What was your greatest holiday?

Golden Bay was amazing. Our family of four could just relax, enjoy and be present. There's so much to do - walking swimming, hanging out with all sorts, epic Wharariki Beach, Farewell Spit purity, the Westhaven inlet dropping into the West Coast.

And the worst?

There is no such thing.


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

Exercising. Relaxing. Plotting my next move.

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

Stewart Island, Catlins, or Fiordland without the sandflies.

How about for a dream holiday internationally?

Going to Cologne, Germany to listen to techno and then cycle touring (downstream) through France's Loire Valley to drink biodynamic wine with my wife.

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

Focusing on the destination rather than the journey. Free camping roadside in Louisiana to break up an 18-hour road trip to New Orleans also comes to mind. We ended up being ravaged by red ants and sent on our way. It was not the best way to revive our weary and irritated bodies after two months on the road.

Complete this sentence: I can't travel without ... passport, credit card and a bottle opener.

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

Go to Washington DC.

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

Blowfish sashimi in Osaka was pretty up there - for its near-death, aphrodisiac qualities. The blowfish sake was pretty good too.

What's the best thing you've brought back from a trip? Mind expansion. Or the small, two-cup Billeti espresso machine (with press valve for crema) showed to me by pruners in the vineyards of Piemonte, northern Italy. A 1969 bottle of Barolo gifted from my landlord there was pretty cool too.

Favourite airport at which to land?

Christchurch. Mountain views, clean dry air, the Port Hills and home.

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

One week in Ohau with the family and friends. No cell coverage, no TV, a view of Aoraki / Mt Cook, good armchairs, hi-fi, and family.

Nicholas Brown is the winemaker at Black Estate vineyard.