The Kiwi actor Miriama McDowell shares her New Zealand holiday highlights
What are your favourite memories from childhood family holidays in New Zealand?
We used to go to Onemana in the Coromandel when I was a kid. My dad had a friend who had a bach there and we would rent it for a week or two every summer. I really learnt how to be in the ocean at that beach, learning to body surf, getting dumped in the surf, discovering a giant octopus in the rock pools, watching people get carried out on rips. As I watch my own kids discover the ocean I realise that going back to the same place every year was important, it taught me how the ocean is always changing, and the beach too. Every summer it was different and we had to learn and adapt.
Where is your favourite off the beaten track/secret spot in NZ to get away from it all?
I have a new summer tradition of camping at Tāwharanui regional park with a bunch of mums and our kids. I love it because it's close enough to Auckland to not be a huge mission to get to, but when I'm there we just love going back to basics. The swimming is beautiful, the bush walks are abundant, and at night we go out with torches covered in red to look for kiwi.
AdvertisementAdvertise with NZME.
If you were heading on a family getaway now, where would you go?
Right now I'm all about thermal water. I love the feeling of being in the cold air submerged in hot water. I went to the recently renovated Ngawha springs and warmed up my bones after teaching in a freezing cold village hall for a few days. If I could choose anywhere, I'd go to the thermal region of the North Island and do a thermal water crawl through Taupō, Rotorua and Tokaanu with the kids.
What's your dream NZ roadtrip?
Hitting the road with my dad. I spent so much of my childhood in the car with him, and have actually done some great overseas trips with him and his partner, but not for a long time now. I would love to get in the car with him and drive along the East Cape. I've only been to that part of the country once, and Dad would be great company.
And if you could choose one ultimate, luxury, dream holiday in NZ, where would you go?
Skiing in the South Island. I grew up skiing at Ruapehu but have never skied anywhere else in Aotearoa. I'm quite good at roughing it but I am not averse to a bit of luxury.
Miriama McDowell stars in Ahikāroa, from August 5 on Māori TV, Head High, from August 9 at 8.30pm on Three, and Coming Home in the Dark, releasing nationwide in cinemas on August 12.
For more New Zealand travel ideas and inspiration, go to newzealand.com