The Radio Sport Breakfast host shares his best and worst travel memories
Opononi is just about the best spot in Northland I reckon. There is something indescribable about the far North that gets into my soul every time I'm there. It really is the most magnificent part of New Zealand for me. And Opononi, situated on the Hokianga Harbour, is a jewel in the crown for sure.
The view over the harbour as you drive over one final hill into town is priceless and the contrast of sand dunes and deep blue water is just beautiful. The best part is taking a boat ride and then hiking over the dunes to the West Coast, and then on return, bodyboarding down the hot sand and into the cold water of the Hokianga.
Just down the road is the tiny town of Rawene, where you can grab an ice cream before jumping on the car ferry and going across to Kohukohu. From there, you can simply turn around and ferry back or continue to head north on your travels, where more of the far North's majesty awaits.
Ancona, Italy. I stayed there as a young and naive backpacker in 2004. From all accounts, it hasn't changed much. Ancona is situated on Italy's Adriatic coast and is a conduit to desirable Croatia on the other side of the sea.
After walking around the town (admittedly exhausted after weeks of parties and little sleep), I established this was a great opportunity to get some washing done. That's one thing I'd say about Ancona ... the laundromat was bang on. After dozing through a wash and dry cycle I headed back to my humble digs, where I was forced to spend a sweaty night before boarding the all-day ferry to Split.
The highlight was sharing a pizza with a jolly Irishman who was besotted with Pope John Paul II, and who enjoyed toying with me as to who was the most desirable member of The Corrs. All I could come up with was it wasn't Jim.
My suggestion to travellers is to time your run. Arrive in Ancona in the morning and then straight onto the boat.
Kent Johns hosts Radio Sport Breakfast, with Nathan Rarere and Marc Peard.