TV presenter Anika Moa shares her tips and treasured memories from a life in travel
What are your favourite memories from childhood family holidays in NZ?
I used to head to the Far North with my dad, Tia, and he took us on so many adventures... some crazy, some wild and mostly off the beaten track. We would head to Ngawha Springs and soak our tired bones in the mud pools while gazing up at the night stars in the sky, then head to Ahipara and go for mighty swims and grab mussels off the rocks and cook them in our pot with hot stones as an oven. We headed into Kaitāia for our weekly shopping, saying kia ora to all our whānau along the way. I love the Far North and am proud to come from that part of Aotearoa.
Where is your favourite off the beaten track/secret spot in NZ to get away from it all and what makes it so special?
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Well, it's a Pawarenga secret but my dad would get our jandals on us and we would hike the Golden Stairs Track from Whangapē Harbour to Mitimiti - be warned, it's steep, a long way to get to and the track is more a feeling but it is so incredible for those sea views, the kai moana and the lovely walk you get - a bone-stretcher and lovely memories with my dad. I haven't walked it in years but would be keen to take my children there one day.
If you were heading on a family getaway now, where would you go and why?
East Cape is easily my choice, then on to Napier. I've never been and have always loved the romantic side of that rohe. The Whale Rider movie was filmed there and the drive can be invitingly spiritual, so I hear. It's one place I have longed to drive to, so hoping it will happen sometime soon, once I stop working so much. LOL!
What's your dream NZ road trip and why?
South Island, with my BFF Nicky - yummy kai stops, Wanaka, Cromwell, Queenstown, up to Lake Tekapo and on to North Canterbury back to her farm. I love the drive from Christchurch to Greymouth too. Stunning scenery and lovely memories of driving to the West Coast to watch my mum do her gigs in the local pubs. Everything makes sense when you go to small towns. It's so inviting and warm.
And if you could choose one ultimate, luxury, dream holiday in NZ, where would you go and why?
I don't do luxury. I would take all my kids, hire a campervan and start from Cape Reinga and drive to the Bluff, stopping at all my favourite kai places I used to visit when I toured as a musician and all the best hokohoko (op) shops, and visiting whānau everywhere we go. I would love to do that. My kind of luxury!