Rose Matafeo's one-liner about Waiuku in last week's My Holidays segment raised some eyebrows down in the Jewel of Franklin.

The comedian filed Waiuku as her worst holiday.

"I accidentally went to Waiuku once. No comment.''

The key point being Matafeo is a comedian. She can (and should) poke the borax at any town she pleases. And the good folk of that town should be big enough to suck it up, have a chuckle and move along.


As a Waiuku man from way back, I noted the line and put it down to the great Kiwi tradition of Bagging Other Towns. Good on her.

It seems not everyone in my hometown felt the same.

Waiuku town manager Sharlene Druyven told the Herald on Sunday that some locals had complained to her.

"They were really upset," Druyven said.

Druyven gamely describes the town I grew up in as "the tourism hub in West Franklin". Yep, we're always picking our way through hordes of Japanese tourists taking photos of The Kentish Hotel.

Anyway, following a lick of paint and the addition of a few cobblestones in recent years, Waiuku is a nice wee spot these days.

Any Aucklander with kids should check out the Thomas the Tank Engine day at Glenbrook Vintage Railway. But stay away from Karioitahi Beach. Horrible place. You'd hate it. Honestly. Nothing to see there at all. Stay away. Seriously, leave Karioitahi to the locals.

Want to check out Waiuku for yourself? Visit our Waiuku travel page for some destination tips.
When in Rome ... watch out for crooks

My own worst holiday spot would have to be the Italian capital. A gorgeous town and home to some of the great wonders of western civilisation, it's also a joint full of crooks.

My mum and I were there a decade or so ago and, having paid for a hotel room in advance, were told to go and sleep in the street by a hotel manager who gave our room to someone else.

After a two hour-argument between me and some prick who fancied himself a mafioso don, we got a slum room in the attic for the night.

It's worth remembering how one bad encounter can cloud a visitor's perception of what should be a fantastic place.