Are you passionate about outdoor adventure?
Have a desire to see young people grow and develop into the best they can be?
Join our team as an intern!

Applications for joining us as intern in 2024 are CLOSED!

Adventure Specialties Trust offers several internship positions every year, normally two spots in Auckland and two spots in Christchurch. Applications for joining the team as an intern in 2024 have now closed. If you are interested in next year’s internship programme, please contact us ( attention: Bex) and we can keep your details on file.

(Please note that our internship programme is only open to New Zealand citizens and residents, due to funding requirements.)

The internship is designed for people who are wanting to take their career in the direction of youth development through outdoor adventure. 

As an intern, you will work towards a Certificate in Youth Development (Level 4), studying two days a week with Praxis, an education provider specialising in youth development. While studying, you will also receive on-the-job practical work experience with us by joining our team three days a week. You will help us to organise and lead a variety of different outdoor adventure programmes in a variety of different pursuits, including rock climbing, abseiling, mountain biking, caving, coasteering, hiking, bush skills, alpine, sea kayaking, surfing, and more!

This combination of study and work experience will head you in the direction of gaining valuable NZOIA outdoor leadership qualifications and NZQA credits, both of which are necessary to work in the outdoor adventure industry. Plus there will be the opportunity to continue working with us as an instructor, once your internship finishes.

(Please note that this is an unpaid internship, however you may be able to apply for a student allowance through the Praxis course. More info on cost further down the page.)

“There’s real family vibes when you work at AdSpecs. I love that I feel like I matter. Even though I’m just an intern, I feel like my opinions are heard and valid and I feel like if I have any issue that I can talk to anyone of the other staff and even the CEO.”

O.G. - Intern 2022



Adventure Specialties Trust is a leading provider of outdoor education, social development and adventure therapy in New Zealand.  We were established in 1984 and provide a huge range of challenging activities on New Zealand’s rocks, rivers, mountains, caves, sea and coast. 

Our real point of difference to other outdoor providers is in how we deliver those programmes.  We have a strong focus on youth development through outdoor adventure and are committed to developing instructors that are both technically competent and have great youth work skills. We are a faith-based organisation which influences how we relate to our clients and encourage them to be their best selves. 

Sound like you? Read on!!


The Adventure Specialties Trust internship is an opportunity for people who are keen to move their career in the direction of youth development through outdoor adventure. It is our hope that following the internship year, graduates will be on their way to a career in outdoor instruction with a good technical base and great facilitation skills. There is also a possibility that we would extend the internship into a second year (this option is customised to the individuals needs and skills).

There also may be jobs available at Adventure Specialties Trust for interns that have successfully graduated the internship and the Praxis youth work certificate. This would require a solid outdoor skill set at the start of the internship and time commited to increasing your personal skills during the year (e.g. hours spent rock climbing, kayaking, etc. in your own time).

Interns will join the staff team at Adventure Specialties Trust, work hard, go on plenty of adventures, explore new ideas, share special moments with young people in the outdoors and learn plenty of skills!

As part of the internship, interns will complete the Praxis Certificate in Youth Work. Please note that the internship is unpaid but there is an option to apply for student allowance through the Praxis course. 


  • Have some personal experience adventuring in the outdoors.
  • Have had some experience in teaching or leadership positions (e.g. youth group, scouts etc).
  • Are committed to completing the year of work and all the course requirements of Praxis.
  • Are interested in the possibility of a job opportunity at Adventure Specialties following the internship year.
  • Are keen to learn, have a high level of integrity, honesty and a personal faith.
  • Are ready to work hard and are prepared to spend time away from the base location adventuring with and without clients for multi-day trips.
  • Are over 20 years of age.
  • Are New Zealand citizens or residents


    Whilst you are doing the internship with Adventure Specialties Trust you are expected to complete the Praxis Certificate in Youth Work course. 

    Check out the Praxis website for more information. 

    Certificate in Youth Development Level 4 (120 Credits) – A graduate of the Certificate is able to apply research-based youth development frameworks to facilitating group activities and providing one to one support for young people. They will have developed support networks in their local community and have gained confidence in working across cultures. They can also manage safety and work ethically.


    Each applicant is required to pay the course fees for Praxis, which are currently part of the Fees Free programme, offering zero fees for eligible students who are studying at tertiary level for the first time. Check out the Praxis website for more info about the course.

    Praxis is a registered NZQA provider and successful applicants will be eligible for student loans and allowances through Study Link.  Fees for non-domestic students are available on request from Praxis.

    Praxis Course fees for 2023: FREE under the Fees Free scheme 


    In addition, each intern is required to pay a fee to Adventure Specialties Trust.  This fee contributes to the costs of the outdoor training blocks.  It also contributes to the costs during work placement trips, including food and accommodation, whilst away with clients.  Please Note – this fee is NOT able to be covered by Study link.

    If this fee is prohibitive for you, please talk to us and support may be available to help with this.

    Adventure Specialties Trust fees for 2025: TBC 

    (Note: Adventure Specialties Trust fees for 2024 were $1500 but were covered by a generous donation from one of our supporters. We will apply for this same financial support again for 2025.)

