Outdoor Recreation Guide/Instructors teach or guide outdoor activities attained through our Guide and Instructor Training. For many years we have guided and instructed for excellence outdoors and in nature. We exhausted many years of research in to best meet needs of hopeful outdoor educators and the broader industry for coming decades. As the twenty first century unfolds, we help people better understand and engage with their world through excellence in outdoor leadership.
By blending ideas, practical experiences and modern issues; we train instructors and guides for the forefront in making a difference. Using integrated instructing and guiding approaches addressing change, our approaches increase a sense of connection to where we live and who we live with.
Promoting the highest instructor and guide training standards, we have supported outdoor education as a profession by using formal peer reviews thus improved our way of working collaboratively as Outdoor Recreation Guides/Instructors.
About instructor and guide training
Our Guide and Instructor Training is taught by qualified and experienced Outdoor Recreation Guides/Instructors. We give you the skills, knowledge and experiences to go on your own adventures and lead others. You will engage with natural landscapes to develop detailed understandings of instructing and guiding in the outdoor and tourism industry and what it means to our society now and for the future.
Develop your instructing and guiding then share your passion using unique combinations of theory and practice through proven talents in outdoor education.
You will learn effective Outdoor Recreation Guiding/Instructing training methods for teaching and helping others to engage with and respect our spectacular outdoor settings and instruct activities within it.
Pay for outdoor recreation guides and instructors is paid by hour, day or trip and varies depending on experience, qualifications, and type of work. New entry-level outdoor recreation instructors usually earn minimum wage ($20/hr) or $39,000 a year. Senior instructors with higher qualifications and experience can earn an indicative pay between $21-28/hr or $40,000-$60,000 per year often with an allowance for clothing and equipment.
What are the chances of getting a job?
Chances of getting a job as an outdoor recreation guide or instructor are good because tourism is New Zealand's largest export industry and is growing by 8% annually. If you are well-rounded with versatile skills and knowledge and able to work all seasons then you can expect plenty of work!
Outdoor recreation guides and instructors may work for:
outdoor education/pursuit centres.
Progression and specialisations
Outdoor recreation guides and instructors may move into senior, management or training roles, or may set up their own guiding businesses. They may also teach at polytechnics or outdoor recreation centres.
Outdoor recreation guides and instructors usually specialise in an area such as:
Bungy jump masters who direct, supervise and control bungy jumping activities.
Canyoning guides who organise and lead canyoning trips.
Fishing guides who organise and run guided fishing trips for individuals or groups.
Horse trekking guides who organise and lead trips along beaches, parks and New Zealand's back country.
Hunting guides who organise and run guided hunting trips for individuals or groups.
Mountain biking who guides organise and lead mountain bike tours.
Mountain or glacier guides who organise and run guided trips of mountains and glaciers.
Outdoor adventure instructors who provide education in outdoor adventure sports and bushcraft.
Rock climbing guides who teach different styles of climbing at indoor climbing walls or on guided climbing trips outdoors.
Ski field patrollers who provide a safe environment for skiers and snowboarders by ensuring conditions are safe, and educating visitors about mountain safety.
Trekking guides who organise and run guided bushwalking and trekking trips.
Whitewater rafting guides who organise and run guided rafting and kayaking trips on whitewater rivers.
Personal trainers/fitness instructors who help people improve their general fitness or train for special events through individual programmes or classes.
Divers who work underwater and may develop and maintain commercial structures, carry out marine searches and rescues, instruct dive students, do biosecurity work, and gather seafood.
Rangers who protect, enhance and maintain conservation and recreation areas such as regional and national parks, forests, wetlands, reserves, and sites of cultural importance.
Recreation co-ordinators who plan and run community leisure, before and after-school and sport programmes at venues such as recreation centres, parks, clubs and schools.
Tour guides who escort people on sightseeing, educational or other tours, and describe points of interest.
What your guide and instructor training might cover
Outdoor Recreation Guides/Instructors may do some or all of the following during their Guide and Instructor Training:
Plan outdoor recreation activities and instruction programmes,
Assess risks involved in an activity, considering weather and different clients' abilities,Lead, guide and instruct people taking part in activities,
Organise safety procedures including checking equipment, running rescue practices, and providing first aid if necessary,
Prepare recreation areas by doing things such as signposting or fencing off paths and hazards,
Organise bookings, transport, food and accommodation, and drive clients to activities,
Clean and store equipment after use
Keep logbooks of their trips.
- Clothing and equipment,
- Local conditions and weather
- Logistics and safety management,
- Cultural and environmental sustainability
- Professional foundations and applications
- Advanced Pursuits (Rock Climbing, Tramping, Kayaking, Caving etc.)
- Philosophy and ethics
- Modern issues
- The art and science of teaching and learning
- Policy and planning
- Resource management
Guide and instructor training content
- Guide and Instructor Training. Outdoor Recreation Guide/Instructor.
- Work independently without direct supervision,
- Learn how to guide others confidently in outdoor pursuits,
- Gain national awards as part of your engagement.
- Work within an activity and site specific risk management plan,
- Work nationally without a need for site induction,
- Instruct advanced skills,
- Develop and supervise programmes,
- Prove knowledge and understanding of safety management plans and processes.
Our Ethical Practices for guide and instructor training
Promoting standards of Outdoor Recreation Guide/Instructor professional behaviour and portrayals for practicing as outdoor professionals while Guiding and Instructing:
- Industry Standards
- Rapport with Clients and Public
- Interpretation and Enforcement
- Commitment to Positive Values in Environmental Issues
Who needs guide and instructor training?
