What are your favourite memories from childhood family holidays in Aotearoa?
The first thing that comes to mind is the trusty yellow Cortina we had growing up – Spot, our family dog, and I would often be relegated to the back boot when the car was full of whānau and friends. The smell of summer meant road trips. Near or far, it didn’t matter.
Sometimes, our family road trips would take us to places closer to our home in Porirua. Whether it was to the beach for a swim in Plimmerton or sunsets and fish and chips over looking the Kāpiti Coast. Sometimes, they were further, like long drives to the Coromandel or the Far North. I didn’t mind, family holidays made me happy.
Where is your favourite off-the-beaten-track spot in New Zealand to get away from it all?
When my parents used to live 15 minutes out of Kerikeri, I stumbled upon a secluded lake. It was down the road and further down a few tracks. I would always sneak off there to write music and poetry, to think . . . and do lip-synch shows to the birds. I would pretend that only I knew of this lake. I was so secretive about it, and felt very protective of it. I only ever saw one or two people there. Ever. And even then, I was like, um, how did you get in here? They probably owned the land and I was the one trespassing.
If you were heading on a family getaway now, where would you go?
Recently, I spent time in Southland, Central Otago and Bluff – the landscape is breathtaking. It felt fresh and isolated and untouched. There is so much to see down there. Fiordland is next on the list.
What’s your dream New Zealand roadtrip?
Road tripping up north, back home is always special. I grew up in Dargaville, Whāngārei, and Panguru in the Hokianga. Driving through Dargaville, up to my mum’s marae, Taita, through Waipoua Forest. Coming over the hill and seeing the sand dunes of Ōpononi always gives me life. The ferry from Rāwene to Kohukohu then on to Panguru. Perfection!
If you could choose one ultimate, luxury, dream holiday in New Zealand, where would you go?
I’m captivated by water. It calms me, grounds me and inspires me. Anywhere on the Coromandel and anywhere on the east coast from Whāngārei up the coast is a picture of perfection for me.