Liana Smith

New Zealand Guide

Liana had a true kiwi farm upbringing 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.

She has spent the last several years down on the South Island and to say Liana is 'sporty' is an understatement. She has an ever growing passion for the natural environment of New Zealand and after studying adventure tourism in Queenstown she was in the right place to bungy jump, skydive and do pretty much any adrenaline filled activity on offer (which is a pretty extensive list here!)

She participated in every sport you can imagine growing up, including swimming. 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. Liana has traveled extensively around the States - most recently undertaking a two and a half month solo road trip down the Midwest ticking off as many iconic and spectacular hikes as possible. 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 has spent three seasons guiding with us and loves it more each year (her words, not ours! We promise). She 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 snorkeling with her, you'll be in great hands!

Liana Smith

Testimonials

"Liana a powerhouse of organization, knowledge about every corner of the South Island and the Maori history that came with it. Her driving in difficult terrains was exceptional and we always felt safe - add to this that she was super funny!"
- Paul Radvany – Massachusetts, United States, Rimu, November 2018

"Liana was fabulous. She was kind, funny, enthusiastic and a true Kiwi. Liana helped me pronounce Maori words, shared the history and the culture of the Island, knew the local flora and fauna and she supported me when I needed support on the hikes. She is an excellent driver! There is nothing this woman can't do!" -Sherrilee Rothwell
- Red Lake,Ontario,Canada, Kauri, Oct 2018

"As I mentioned above, the guides were definitely a highlight of the trip. Liana was an amazing guide and I wouldn't have wanted anyone else. Her cooking skills were super impressive and I think I told her that after every meal! I really enjoyed getting to know her and hope to keep in touch with her. Food was on point the entire trip and this is definitely a bold statement coming from me; I am a total foodie. I thought the food was wonderful. I loved that we had fresh, healthy options and like the variety of the home cooked meals with dinners out at restaurants. Liana was a phenomenal cook; I was so impressed with what she could whip up on our backpacking trip without any electricity. I loved having the fruit basket on the bus too."
- Shannon Mohan - Chicago,Illinois,United States, Rimu, March 2017

 

Trip Reviews

  •   4.39 out of 5 (from 1251 reviews)

    Even Cyclone Cook couldn't dampen our fun

    I hopped onto the last half of the Kauri after two weeks on the South Island in the Rimu adventure. It just so happened that we had a cyclone hit the island that week, so everything was very wet, to say the least. But everything still worked out okay! We still did lots of hiking in the rain, which was fun in itself. The views were not the same as they would be on a clear day, but different doesn't mean bad. They were unique, and there were a lot of rainbows thanks to the water. We even did the mountain biking in the downpour, which was hilariously muddy and still a lot of fun. Overall, the people were good, the guides were excellent, the food was fantastic, and the trip was terrific.
    Janine Carbone Review Image
    – New Hampshire, United States
    Kauri, April 2017
  •   4.50 out of 5 (from 1973 reviews)

    Best trip ever!

    We had a fantastic time and I must give top marks to Active Adventures. The whole trip was orchestrated wonderfully from start to finish. We could see that all contingencies were anticipated well before the trip commenced and it ran very smoothly. I talked with a person who did not use this company and the difference was like night and day.
    Stuart Bowser Review Image
    – Ontario, Canada
    Jaguar 2017, November 2016
  •   4.76 out of 5 (from 21 reviews)

  •   4.50 out of 5 (from 1973 reviews)

    Amazing Adventure

    what an amazing adventure we had! we enjoyed every bit of our Jaguar trip and would recommend Active Adventures to anyone who asks! The trip was very well organized and the guides were all informative and amazing. Our main guide, Erick Farfan was the best! he always made sure everything ran smoothly and had to deal with many different personalities on this trip but made it all work. The Inka trail was a tough trail for me due to the altitude but what an amazing feeling once you complete it and arrive at the sun gate! We thoroughly enjoyed the jungle as well as the visit to lake titicaca and our local family that we stayed with. look forward to our next amazing adventure with you! Hoping to do Patagonia soon!
    Brigitte Rosson Review Image
    – Texas, United States
    Jaguar 2017, June 2017
  •   4.54 out of 5 (from 1031 reviews)

    Unforgettable Trip!

    This was a marvellous, exciting and emotional trip for me!
    The group we shared it with got on so well - and were all so energetic, they made it all brilliant... our guides, the locals, the wildlife, the accommodation, the food, the wines it was all conducive to feeling spoilt - while you trecked hard during the day... a perfect Patagonia trek!
    Francia Furler Review Image
    – Australian Capital Territory, Australia
    Condor, February 2018

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Why travel with Active Adventures?

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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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