Our Guide and Instructor Training. Outdoor Recreation Guide/Instructor is designed for people who have already developed their personal skills in a particular activity, have begun instructing and guiding others and who wish to become legitimate.
Our instructor and guide training will go through the major elements required for industry standards.
We help you identify any gaps before you take responsibility for others and attend assessments. Guide and Instructor Training. Outdoor Recreation Guide/Instructor.
Personal attributes for guide and instructor training
- Guide and Instructor Training. Outdoor Recreation Guide/Instructor.
- Mature, responsible and composed in emergencies,
- Good decision-makers under pressure,
- Patient, sympathetic and enthusiastic,
- Confident, competent and able to inspire that in others,
- Excellent instructors with good communication skills,
- Good at planning, organizing and have problem-solving skills,
- Able to work in a team,
- Alert and observant.
Outdoor recreation guides and instructors need to be:
mature, responsible and able to stay calm in emergencies
able to make good decisions under pressure
patient, sympathetic and enthusiastic
confident in their own abilities and able to inspire confidence in others
excellent leaders with good communication skills
good at planning and organisation, with strong problem-solving skills
able to work as part of a team
alert and observant.
Useful experience for outdoor recreation guides and instructors includes:
paid or voluntary leadership of outdoor recreation groups
teaching, sales or customer service work
work involving contact with the public
first aid and accident emergency work
Outdoor recreation guides and instructors need to have excellent fitness and health. They must be strong as they may have to transport equipment, walk, cycle, ski or ride long distances, or take part in a range of physical activities.
Registration is not compulsory for outdoor recreation guides and instructors. However, they may choose to register with the New Zealand Outdoor Instructors' Association (NZOIA) or join the New Zealand Register of Recreation Professionals (NZRRP).
Outdoor recreation guides and instructors who register their qualifications are re-evaluated by NZOIA every three years to ensure they are up to date with current standards.
New Zealand Outdoor Instructors' Association (NZOIA) website - information on registration
New Zealand Register of Recreation Professionals (NZRRP) website - information on registration
Adventure tourism operators need to register with WorkSafe and pass safety audit inspections to legally operate.
Worksafe website - list of registered adventure activity operators
Skills and knowledge
Outdoor recreation guides and instructors need to have:
a high level of skill in their outdoor activity or activities
knowledge of health and safety procedures relating to activities they undertake
outdoor survival and first aid skills
knowledge of weather conditions and geography in the area where they work.
Outdoor recreation guides and instructors:
may work long and irregular hours, including weekends and nights
work at locations such as national parks, mountains, forests, caves, rivers, lakes and the sea
may work in hot, cold, wet, windy or dangerous conditions
may travel within New Zealand or overseas to areas where the outdoor activities take place.
Guide and Instructor Training. Outdoor Recreation Guide/Instructor.People are drawn to education outdoors and adventure recreation. We are all happier in the outdoors; feeling better, sleeping better, time slows and the air feels good to breathe. That is why our instructor and guide training is not all about nature and pursuits. There are cultural activities and exchanges; sightseeing and touring; personal development; community and social events; free time and plenty of opportunity for exploration into one seamless program.
Your instructor and guide training 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 instructing and guiding adventure industry with skill-sets for becoming a confident outdoor adventurer and global citizen. You will experience places most only dream of seeing.
We focus on meaningful experiential travel, immersing people in unique cultural environments, educating and inspiring them to reach goals, and encouraging personal development. Through adventure and exploration, we want to help your instructor and guide training through mental fortitude, internal confidence and external wellbeing.Guide and Instructor Training. Outdoor Recreation Guide/Instructor.
Our approach to guide and instructor training
We offer Guide and Instructor Training. Outdoor Recreation Guide/Instructor. designed for locals and travelers seeking a positive developmental stepping-stone into independent travel, working the adventure tourism industry or your next life chapter.
Our instructor and guide training philosophy threads through all our action-packed itineraries, encompassing developmental and educational ideas. We provide vast skills, great knowledge and huge experiences within an adventure travel context. We create cultures and ever-expanding levels of independence for you and others.
Each place and practice for instructor and guide training is chosen for your perfect 'classroom' toward personal development, immersive learning and managed challenges.Guide and Instructor Training. Outdoor Recreation Guide/Instructor.
How to enter the job
There are no specific entry requirements to become an outdoor recreation guide or instructor. However, a diploma in outdoor recreation (Level 5 or 6) may be useful.
Outdoor recreation qualifications from Skills Active Aotearoa or the New Zealand Outdoor Instructors' Association (NZOIA) may also be useful.
Skills Active Aotearoa website - information on outdoor recreation qualifications
New Zealand Outdoor Instructors' Association (NZOIA) website - information on outdoor recreation instructor qualifications
You must also have a high level of skill and experience in the relevant outdoor activity.
Skills Active Aotearoa oversees outdoor recreation instructor apprenticeships.
Skills Active Aotearoa website - information on outdoor recreation instructor apprenticeships
The Vulnerable Children Act 2014 means that if you have certain serious convictions, you can’t be employed in a role where you are responsible for, or work alone with, children.
Oranga Tamariki website - information on Vulnerable Children Act requirements
There are no specific secondary education requirements to become an outdoor recreation guide or instructor. However, geography, physical education and English are useful.
Year 11 to 13 students can learn more about the outdoor recreation industry by taking part in a school and workplace partnership through Skills Active Aotearoa.
Skills Active Aotearoa website - information on school programmes and workplace partnerships