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Liana Smith

New Zealand Guide

Liana grew up on a beef farm in Glenbrook, which is technically South Auckland, though she claims to be from North Waikato. Fair enough! As with so many of our guides, she was always an outdoorsy kid, helping out on the farm, kicking a ball around, camping, playing with the dog or just going to the beach, or on road trips with mates.

To say Liana is 'sporty' is an understatement, given she participated in every sport you can imagine growing up, including swimming, where she's competed since the age of 8 and now holds a NZ age group national record in the 100 individual medley! She represented New Zealand on two different international teams in a range events, before injury put the kaibosh on her swimming career.

That didn't slow her down though. With every challenge, there's an opportunity and some extensive travel helped Liana fall on her feet. She spent 4 months working at a summer camp in Pennsylvania in 2014, before backpacking down the East Coast to Los Angeles. She's also spent 2 months volunteering at Welgevonden, a conservation reserve in South Africa, where they were able to get incredibly hands-on with the research, conservation and protection of Africa's Big 5 and other herbivores. Be sure to ask her to share some of those stories, they're gems!

Liana reckon's one of her quirky habits is being able to beat nearly anyone in an eating contest, which apparently is a skill she refined whilst being a competitive swimmer. You can test her on that. And if you're out snorkelling with her, you'll be in great hands!

Liana Smith

Testimonials

  • “Liana was great as well. We were amazed when she told us her age as she was very mature and confident in everything she was doing. Shared a great amount of knowledge and always interacting with us.”
    Ryan Hussey (Nashua, New Hampshire, United States), November 2016
  • “Liana was fantastic! It was great to have a younger guide with enthusiasm, as well as having great knowledge of the real New Zealand. She hiked with me to the summit of Ben Loman which I loved”
    Jacque Ogilvy (Hallett Cove, South Australia, Australia), November 2016
  • “Loved Liana! Xenia Warrior Princess! She coordinated many things and keep our group happy and fed. Great company and a good guide.”
    Stephen Meek (Glendale, California, United States), October 2016

Trip Reviews

 4.51 out of 5 (from 15017 reviews)

Trip of a Lifetime!

“I am still basking in the glow from this remarkable trip! I admit that I was a bit nervous at first as I was the oldest person in our group and not as fit (for hiking) as some in the group, so I worried about 'keeping up' on the hikes - especially the steeper climbs. Ben and Lauren were very reassuring and encouraging and I felt that I was able to 'hold my own'. In fact, while the hiking was probably the most challenging I've done in at least 7 years, it was the most rewarding/exhilarating part for me. I loved our group - a very positive, health-conscious and fun group of people from all walks of life. It was also wonderful that we were only 12 people - it helped to create a much more intimate and personal atmosphere. I felt we bonded together well - again, thanks to Ben and Lauren's great skills with ice-breaking, fun games, and ability to set and maintain a positive atmosphere from the beginning.
From the moment we set off from the airport to the emotional farewells back at the airport at the end of the trip, this was a top notch adventure. Our transportation was comfortable, our accommodations were always different and unique and very comfortable - I loved that they weren't all in your standard hotel and that some of them were really off the beaten track. The food was amazing - from the snack basket in the van, loaded fresh every day with fruit and other snacks, to the amazing meals that Lauren and Ben created and the breakfasts and dinners that we had at various restaurants - there was a lot of variety, special dietary considerations were accounted for and there was lots of it!
I did the kayak option and it was outstanding. The B&B and our hosts were wonderful (the hot tub at the end of the day was most appealing!) and our kayak guide, Nick was terrific - very accommodating, skilled and he made it all very interesting and fun!
I cannot say enough about our incredible guides - Ben and Lauren - they truly moved the bar for me from a great trip to one that will go down in history for me as the trip of a lifetime. They were so knowledgeable about the island - I loved listening to the legends/folklore and learning more about the vegetation, birds, etc. Ben was a terrific driver - I always felt safe. Lauren was terrific with her cooking and meal presentations - meals looked fantastic and tasted even better! Both Ben and Lauren added those special touches from decorating the bus for the Christmas season, organizing our Secret Santa, making a fantastic Christmas morning breakfast, complete with Christmas crackers and special hats, managing extra logistics like re-booking the paragliding for us, setting up the helicopter tour, taking the time and effort to help reconnect people with items they had left behind either in our accommodations or on a hike/kayak. They even had the perfect music for when we went through the Homer Tunnel and down into Milford Sound - the combination of the music and the scenery was so moving it had several of us in tears! They really ensured that they got to know each person and took a genuine interest in each person. Their positive energy and enthusiasm was infectious. They took kindness and customer service to a new level! The scenery was breathtaking everywhere we went. It would be hard for me to say what the favourite part was or favourite view as the South Island is simply spectacular. I felt that the trip was organized in such a way that I really got a good feel and appreciation for the South Island. Truly New Zealand is one of the most beautiful places (both 'inside and out') that I have ever visited (and I've visited over 20 other countries around the world). I really loved the more laid-back way of life and the local people we met were so welcoming and kind. I would love to come back again and see the North Island but also re-visit the South Island!
I highly recommend this trip and have already suggested it to a number of my friends. It really was transformational for me on so many levels! My heartfelt thanks to Ben and Lauren and everyone at Active Adventures!”
Sue Hazell's Review Image
– Ontario, Canada
Rimu, January 2018
Read Reviews

Why travel with Active Adventures?

Legendary Kiwi Hospitality

Above all, we aim to be amazing hosts. We're proud of our kiwi roots, and our professional, warm and relaxed style of running trips around the world is unforgettable.

Expert LOCAL Guides & Trip Leaders

We're VERY picky about who we select to work in our team, and we have people from all over the world lining up to guide our trips. So we get to hire the absolute BEST in the business.

Everything is Included

As soon as you get off the plane, we've got all the details of your vacation covered – top notch meals, comfortable transport & accommodation, amazing guides and INCREDIBLE service.

A Sense of Achievement

Whether you’re new to adventure travel, or you’ve never travelled in a group before, you’ll find yourself arriving home positively different from when you left.

Small Groups

With our small groups (no more than 14), you'll get to know our team, your fellow travellers, and have the flexibility and freedom to do as much (or as little!) as you like.

Diverse Experiences

It's all about getting there under your own steam – on foot, in a sea kayak, or by bike. What better way is there to experience mind blowing scenery? If it's your first time, no worries – our expert guides have got you covered.

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