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Miriam Houliston

Active Adventures Travel Specialist

Miriam, or 'Miri' as she likes to be called is a Kiwi gal and has experienced the broad spectrum of life in New Zealand, from time living in the Chatham Islands to a stint in the capital city, Wellington, to the southern 'Scarfy' town of Dunedin, where she completed her bachelor of Physical Education. After studying she moved inland to Queenstown and guided on the Routeburn Track for three seasons, before relocating across the ditch to Australia with her now hubby, Mark. Miri and Mark spent five years in Australia saving money for travel and a house back home. In between coaching others on their gym technique, running gym classes, health promotions and sports events Miri trained for triathlons and kept fit ready to tackle the trail running races back in New Zealand. Now that she's back home in Queenstown, the adventure capital of world and the Active HQ, she plans to compete in a few races, so watch this space! 

Miri is not just a New Zealand expert, she's also spent a fair chunk of time travelling in Nepal as well as in Central and South America - perfect really, considering where we run our trips! Her travel highlights include all the hikes as well as a stint working in a Wildlife Park in Bolivia. Whether it's hiking or running on backcountry trails, mountain biking Queenstown's burgeoning single tracks or rafting and kayaking the local rivers, Miri loves it all and is keen to swap adventure tales!  

Miriam and partner at Machu Picchu

Favourite quote: 
“Sing like no one's listening, love like you've never been hurt, dance like nobody's watching, and live like its heaven on earth.”

Trip Reviews

  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 15889 reviews)

    Best trip I have ever taken

    There are many layers to this trip
    1. The Group - It was really fun being in a group, and our group was really fun! Sometimes I hung out with people in my family, sometimes I hung out with someone else in the group. This variety and freedom was very enjoyable.
    2. The Guides - Koru and Ash were sooo great. Koru is a polished, learned and experienced leader. Ash is a fabulous cook, so much fun, and cared about each of us on the trip.
    3. The Country - Stunning! We covered so much of the South Island that we were able to see many sides of it's weather and terrain. Really great route.
    4. Activities - It was great sharing a physical activity with others, something I know brings people together. Hiking was great. At the end of a long hike was a fabulous surprise, like a glacial lake with ice burgs, or a beautiful high-mountain vista, or a glo-worm tunnel. Biking was super fun, and I wish there had been one more day of it. In hind site I personally would have selected the biking 3day excursion. The kayaking was great. Heavy chop or glassy lakes, we kayaked in it.
    5. Accommodations - These were just great. As nice as it can be being out in the countryside. I loved how we all ate together every meal.
    5. Pace - I thought the trip was very well planned. Just when we needed a break in the beginning from jet lag, and our trip activities, a two day respite was there in Queenstown where we could recharge. I recharged and my family bungy jumped! Also, activities were structured so that the not so keen could bail out at a stopping point.
    Ginny Nayden Review Image
    – Maryland, United States
    Rimu, January 2017
  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 15889 reviews)

    Amazing!

    What a great trip! The scenery exceeded our already-high expectations! And the guides were so good (plus the fact that we would like to see New Zealand in the winter), we are already thinking about our next trip with Active Adventures!
    Ron Clark, III Review Image
    – Virginia, United States
    Weka, February 2018
  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 15889 reviews)

    Amazing Trip

    This trip was amazing - the hikes took us to beautiful vistas, the guides were knowledgeable and fun, and the food was never in short supply ("Food is Fuel!" as one of our guides kept restating).

    Koru and Kim were great guides throughout and everyone had so much fun! I was traveling solo but 2 of the other 4 on my trip were as well, so nobody was ever left out! Having such a small group made the activities much easier to enjoy.

    The hikes, like I mentioned, were truly unbelievable, though somewhat more difficult than I expected. Everything was talked as 'full-on' or by time, but know that NZ hikes are up mountains then back down, so work on hills more than distance before you go! Even some of the small walks we did (Blue Pools, only 5 minutes from the road & the Chasm, 10 minutes from the road) were breathtaking. Kayaking the Milford Sound was another once in a lifetime experience we got to have on this trip.

    The only thing I would have liked (and got jokingly by the end of the trip) were straight communication prior to the hikes about how long they were updates mid-hike about how much longer/further. There was one day with miscommunications leading me to think the hike would be another 3+ hours uphill (nearly inducing panic) but was really only 30 more minutes.

    Overall, I really loved this trip!
    Taylor Ceithaml Review Image
    – California, United States
    Tui, November 2016
  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 15889 reviews)

    Most awesome!

    What a great adventure with Koru and Jess. This trip met and exceeded my expectations. Plenty of hiking, beautiful views and delicious meals. It ended all too soon. Would recommend this to anyone wanting adventure into the great outdoors of New Zealand.
    Liz Nino Review Image
    – Oregon, United States
    Kiwi, March 2017
  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 15889 reviews)

    Last 5 Days Kauri

    So much packed into just a few days. From walking to tops of (several!) mountains to floating through underground tunnels, plus geothermal springs and Maori culture. A whirlwind central North Island adventure!
    Matthew Gonser Review Image
    – Hawaii, United States
    Kauri, January 2017

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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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