I'm an absolute sucker for the islands of the Pacific. Heading to Samoa or Fiji during the middle of our Kiwi winter is almost essential just to break up the monotony of work, grey skies and rain. In July I went to Denarau Island, Fiji for 6 days and it wa=s ideal — so relaxing, perfect weather, everything you need just a stone's throw away. And if you get sick of the pool and cocktails at the resort, well there's always a short trip to the port for lunch or dinner, or a day trip to one of the islands. I ventured to Malamala Island, which claims to be in possession of the world's first island beach club, where I hired a cabana for the day and it was bliss.

Malamala Beach Club in Fiji.
Malamala Beach Club in Fiji.


My stomach is no good. And by that, I mean I can't have a mild butter chicken meal without feeling some . . . impact, if you catch my drift. So perhaps my trip to Seminyak last year wasn't the best idea, given everyone talks about "Bali belly". Boy, did my belly get Bali'd. Three days in and I was in a world of hurt. I couldn't go an hour without visiting a bathroom, which makes it difficult when you're travelling long distances to see the monkey forest of Ubud, or the numerous temples, which seemed like miles away from my accommodation. The worst thing about it was that it lingered for four weeks, so even when I returned to NZ to the safety of normal water and food, I was still battling. My guts were constantly churning . . . and bloated too. I wondered if I'd fallen pregnant while I was there! I'd probably only go back if someone paid for my flights, accommodation, transfers, food and drink . . . and given that's a long shot, I'll be quite happy to avoid that destination for the rest of my days.


● Goran Paladin hosts HOMEmade, Thursdays at 7.30pm on TVNZ 1.