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 friends.
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 reckons 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 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 R. – 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 R. - 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 M. - Chicago,Illinois,United States, Rimu, March 2017