    Internship Structure

    The internship includes four aspects: 


    Throughout the year you will join with all the other Praxis students from around New Zealand to learn about youth work. There are 4 of these block courses and they are spread over the year and are usually 5-7 days.


    During these weeks you will receive technical skills and leadership training in Bush Walking, Rock Climbing, Abseiling and Sea Kayaking. You will also be invited to join the full staff team for some of the National staff training events.

    If there is an opportunity for you to continue with employment at Adventure Specialties Trust following the completion of the internship, you will be supported by us while you study for and complete NZOIA (New Zealand Outdoor Instructors Association) awards and/or a workplace-based assessment for the National Certificate in Outdoor Recreation (Leadership) (Level 3) with selected strands during your first six months of work.


    During the weeks when you are in the office at Adventure Specialties you will spend an average of 1 day a week with self-directed learning, 1 day a week at your Praxis cluster group, 3 days work experience with a mix of in the field with groups and helping out in the office and gear shed. In saying this, there will be some weeks when you are away on an outdoor programme for 5 full days and the next week you will be in the office all week. It is our intention that at the start of your year you will be observing instructors, then assisting instructors, and by the end of the year you will be able to manage a group with some activities yourself.


    There is an expectation that interns will spend considerable time developing their personal skills in all areas of pursuits offered by the programme. This is to be carried out in the scheduled self-directed learning time, in the holidays and free time.




    In 2023, there is space for up to two interns based in our Auckland office and two intern based in our Christchurch office.


    February-November 2024 (TBC)

    * Please note that the Adventure Specialties Staff retreat happens each year in late January. You are welcome to join us for a week of learning, fun and team bonding!

    This is an awesome time of connecting with staff and learning about us. Previous interns have found it hugely valuable.

    However, it is outside of the ‘course time’ and therefore you cannot receive student allowance for that time and we do not require you to be there. However, we invite you to attend and there is no cost to attending.


    Food on Praxis block courses will be provided as part of the cost. Food on outdoor block courses will not be provided, however interns are encouraged to cook together and share costs. Food while on programme observation and work experience away from the base centre (Auckland or Christchurch) will be provided.


    Interns are responsible for arranging their own day-to-day accommodation.

    However, while you are away on programmes or block courses with us, we will provide all accommodation, camping and access fees.


    Transport to, from and throughout Praxis block courses is not provided but can be claimed as course related costs on student loan. Transport throughout office weeks and programme observations must be arranged by the interns. Transport to outdoor block courses and work experience trips is provided as part of the fees.


    There will be a significant amount of time away with both block courses and work experience. Any days scheduled over weekends will be compensated with ‘days in lieu’ following the away trip.


    Adventure Specialties Trust can provide the specialist outdoor equipment required for any of the block courses and work experience. This cost is included in the fee.


    Each intern will be supplied with a list of personal equipment required for the internship. If personal equipment of sufficient quality is purchased this will be of benefit to you when taking up employment opportunities after the programme.


    All outdoor activities will be undertaken in accordance with the Adventure Specialties Trust Safety Management System.  Outdoor adventure activities have a degree of risk. While every effort is made to minimise risk, the nature of the activities and the environment is such that total student safety cannot be guaranteed.  Interns are expected to take reasonable responsibility for their own safety.


    The outdoor block courses will be taught by qualified instructors from Adventure Specialties Trust. Tutors are highly experienced outdoor instructors and have all the necessary skills and qualifications to teach the relevant units. Where applicable the tutor will have a NZOIA Level 2 award (the highest qualification possible).


    We expect that, throughout the year, your instructing skills will develop considerably!

    We will work to train you against our own internal deployment system which assesses the skills and experience you have to be able to lead activities.

    You will be given the opportunity to identify one particular pursuit to really focus on throughout the year.


    This internship is only financially viable for us because as the year progresses we will be able to deploy you as a competent staff member on some programmes. We have budgeted 20 days over the year for this. 

    If you exceed 20 days as a staff member you will have the opportunity to be paid as a contractor for any work you do as ‘staff’.

    How do I apply?

    1. Click the “Apply Now” button below and fill out an Internship application along with a summary of your outdoor and leadership experience. Alternatively, you can email it with your CV to Mark, the internship co-ordinator ( with attention: Mark)
    2. We will contact you to come in and meet us and have a cup of tea.
    3. If we would like to invite you on to the internship programme, we will write you a letter of acceptance and support. This is the formal letter with which you use to apply to the Praxis Course.
    4. Complete the online application to the Praxis Course online.
    5. Once you have applied you will be contacted for an interview which will further assess your eligibility for the programme. You will be interviewed by both Adventure Specialties Trust and Praxis.










    Want more info?


    The intern co-ordinator is Mark Johnston (based in Christchurch)

    Call the Christchurch office (03) 348 4547

    Call the Auckland office (09) 837 6033.

    Email with your enquiry (attention: Mark).

    Note: if you would like to be interviewed before the scheduled week, no problem! Just let us know and we can arrange a time.