Where to travel when all of this is over: David Reyne’s dream destinations

David Reyne

TV travel presenter, Getaway

Location: Mornington Peninsula

MY ONE DREAM DESTINATION IS STILL

Ballooning above the Serengeti, Tanzania. It can be an ungodly pursuit requiring an indecently early start inspiring grumpiness. Then there’s that feeling of dangling beneath the belly of an enormously fat man like a teabag that’s somehow got caught in his zipper. All is forgiven, however, once the cool morning breeze sets you adrift to gently tingle every single nerve end. I’ve had the good fortune to have been ballooning in many great destinations around the world but there’s nothing like the Serengeti.

WHEN THIS IS ALL OVER I’M DREAMING OF VISITING

The Darvaza Cratero known as  the Door to Hell, Karakum Desert, Turkmenistan. In 1971 a crack team of Soviet geologists were drilling in the desert of northern Turkmenistan, a country with the sixth largest natural gas reserves in the world, when somewhat unexpectedly, their finely tuned Russian drilling rig plummeted into a 100-metre-wide cavern of natural gas below. Rather than allowing the gas to overwhelm the nearby village, they lit it. Almost 50 years later, it still burns, a fiery hell in an otherwise barren landscape.

MY DREAM TRAVEL BUBBLE DESTINATION IS

Japan. It’s clean, it’s beautiful and it’s run with the precision of a Swiss watch. If you haven’t caught a Shinkansen (bullet train) to observe sakura (cherry blossoms) with a dish of fugu (sashimi of pufferfish, more poisonous than cyanide) on your knee, then you haven’t lived.

MY DREAM DOMESTIC DESTINATION IS

Tough question. Anywhere. I do not believe there is a more magnificently diverse country than our own. We have jungles to rival Africa, alps to rival Europe, cities to rival Dubai, deserts to rival the Sahara, beaches the envy of the world and the oldest living culture on the planet. What’s not to like?

MY DREAM DOMESTIC TRIP SO FAR HAS BEEN

Many years ago I found myself in the most appropriately named Red Centre, prostrate upon a deck chair, chilled lager in the fist, staring at the Southern Cross lit up like baubles in the belly buttons of a choir of angels. An astrologer trained a beam on the constellations of the vast Milky Way giving each a wondrous explanation. In the distance, Uluru generated a deep, red, twilight glow while the neighbouring Kata Tjuta snored. They say it looks like Homer Simpson on his back. It does. I guess that’s why it was snoring.

Getaway is Australia’s longest running travel program. Its summer series, Great Getaways, is on Nine from Thursday, December 3 at 7.30pm.

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