My happy place: Andrea Munro - singer

By Bronwyn Sell

Andrea Munro looking across to Rangitoto from Kohimarama beach. Photo / Natalie Slade
Andrea Munro looking across to Rangitoto from Kohimarama beach. Photo / Natalie Slade

My happy place is wherever I can see Rangitoto. I've always been drawn to it. It's such an iconic landmark and it's visible far and wide across Auckland.

I love the symmetrical shape of it and that it looks the same from any viewpoint. I love the way it rises out of the water in Hauraki Gulf like a great protector, like it's stretching out, about to embrace you. I just find it so majestic. It looks beautiful in every light or weather. A few months back, when we had that really foggy morning, I was driving to work and it looked shrouded - all mystical and magical.

I can see it from my work, and my drive to work and home is around the waterfront. I have a very busy but balanced life, with a day job at PWC as well as singing as resident artist with Opera New Zealand. I'm lucky my happy place is right there.

Sometimes, I'll just pull over on the drive home and soak up the day, or get up early in the morning and go down and see it. It's nice and calming and relaxing.

My singing took me to London for 12 years, and every time I came home to Auckland I'd have this ritual where I'd have to drive along Tamaki Drive out to St Heliers and stop along the way and take it in. I just found it breathtaking.

We've got one of the most stunning harbours in the world and Rangitoto is the jewel in its sparkling crown, with the vastness of the waterway before it. Having lived so long in a big city like London - which was a fantastic experience - I think we're really lucky to live here. It's just magic.

I grew up in Auckland and as kids we were really lucky because my dad, Alex, had a great love of the water, and he used to take us out on the harbour to go fishing and explore the islands.

I've never walked to the summit of Rangitoto, and that's something I must do this summer. I've got friends coming from the UK to visit, so it's going on the things-to-do list. I'd even love to do the kayak trip out to Rangitoto.

Every morning I go down towards the waterfront and as soon as I see Rangitoto and the water it takes my breath away.

I always feel like I'm living in a holiday resort - it's a beautiful city and a beautiful waterway. I absolutely love it.


Andrea Munro is appearing in Opera New Zealand's production of Wagner's haunting opera The Flying Dutchman, at ASB Theatre, Auckland, October 5-12. Tickets start at $49.50.

- NZ Herald

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