A five-minute interview with world champion surfer Layne Beachley Arrival Gate
5-Minute Q&A with . . .

Who: Layne Beachley
Where: Sydney’s Northern Beaches
What: Dabbles a little in surfing, and is also the face of Planet Ark’s excellent campaign to increase aluminium can recycling rates
WHY: Hello, she’s won six consecutive world surfing titles and, having roamed the globe for 17 years on the pro tour, probably knows a thing or two about travel

The Australian experience every Australian must have?
There are so many, depending on which state you live in. I’m in Sydney so I can recommend the Harbour Bridge climb, a visit to the Opera House, get up early to take a walk with the masses from Bondi to Bronte and learn to surf at Manly.

Favourite childhood holiday memories?
Bouncing on the trampolines in Tuncurry, riding horses in Taree and hanging at the country music festival in Tamworth. I also loved it when we would skipper a clipper down the Hawkesbury river.

Best travel tip you ever heard?
Set your watch to the time of your destination as soon as you board the plane and drink loads of water.

Favourite Australian hotel?
My home.

You’re away for four nights: How many pairs of smalls?
How long did it take for me to arrive? If I travelled all day then I’ll pack a pair to travel in, change into once I arrive, a fresh pair for each day and a clean pair to travel home. Therefore, I guess I’d pack at least five.

Favourite piece of luggage?
My pillow.

Most common thing left at home?
International power adapters.

Malcolm Fraser moment (ie, locked out of hotel room without pants, had to go to front desk in underwear)?
I was staying with a married couple in a hotel in France who didn’t have a bedroom and they wanted some time alone. They disappeared from a party we were all at and when I arrived home my mattress was out in the hallway of the hotel in front of the lifts with my pillow, teddy bear and a box of tissues. And that’s where I slept.

Mini-bar: raid, replace or don’t touch?
Sometimes replace but prefer not to touch – they’re such a ripoff!

Favourite moment: takeoff or landing?
Take off. Pushes me back in to my chair and usually puts me to sleep.

Isle or window?
Wedged up against the window. That way it prevents smelly people from constantly disturbing me to get up or crawling over me. I have good bladder control and strategise when to go to the bathroom.

Airline food: love it or hate it?
Don’t eat it. It’s horrid! Unless I’m in Business Class, then the dessert is usually really good, along with the meal choices.

Where have you just been and why?
I’ve just arrived home from Hawaii, which is where the last two events of the tour season were completed. I love Hawaii.

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