What was your greatest holiday?

For New Year in 2010 I took the ferry from Auckland to Coromandel and cycled across to a festival near Opoutere, which is an absolutely gorgeous beach. It was about 100km of solo cycling with my tent and all my gear for a five-day festival. When I got there, the weather was perfect, I met fantastic people, and swam and danced every single day.

And the worst?

I always feel fortunate to be on holiday, either here in New Zealand or overseas, but if I had to pick one experience that wasn't so great it would be the time my partner and I had a stopover in Thailand, and went to do a free-diving course on Koh Tao. The free-diving was very fun, but heaps of baby jellyfish in the water led to a delayed allergic reaction so I woke up the next day with about 100 huge red welts on my arms and legs. I persevered the second day, but again got stung on my hands and face. It took about three weeks for the jellyfish rash to subside.


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

Something really active, such as hiking, cycle-touring, snowboarding or diving somewhere around New Zealand. Otherwise, relaxing at a yoga and meditation retreat.

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

Hiking in the South Island, either in Fiordland or Tasman.

How about for a dream holiday internationally?

Snowboarding in Japan with my brother, with a good week visiting cities and villages, eating lots of Japanese food, and attending a Radiohead concert.

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

I was travelling alone in India when I was 23, and I took a 12-hour train ride from the Himalayas to Agra. I assumed there would be food vendors on the train, but there weren't. Luckily a lovely couple in my compartment shared a home-made meal with me.

Aisle seat or window seat?

Window. Always.

Complete this sentence: I can't travel without . . . my water bottle.

What's the best travel tip you've ever been given? You never regret a swim - always take your togs.

What was the most memorable meal you've had while travelling? Pho for breakfast in a small Vietnamese village we had cycled to in the hills north of Saigon.

What's the best thing you've brought back from a trip? Heaps of spices and a tiffin the first time I went to India.

Favourite airport to land at? Back at home in Auckland.

What's the next trip you've got planned? A solo tramp in the South Island after the byelection.

Julie Anne Genter is standing for the Green Party in the Mt Albert byelection on February 25.