Home' Get Up and Go : Autumn 2016 Contents 16 GetUp&Go
David Reyne has graced Australian television screens
for three decades, as a host, reporter, Logie-winning
actor, writer, producer and musician. He is currently
a presenter on Getaway, which he has been a
regular since its inception in 1991, earning himself a
reputation as a most incisive travel reporter.
Your first holiday?
Bali in 1977, when Bali truly was
paradise. I managed to secure a
motorbike licence even though I
collided with a policeman who
wandered into my path during the
driving test. I surfed every morning
at Uluwatu with only a handful of
others, absolutely unheard of these
days, and would dine each night in
restaurants perched on the beach, toes
in the sand and a roof of thatched
palm overhead. I vaguely remember
ordering mushroom soup one night.
Beware. I then spent four hours
wrestling dinosaur-sized pink spiders
that followed me around in a polka
Sometimes the best holidays are
the worst. They’re often the most
memorable...providing you survive
the ordeal. I was doing a Getaway
shoot in the Black Sea resort town of
Sevastopol, where we decided to visit
a sanatorium to experience the charms
of a Ukrainian style spa treatment.
An ample breasted woman in army
issue jack boots appeared wearing a
lab coat with a decidedly greyish tinge
about it. Her manner was such that
although she didn’t speak English,
there was no chance of me querying
her barked orders.
I may be embellishing here, but I
believe I was strapped to a chair as
she produced a wand-type instrument,
the tip of which she inserted forcefully
up my nose. As I stifled a blood-
curdling scream, she flicked a switch
and the tip, now heading worryingly
close to my brain, turned the colour
of yellowcake. With the disaster of
Chernobyl fresh in my mind, it was
not unreasonable to believe I had
become the unwitting receptacle for a
nuclear fuel rod. It’s left me with an
uncanny ability to glow in the dark.
Favourite Australian holiday
There is no place in the world that
comes near to matching Australia for
ruggedness, remoteness, harshness
or tenderness. Australia is achingly
beautiful and staggeringly confronting.
It is both ancient and modern. It
is magnificently sophisticated and
It offers just about every possible
option you could ever desire in a
holiday destination but, if there’s one
area of Australia that is truly a rolled
gold, gilt-edged, rip-snorting zanzy,
it is the Mornington Peninsula – I’ve
never come across a dreamier place.
Favourite overseas destination?
Always the next one. With Getaway,
I’m fortunate to travel often with
Scenic and if they’ve got a new
destination for me to visit, I know
it’ll be revealed so elegantly and
majestically, the experience will
leave a new fave at the top of the
list. Although, their Mekong Cruise
between Cambodia and Vietnam will
really take some beating.
The Metropole in Hanoi. A grand and
charming hotel in perhaps the greatest
Ultimate ‘I wish’ destination?
To see the Northern Lights.
Worst travel experience?
Moscow wasn’t great! It might’ve
been because of the gun being pulled
in the nightclub manager’s office, or
the creepy telephone call I’d receive
every time I got back to my hotel
room asking if I’d “like Russian girl?”,
or the Customs Agent who wouldn’t
let us into the country until we’d
greased his already greasy palm with
US dollars, or the cavernous hotel
restaurant whose staff, barely visible
beneath the only two operable light
globes in a sea of hundreds, would
respond to every request on the menu
with a despondent, “Nyet”. It was a
long time ago. I’m hoping Moscow’s
Best travel tip?
Circadin (a form of Melatonin) for
jetlag. A seat near the front of the plane.
Never touch the hotel bedspread.
Beach lounge lizard, culture vulture
I’m still looking for the cultural
adventure you can have while lounging
at the beach.
When I find it, I’ll consider I’ve
become the ultimate traveller by being
all three of the above.
Personal travel philosophy?
Say yes. •
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