It’s fair to say that Gary is well travelled, having undertaken everything from overland trips through east and southern Africa to adventures through South-East Asia, which eventually led him to becoming a diving instructor in Thailand. Then, via the vibrant cultures and varied sites of South America and India, and some shorter trips through Europe, he finally put down some roots – in Australia. And, between working for a local tour operator, he took full advantage of his new surroundings , travelling the length and breadth of the country to mix in such iconic sites as Sydney, Uluru and the Great Barrier Reef with a host of off-the-beaten-track gems, including Jervis Bay, Phillip Island and Kakadu National Park. He then hopped across the Tasman Sea to explore New Zealand, experiencing everything from heli-hiking on Franz Josef Glacier to watching England take on the All Blacks amid the urbane charms of Auckland.

Favourite country

New Zealand

Favourite moment

Diving in Thailand, following a turtle when a whale shark swam above my head!

Helpful history

I used to live in both Australia and New Zealand, working for a local tour operator. This has given me a plenty of on-the-ground knowledge of both countries, and how best to work an itinerary of either – or both!

Ask me about

  • Which island resort to stay at in the Whitsunday Islands
  • The best luxury lodges in Queenstown
  • How to book a table at the Ninja Restaurant in Tokyo
  • Cruising aboard a luxury junk boat in Halong Bay
  • Where to see wildlife up close in Australia’s national parks

My travels

My stories

Roof of Sensoji temple, Asakusa, Tokyo

What to know before you travel to Japan

Far East destination specialist Gary shares his expert tips on holidaying in Japan, from how to enjoy tax-free shopping to the best app for rail travellers.

Total Tokyo: Nightlife, tradition and a city in flux

Total Tokyo: Nightlife, tradition and a city in flux

It’s late and I’m in Japan’s biggest red-light district. Kabukicho in Tokyo is where carousing salarymen mix with hawkers and touts in a maze of karaoke bars and gentlemen’s clubs.

A spread of Burmese curries, salads and soups

Myanmar assar-asa: Eating the Burmese way

In this extract from The Burma Cookbook, authors Robert Carmack and Morrison Polkinghorne describe the delights to be had in a typical Myanmar rice and curry restaurant.