing at above the Tasman Sea at the Charleston Sea Cliffs
  • Hike to the natural hot springs on the Copeland track and spend the night listening for Kiwi birds at the DOC hut
  • Venture to Dunedin and explore Tunnel Beach, watching the Albatross soar high above
  • Climb the famous basalt rock on Long Beach
  • It's time to practise the skills you have learned on real clients
  • Taking them outdoors under the guidance of your program instructor as you dial in your guiding skills
  • With your skills dialled and client practise under your belt it's time to complete your NZOIA Bush Leader and NZOIA Rock Leader qualifications
  • Gaining internationally recognised qualifications that will take you all over the world working as a guide
  • Finish up the program with a farewell dinner and friendly good byes

Program Gallery

Inclusions & Outcomes

  • 12 weeks of accommodation in a private house in Queenstown
  • Our very own highly experienced program instructors, they'll be with you from start to finish
  • Access to your own "Traveller Area" where you can find all the program information you need (pre and post program)
  • Our knowledgeable Program Advisors to answer your questions - just a phone call or email away
  • All activities outlined in the itinerary (rock climbing, hiking, camping, packrafting, pōwhiri, and so much more)
  • All technical equipment required to safely participate in the activities
  • All transportation during the program
  • Fees to all national parks, DOC land, campsites and huts that you will experience
  • Two day pack-rafting excursion in Glenorchy
  • Milford Sound Day Cruise
  • Farm tour and experience
  • NZOIA registration and assessments
  • Swift Water Rescue 3 Training and Qualification
  • Advance Outdoor First Aid Certificate
  • Networking and community based instructor practise to dial in your guiding skills
  • Confidence in the outdoors whether recreationally or commercially