The Courier-Mail



You can hear Joel on the Kate, Tim & Joel drive show from 3-6pm on the Nova Network

The thought of the New Zealand travel bubble opening is so exciting. I’ve always loved New Zealand and the people. Intimately. My partner is from New Zealand so in “precedente­d” preceden times we’d normally make a tri trip there at least once a year. I love arrivi arriving there and immediatel­y getting my hands on local candy like Choc Chocolate Fish, Perky Nanas and loll lolly cake. And Jack, my pa partner, loves seeing his f family. So everybody’s a winner! A few years back I was lucky enough to do a travel campaign for the town of Wanaka about an ho hour from Queenstown. It’s something out of a postcard, a movie or your really posh friend’s annoying and not-at-all inconvenie­nt overseas wedding. We stayed at this beautiful bed and breakfast called the Tin Tub Luxury Lodge which literally had … tin tubs outside the room so you could lie at night in your tub and watch the constellat­ion of stars above. Or in my case, play a game of “does this mole need to be seen to by a GP?”. The most magical of moments was a chopper ride to a land-locked restaurant accessible only by … you guessed it … helicopter. Well, in theory it should’ve been very magical. A total bucket list item and something normally done by, I would imagine, honeymoone­rs … not two guys in their 20s who’d only gotten together a year prior. We managed to have an argument about showers taking too long (Jack’s not mine) and spent the whole half an hour car ride to the airstrip in silence. We then got onboard the chopper faking a “good mood” to the pilot. Well, I was. Jack decided to stay stony faced which I kind of respected. It wasn’t until the chopper pilot landed on top of a literal glacier and got us out that I saw his face crack into a smile. We have the most incredible photos of the both of us standing atop a glacier hundreds and hundreds of metres in the air … beaming beside each other while both holding a quiet, petty grudge. The chopper pilot then told us to “grab some ice”. When we asked “why?” he said we’d need it for our gin and tonics when we landed. The thought of an impending glacier-iced gin and tonic combined with the stunning scenery of Wanaka and, well, a helicopter rattled the argument out of our system and we had an incredible lunch. If you think this is a travel promotion for the NZ government let me assure you, it’s not. And the fight was just postponed til after lunch. By which point we were several gin and tonics and bottles of wine deep. I must say nothing ruins your argument more than forgetting your point and falling asleep.

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