Travel hits and misses: Shane Hansen


Having a young whanau is always top of our mind when selecting the next family getaway. The pick was Noosa on the Sunshine Coast, Australia. It was July 2015, a winter escape from an overcast Avondale. From our Hastings St resort apartment it was easy access to the popular cafes and boutiques. The boys cut up the pavement on their scooters while Kirst and I enjoyed our morning caffeine fix at one of the hipster coffee establishments. Then we hit the warm, clear waters of Noosa Main Beach, for swimming and boogie boarding. My favourite place in Noosa is the National Park. It has loads of spectacular beaches and walks, and is great for spotting koala, “wife-terrifying” reptiles and backpack stealing crows! After a long day of sunning it, we would grab a Nitrogenie icecream (made instantly using nitrogen), take a load off and watch the health obsessed, quinoa-kissed bodies groove by. In fact it was this trip and my eldest boy saying “I wish we could live somewhere like this”, that led us to the sandy shores of Tutukaka, Northland. Epic!


Note to self: When on a work trip in Xiamen, China, never turn down the opportunity, no matter how disgusting, to use the bathroom before taking the one-hour follicle-fracturing car ride to the airport. After three hours in a meeting and drinking a good amount of water, we were in a rush to make our flight home. Our driver, we‘ll call him Merv, didn‘t speak English, liked his ciggies and enjoyed a siesta while “cruising” at 130km/h inside the longest underwater tunnel I have ever been in. With nowhere to stop, no Mandarin and a bladder the size of the tunnel‘s diameter, I was on the verge of some serious malfunction. About 2km out from the airport and stuck in a traffic jam, the window option crossed my mind but I feared the respect of my work and travel companions would have been washed away with everything else. We pulled up outside, I left my bags and bolted in search of relief. Let me tell you, it went from the worst time of my life to the best in seconds AND I still retained a “millilitre” of respect.


Artist and designer Shane Hansen hosts Design Junkies, premiering on Thursday May 3 at 7.30pm on TVNZ 1 and TVNZ OnDemand