What was your greatest holiday? I was 10 years old and I can still remember vividly the building excitement as we travelled up country to my grandmother’s surprise 70th birthday in Tokaanu in the Central North Island. We sailed across heavy seas on the Cook Strait ferry, followed by blizzard conditions on the Desert Rd, to be met by hundreds of my close-knit family gathered to surprise Nana at the old Tokaanu Hotel. The look on her face was absolutely priceless and I will never forget the big hug she gave me followed by the week-long celebration in our home village.
And the worst? It wasn’t the worst location but the restaurant was a shocker and is what we talk about still when we go there. My wife, Annabel, and I ordered fish of the day in the Bay of Islands (can’t remember the name of the place, luckily!) and we received a tasteless, hardened rubber mass surrounded by an array of off-colour, stale vegetables. There was a lot of shouting, some tense pauses in heated conversation and we got out of there fast and never looked back.
If we bump into you on holiday, what are you most likely to be doing? Eating at the right restaurant for a start or picking fresh produce for the wha¯ nau from a local market garden, definitely laughing a lot, and exploring in rural locations — preferably on the back of a scooter with my two beautiful daughters and wife. We recently spent four weeks exploring southern Taiwan on scooters, it was extraordinary meeting the very friendly people of Taiwan in their home villages and learning their beautiful traditions. We also spent time visiting the temples in Kyoto, Japan — the rock gardens, shrines and tea gardens were just sublime.
If we could teleport you to one place in New Zealand for a week-long holiday, where would it be? Spirits Bay, up north. The new campground is really well looked after by the local iwi, with great facilities for freedom campers. The sand on the beach is so soft, the shells that line the beach are a flaky pink hue. How about for a dream holiday internationally?
I’m a bit of a romantic and spirit quest type of guy and I’d love to explore the Aztec Ruins, the Stone Circles in the Highlands of Scotland, the temples of Egypt and the Buddhist monasteries of Tibet.
Choreographer Moss Patterson.