What are your favourite memories from childhood family holidays in NZ?
Riding motorised swans at Fantasyland in Hastings, before entering the Old Lady's Shoe and burning my knees on the metal slide; with my penpal Teresa, emptying Dad's wallet into the Hive arcade games on Napier's Marine Parade; a day trip to Picton on the Aratika ferry, giggling at the seasick tourists; taking Gramps, visiting from the UK, to Hell's Gate in Rotorua and realising half-way through the mud pools that he was still wearing his slippers; a giant icecream in Featherston as reward for surviving a hair-raising Rimutaka Hill Road. The ubiquitous sunburned nose - and the endless summers.
Where is your favourite off the beaten track/secret spot in NZ to get away from it all?
Tāwharanui Beach. I'm amazed how few Aucklanders make the hour-long drive to reach this oasis with something for everyone: perfect waves for boogie boarders and surfers (and serene bays for the littlies), bush walks, rare-bird breeding grounds, long stretches of golden sands, and shaded spots under clifftop pōhutukawa.
If you were heading on a family getaway now, where would you go?
Hokianga in a heartbeat. The Copthorne in Ōmapere makes a perfect base for exploring one of the oldest settlements in the country, best done astride an Awesome Adventures' jet-ski. Later we'd slide down the sand dunes, and take a walk through Waipoua Forest to marvel at Tane Māhuta and the even older Te Matua Ngahere.
What are your best tips for a successful family holiday?
Discuss what you want out of the holiday first and make sure everyone gets a break from their usual routine). When we have larger family trips, outings are planned for different groups and swapping stories at dinnertime is the stuff of magic memories. Also I'm a big fan of no Wi-Fi (except for me. I need it for work. Cough).
What's your dream NZ roadtrip?
A motorhome adventure. I love the idea of exploring and parking up on a whim but I've never done one. I may be romanticising it but I really want to do two weeks around the South Island because my mainland experiences are sadly thin on the ground and by all accounts, it's the best.
And if you could choose one ultimate, luxury, dream holiday in NZ, where would you go and why?
The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs, because I've heard so much and a little luxe never hurt. The dream is helicopter transfers, champagne and crayfish on tap, and some scenic relaxation away from the madding crowd (read: the kids) for me and my darling. Spa treatments and a good book, and I'd be ready to face the real world again. Maybe.
Lorna Subritzky hosts Days with Lorna on Coast FM weekdays, 9am-3pm.