Travel talk: Graeme Lay

Last updated 05:00 08/08/2012
Travel talk Graeme Lay
GRAEME LAY: 'I love writing and I love travel, so the one always merges with the other.'

Relevant offers


Five of the best Auckland long weekend mini-breaks Mountainbiking the Black Birch bike track in the Awatere Valley, Marlborough 15 of the best New Zealand Instagram photos to swoon over Marlborough Sounds cruising guide app will be accessible anywhere Nelson luxury lodge Edenhouse offers a tranquil escape Have a spring fling in the beautiful Bay of Islands Shag Point, Bald Knob and Bowels of the Earth: New Zealand's worst place names Queenstown seasonal workers chase winters Brando Yelavich to polish off Wildboy journey with Stewart Island trek Finding peace and solitude in Doubtful Sound

How often do you get away? At least once a year, often more. Last year, I went overseas four times. The frequency depends on the projects I’m working on.

Where was your first trip? To Sydney, in 1966, then Queensland, where I worked as a wine waiter. It was unbelievably exciting and it gave me an unquenchable thirst for travel.

Why do you travel – business or pleasure? The two motives are inextricably mixed. I love writing and I love travel, so the one always merges with the other.

What is your favourite destination overseas? Huahine, an island in French Polynesia’s Society Islands.

And in New Zealand? Queen Charlotte Sound.

Best trip ever? To Pitcairn Island, last year. I was apprehensive about going, but found it unforgettable.

If you could be anywhere but here, where would that be? The village of St Guilhem-le-Desert, in the Languedoc region of France. Exquisitely beautiful.

What is the wildest sight you’ve witnessed while travelling? An elderly man goose-stepping his way through a village festival in Germany and giving the Nazi salute as he went. Chilling.

The most heart-breaking? Seeing a bunch of small boys in New Delhi, punching each other over the right to carry my suitcase from the bus into the airport.

Where to next? Since I’m writing a sequel to my novel based on James Cook’s first world voyage – which will be published next year – I’d like to visit Easter Island, where Cook called in on his second world voyage.

Graeme Lay has edited a collection of stories from leading New Zealand travel writers. Home & Away is published this month by New Holland, RRP $34.99.

Ad Feedback

- The Dominion Post

Special offers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content