On Friday’s episode of The Two (Pam Corkery / Tim Roxborogh – Newstalk ZB) amidst the usual mix of politics and general topicality, we were talking about the most fun job you’d ever had. A list had just been published by the New Zealand Herald of the most fun jobs in the world – including things like being a panda-cuddler and a water-slide tester – so we thought we’d get others to add to the list.
Other than an unsettling tale of a lady who’d mixed up the dentures of patients at a mental hospital in the 1950s (the most fun job ever?), we got some good stories. As for me, I didn’t necessarily know it at the time, but the six months spent at the late Club Med* resort in the Whitsunday Islands in Queensland, Australia 2010-2011 were probably the most fun I’d ever had**. My job? The sound engineer / DJ / amateur tennis opponent for guests.
The reasons I didn’t quite recognise the fun were due to my love of broadcasting which I wasn’t doing at the time***, my appreciation of more than one day off a week and my sense that people should be paid properly for their work. There were also issues involving perennially uncooked beef in the restaurant, moldy clothing and my inability to plug complex / basic technical equipment in. But what I only really understood the day I left was that I’d been having some consistently ridiculous fun and shared with some of the best, most quirky people. In quick hindsight, I’d had the time of my life. Here are my top 30 photos from the Whitsunday Islands:
|A chap who is still one of my best mates / greatest tennis rivals, Wade Seaford.|
|For obvious reasons, a gal always known as “The Beautiful Karoline,” Karoline Lukas.|
|One of the more grating aspects of Club Med was the cross-dressing obsession, though at least Wade always did it well.|
|The gorgeous Georgie Love – also a fellow journalist, now a producer for A Current Affair in Melbourne.|
|So many stunning women on such a small island! Rebecca Keevers, now a lawyer in Newcastle.|
|One of the great Germans of modern times, Katharina Bubser.|
|This is Byron Tolley – a circus star virtually without peer. Also a decent Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle.|
|Enjoying a cheeky beverage in the jungle.|
|Is that my seaplane in the background? It appears to be – Whitehaven Beach.|
|Seaforth Island, a small island next to Lindeman Island where Club Med was.|
|Lindeman Island as viewed from the back of the Hamilton Island-bound ferry.|
|The now deceased Club Med resort, Lindeman Island.|
|Pentecost Island in the distance with Little Lindeman Island in the foreground.|
|An island I fell in love with the first time I saw it, Pentecost Island.|
|The artificial beach on the largely artificial-feeling Hamilton Island.|
|Sunset on the Lindeman Island golf course.|
|Lindeman Island as viewed from a 4-seater plane.|
|The same as above, with the runway clearly visible.|
|From left to right: Pentecost Island, Little Lindeman Island, Lindeman Island.|
|Another of my favourite, Pentecost Island.|
|The calm before the storm – shortly before the Cyclone Yasi evacuation when blue skies were still overhead.|
|Where we’d relax with music and a couple of drinks on our one day off a week – the 2nd hole of the golf course.|
|Next to the 2nd hole of the golf course, the water-lily-filled lake on Lindeman Island.|
|The beach volleyball court on Lindeman Island, looking towards Seaforth Island.|
|One of my favourite people ever, Lauren Harder – what a smile.|
|The Great Barrier Reef.|
|Lauren and I were always trying to fight off the paparazzi.****|
|Alongside others like Wade “Wade-o” Seaford and Benjamin “Climbing Man” Stewart, two of my best mates on the island, Paddy “Shenanigans” Maloney and Glenn “Doctor D.R.” Davis.|
|Hamilton Island’s Passage Peak with friends Ashley Herrerra and Emily Doan. My shirt and flip-flops / thongs / jandals are just out of shot.|
*Australia closed its only Club Med resort in early 2012. The island has reportedly been bought by a Chinese investor for a bargain price in the vicinity of AUS $12 million and is expected to be redeveloped and reopened at some point in the next couple of years.
**Obviously this is hard to compare with many of the tremendously fun experiences in my radio career, such as my current radio show with Pam Corkery The Two, nor previous shows like the Easy Mix breakfast with Alison Leonard or Raylene Ramsay, nor my on-air escapades with the likes of Peter Dakin, Rick Morin and Neil Waka.
***I’d worked in radio for 11 years before deciding to resign and do what Kiwis call “the big OE,” as in “the big overseas experience.” I’d always done a lot of travel, but knew I would have regrets if I didn’t go off and see the world for an extended period of time. I spent 18 months of 2010 and 2011 exploring South East Asia, Canada, USA and Australia before returning to New Zealand to take up a job with Newstalk ZB in July 2011.
****Not strictly the truth.