Perhaps best known for his role in Packed To The Rafters, Erik Thompson recalls his travels to medical conventions and toxic New Zealand volcanoes.

1. As a child, our family holidays were always to…

Dad’s annual medical conference. We got to stay in a hotel, stay up late and drink soft drink.

One year we went to Hastings, New Zealand, and visited a dodgy park called ‘Fantasyland’, a cheap rip-off of Disneyland.

2. The last place I visited was…

Samoa and the next place I am booked to go is… Queenstown for a spot of skiing.

3. I’ll never forget the time…

I went to school in Scalloway on the Shetland Islands, Scotland. My mother was born in Shetland and I’ve spent a lot of time there over the years, but to actually go to school and sink into the community was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

4. If money was no barrier, send me off to…

The Mentawai Islands in Indonesia, a remote surfing mecca. I went there four years ago with some old mates to celebrate our 45ths; next year we all turn 50 so we’re heading up again.

5. My favourite travel companion is…

My wife Caitlin, of course. The problem is she doesn’t like to visit the same place twice. There is one exception though – she has no problem returning to Kangaroo Island again and again, which I support wholeheartedly. It’s a fantastic, uniquely Australian place full of wonder.

6. My carry-on is usually filled with…

My noise-cancelling headphones, computer and a large bottle of water.

On long flights I change into flight pyjamas once we’ve taken off. It’s a tip I picked up when I was hosting on Getaway.

7. My last holiday read was…

Island Home by Tim Winton. I’ve always been a Winton fan, from Cloudstreet to Dirt Music and Eyrie.

This book is his meditation on how the unique geography and position of Australia on the planet, shapes us as a people.

8. The best bed I’ve ever slept in was…

At the Park Hyatt Melbourne. Egyptian cotton sheets and excellent pillows (pillows are everything).

It’s all topped off with really good blinds to keep the room dark and support that rare sleep-in.

9. My local’s tip for hometown McLaren Vale is…

To make a visit to the family winery Penny’s Hill, one of the Vale’s best cellar doors and restaurants.

Pop in and the people are very friendly, and I’m probably related to them…

10. The most adventurous thing I’ve ever done on holiday is…

Taking a helicopter out to White Island, an active volcano in New Zealand’s Bay of Plenty, and landing in the crater.

Plumes of toxic gas rose from lakes of acid forcing us to wear gas masks.

It felt like it could blow at any moment. Quite amazing and a tad scary!

 

Come on a walkabout with other Australians of note… Jesinta Campbell – Joel Creasey – Sally Fiztgibbons

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