Kiwi Chef Uelese Mua reflects on a life spent exploring New Zealand
What are your favourite memories from childhood family holidays in NZ?
I remember visiting Waitomo with a few members of my extended family as a kid. It's a memory that stands out because it was one of the first times we had holidayed outside of Auckland. I also remember how peaceful it was with the caves, glow worms and bush walks and realising how lucky we are to live in New Zealand.
Where is your favourite off the beaten track/secret spot in NZ to get away from it all and what makes it so special?
Funnily enough it was a group of teenage tourists from Germany who showed me directions to a quiet, secluded natural thermal pool called Kerosene Creek about 45 minutes south of Rotorua. It was pitch black at the time I visited, so soaking in those warm waters was only majestically magnified by the brilliance of a star-filled sky.
If you were heading on a family getaway now, where would you go?
The Bay of Islands. As well as there being so much to see and do, there is something really special and mesmerizing about the area.
What's your dream NZ roadtrip?
I'm lucky enough to have travelled on a nationwide roadie back in 2014. I spent one and half months driving from Cape Reinga to Invercargill and everywhere in between. It was such an awesome experience and one I'd definitely love to do again.
And if you could choose one ultimate, luxury, dream holiday in NZ, where would you go?
We're so spoilt for choice here in New Zealand, I'd be happy to visit anywhere! However, if I had to choose just one place it would be Waipu with the family for a quiet, relaxing week away. Holidays are all about the people you spend them with.
Uelese Mua is the head chef at Euro, Auckland.