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Institute of Technology or Polytechnic

Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology
Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology logo

New Zealand Diploma in Adventure Tourism and Guiding (Level 5)

This course is available


Level of Study



40 weeks

Next start date



With this programme, you’ll work closely with adventure operators to gain experience in the adventure tourism industry.

As an Adventure Tourism student, you will call the diverse wilderness areas of the Top of the South (and sometimes beyond) your classroom.

NMIT has conveniently located a short distance from three awesome National Parks (Kahurangi, Abel Tasman, and Nelson Lakes). While there are a number of classes on campus, you will also often be out and about hiking, rafting, rock climbing, sea-kayaking, skiing, snowboarding or canyoning.

Programme structure

The programme is structured into 15-credit courses that can be studied full time (part-time in block courses). A combination of on-campus classes and overnight trips are required.

We get started early in the year, to make the most of the summer weather! Our courses are applied and practical in nature. You can expect at least 80% of your learning to take place in the outdoors.

Career opportunities & pathways

Work as an adventure tourism guide or operator, or continue with further study.

Possible careers include:

  • Sea Kayak Guide
  • Whitewater Raft Guide
  • Snowboard/Ski Instructor
  • Hiking/Tramping Guide
  • Glacier Guide
  • Rock Climber
  • Whitewater Kayaker
  • Adventure Tourism Operator

Entry criteria

Applicants under 20 years of age:

A minimum of 48 credits NCEA at level 2 across 4 subjects (at least 12 credits in one subject), or
New Zealand Certificate in Outdoor and Adventure Education (Multi-skilled) (Level 4), or
Demonstrated equivalent skills and knowledge.

Applicants aged 20 years or above:

No academic qualifications are required. Evidence to support an applicant’s ability to successfully undertake the programme with a reasonable likelihood of success may be requested.

English Language Requirements

  • IELTS: Academic score of 5.5 with no band score lower than 5.0
  • TOEFL Internet-based test (iBT) - Score of 46 (with a writing score of 14)
  • Cambridge English Examinations - B2 First or B2 First for schools with a score of 162. No less than 154 in each skill
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic) - PTE (Academic) score of 42 with no band score lower than 36

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