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

A big copper cooking pan I found in an East London market. I had gone to buy an extra suitcase, because my bags were overweight ... and I came back with the most impractical, enormously heavy pan, and had to borrow my long-suffering friend Kitaj's suitcase instead. But it was worth it, because I use the pan most days.

Favourite airport to land at?

I've got to say Auckland airport - it's always a relief to get home in one piece.


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

Looking forward to playing at Womad down in Taranaki, March 18-20. Then in May, a small tour of Europe.

How often do you travel?

For maybe the past five years, an average of four months of the year touring overseas and couple of weeks or so on the road in New Zealand.

Best holiday ever?

Camping with my hilarious dad when we were kids. A classic, leaky A-frame tent, my brother throwing up in it after too many chips, reading my books up a tree, and Dad giving in and taking us to the gaming arcade after a day or two.

Best get-away-from-it-all place to escape to and why?

The Hokianga, Rawene-way, or the East Coast leading down to Gisborne. Beautiful people, beaches and native bush.

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

If you're doing a lot of driving, get a GPS - don't rely on your phone or another person to give directions. We've always used a TomTom on tour, so the driver can focus. We originally bought it out of desperation, trying find our way out of the middle of London's financial district. A good GPS system can be a lifesaver.

Favourite city?

I think Auckland, which is where I've spent most of my growing-up. A complex, sprawling place to live, with many pockets of beauty. It's become tough to live here financially, but I still love many things about it - enough not to head overseas for good, anyhow.

Best meal you've eaten while travelling?

In Tokyo, my friend Mika and I woke up worse for wear, having had an all-nighter of karaoke and house-distilled spirits from her local bar. She took me to a vegetarian restaurant called Brown Rice in Omotosando. It was a cold, misty day, and we were walking fast under those plastic umbrellas you get from the conbini stores, struggling just a little. The place was so beautiful, simple and warm that I almost cried - and the food was just really beautifully prepared and cooked vegetables, which made us feel very healthy and cleansed of our sins.

Best anti-jetlag tip?

Drink lots of water on the flight. Eat a big bowl of pasta or rice once you've landed. If possible, a swim. Then a long sleep.

Where would you love to return to and why?

The south of Italy, where I lived for five months before recording my first album. I was the nanny of two boys, Giuliano and Marcello, part of a big Neapolitan family. We've always kept in touch. They send me boxes of pasta. I would love to return and see them all.

Worst travel experience?

There have been many so-called "challenges". Missed flights, flat tires, stuck-in-muds, 3am ferry crossings, putting my foot through someone's roof, losing all the cash, coming off a scooter, breaking bones, breaking up, no medicines, hospital visits, extremely feral sleeping situations, bread and cheese for days. But I can say that I've never had a bad experience with things being stolen, or with people screwing us over. People have always helped me, everywhere. I've had most of my faith in the human race drummed into me from heaps of travelling.

What do you hate about travelling?

I've got to say, airports and flying make me feel quite uneasy. Booking the tickets isn't much fun either. From there on in though, I'm all for it.

Most luxurious travel moment?

We had just arrived into NYC, frazzled from driving across the US on our first tour there, and were getting ready to head to soundcheck for that evening's show. We were staying with the elderly mother of a boyfriend's brother's friend (as you do), in a classic brownstone apartment. Whether it was because she was quite a fancy lady, or whether they had just run out of normal yellow cabs, we don't know, but they sent a stretch limo. It was Cass's first time in New York City, and it was just one of those quite ridiculous high-five moments, going over the Brooklyn Bridge like music royalty.

Hollie Fullbrook of Tiny Ruins performs at the Auckland Arts Festival in Unstrung Heroes - The Black Quartet with Very Special Guests, on March 10, at the Spiegeltent, Aotea Square. aucklandfestival.co.nz