My travel life: Catriona Rowntree, TV host


Catriona Rowntree, host of the TV travel show Getaway for 24 years, and creator of website Journeys To Come. Getaway airs Saturdays at 5.30pm on the Nine Network and 9Now.


Number of countries visited

I pray I'm never the sort of traveller who counts the countries I've visited; travel is not about racing through a checklist of locations, but revelling in wherever life lands you. Fair to say, considering my job description, I've been to quite a few.

My worst passport mishap was ...

being mugged three times should be the worst, but the person who confiscated my passport at the airport, due to it being "slightly worn", really ticked me off. Once again, refer to my occupation: being "slightly worn" is par for the course.

I got my first passport when i was 15

with a mouth full of braces, not my finest mugshot, but I was so excited to be going overseas for a "mother/ daughter trip" to Fiji, I was just beaming.

My passport photo is

mildly fabulous. Ok, ok, I kinda look like a stunned mullet (I'm hopeless at pulling a straight face) but I ordered a 10-year passport last time, so I look really young and what's not to love about that?

I can't stop going back to

our regional Aussie towns. I've never met a regional town I haven't loved, from Quirindi to Stanley, they make my heart sing.

My last travel destination was

the edge of the earth, Ushuaia Argentina (next stop Antarctica). I explored the Chilean Patagonian coast for three weeks. Trust me, just go. If not, I hope you're inspired by my Getaway stories when we return for our 29th season! Pretty proud of that if you can't half tell.

My next travel destination is

watch out Walgett, I'm coming for you. I begged to visit this remote regional town. Love this land, love its locals even more. @stayinthebush is also brilliant for planning a country holiday too, I use this all the time.

I'm really looking forward to

taking a day out to celebrate simply being Australian. I have family farming in this drought-stricken area and I know the locals have been put through the wringer. Yes, we have a multitude of challenges, but ultimately we are beyond blessed to call this country home. Trust me, now, I travel the world for a living, trust me, we are blessed.


What I really want from my next trip is

I'd like my children to be happy (they just need lots of activities and they're sweet), but I'd also like to share with others, via social media and Getaway, a slice of this town. That's why I created the website Journeys To Come, to share our favourite travel stories, tips and locations.

I love to travel because

it's a proactive way to support a community. We all win when we can inject money into a location in a positive manner, whilst learning and hopefully enjoying our surrounds at the same time. Whether it's supporting a family in Chile, or helping a farmer feel proud of what they're producing in Condoblin, travelling is a billion times better than sitting on your bum at home.

My travel philosophy is

I'm not pompous enough to have a travel philosophy, I just try to be a good ambassador wherever I go, leave my judgments at home and be grateful I'm able to experience this journey in the first place.

The one travel mistake I always make is

I overpack each and every time. I'm not proud of that, but there are worse things in life.

The one thing I really do get right when i travel is

I can really milk the moment. I am so in love with any opportunity to travel, that I try to never complain and always enjoy.

If I had to sit in the middle seat the other passengers I'd want on either side of me would be

Oprah Winfrey and the Dalai Lama. I can't think of anyone else who'd truly love their food, be interesting to chat to and not judge me if I dribbled in my sleep.

The one famous traveller I really admire is

Ernest Hemingway. That man had balls of steel, travelled to the ends of the Earth and (at least when in public) always had a darn good time. Love his travel tales, love his stamina.

The one famous person I'd like to travel with is

Chris Hemsworth could be a lotta fun to travel around Australia with. I'd be happy to have [his wife] Elsa join us too, we could bring the kids, I think we'd have a great time. Could someone ask them please?

Airline food is

always something to look forward to. I think this is why I've been on Getaway so long as I just love the unexpected diversity of airline food. I get excited by the noodles on Asian carriers, the vino on Air New Zealand, oh, hello, what about the Pisco Sours served on LATAM, the national cocktail of Peru. What is not to love people!

Airport security is

a pain in the rear end. It's mind-numbingly slow, generally invasive and rude (except at Avalon Airport, they're nice). Could we please get a Millennial to figure out a faster system? Begging here...

Hotels are

not half as important as the quality of service that inhabits them.

I've always wanted to go to

Japan. Yep, I'm the last known Aussie to have never gone giddy over a geisha. Every time it comes up at work it gets nabbed immediately. My hand is up...

I've never wanted to go to

anywhere that has an abundance of Influencers. When they claim it, it's all over red rover.

Aisle or window?

who cares? Just get me there in one piece and I'm a happy little traveller.