My holidays: Santa Claus

Santa Claus tries a spot of fishing in Auckland.
Santa Claus tries a spot of fishing in Auckland.

What was your greatest holiday?

Though it's not happened yet, I am very much enjoying the prospect of taking a vacation in Auckland; the warmer climate opposed to the times spent on the North Pole are shaping up to be the greatest holiday.

And the worst?

The North Pole. Let me tell you - we work all year round. Hardly a holiday.

If we bump into you on holiday, what are you most likely to be doing?

Making a list. Checking it twice. My work never ends.

If we could teleport you to one place in New Zealand for a week-long holiday, where would it be?

If I was to go anywhere else, I think it would be Dunedin - I hear that the architecture there is quite traditional and very much like the United Kingdom at times. I like that idea of somewhere slightly European in New Zealand.

How about for a dream holiday internationally?

Apart from Auckland? Would love to spend some time in a kaftan in Goa - sometimes that belt gets a bit tight!

What's the dumbest thing you've ever done when travelling?

Back in 2008, I left for my usual rounds on Christmas Eve and forget to bring my sack. Thankfully, I had just the right amount of time to head back to pick it up.

Complete this sentence: I can't travel without ...

Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer. He is very much integral to my travel plans. Barring that, I think my iPhone is definitely something I cannot travel without - especially with Google maps to help me navigate my way around the world.

What's the best travel tip you've ever been given?

Dress for the weather; wherever you are going to, don't take a risk and think you'll be fine - a T-shirt in the North Pole isn't a wise idea. Equally, I have some trendy people from World in New Zealand helping me with my summer wardrobe while I'm here!

What is the most memorable meal you've had while travelling?

Apart from all the cookies and milk I'm given and the usual Christmas roasts that are left out during my travels, one of most interesting things I've sampled on my travel is makowiec (mah-ko-vitz). It's a classic Polish dessert that is served not only around Christmas but also Easter. It's essentially a poppy-seed roll, and delicious.

What's the best thing you've brought back from a trip?

My travels to Japan saw me bring back a Mt Fuji jelly bean - it was about the size of my palm and equally as dangerous to eat as a Toblerone with its sharp edges on the roof of my mouth. It's definitely the first thing that comes to mind when it comes to best things.

Favourite airport to land at?

The stop off at Frankfurt airport during the Christmas season is always a pleasure. I guess I am a bit of a sucker for the "European" style of Christmas in the cold, crisp air - and arriving at Frankfurt airport and seeing snow shovelled off the runway. Always enjoyable to arrive there.

What's the next trip you've got planned?

How do you top New Zealand? Perhaps a visit to somewhere else in the South Pacific? I hear that Rarotonga is a very nice destination - so perhaps that will be my next holiday?

Santa Claus will be residing at the ASB Santa's Bach in Auckland as part of the free festivities taking place at Wynyard Christmas Quarter from December 1 until Christmas Eve. For more info visit: yourwaterfront.co.nz/christmas.

- NZ Herald

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