Decades before the world loved seeing her, the multi-award-winning Australian actor loved seeing the world. These are her happy places. As told to Di Webster.
1972 | United States
New York City
I’ve been to New York City at least 50 times. I first went in 1972 when I was with [the late theatre director] Richard Wherrett and my son, Dylan, was two.
The city was down at heel then and very broke. We stayed at the Algonquin Hotel, which wasn’t glamorous then either but I had such romantic ideas about the Algonquin Round Table and Dorothy Parker, I thought I’d gone to heaven.
I used to take just hand luggage and come home with a suitcase full of books and, I’ll admit, a few shoes. I once saw 30 [theatre] shows in three weeks.
I’ve let go of my dream to live in New York. I’ve been there during serious blizzards and my old bones can’t take that cold. I was hit on the head with an icicle as I walked down Park Avenue one winter; it nearly killed me.
Despite that, I’ll always love New York City. The restaurants are fantastic and the bars… a Martini doesn’t taste the same anywhere else. There’s my Dorothy Parker thing again.
1978 | Italy
Everyone said, “Oh, Venice is horrible in summer; it’s stinky and too hot.” Not for me. I found it so beautiful – that gorgeous Piazza San Marco and getting a boat over to the Murano glass factory. It’s a great walking city, too.
I was there with [former partner, the late journalist] Phil Davis and stayed at the Hotel Europa. Phil planned this really fantastic trip. We ate and drank and walked a lot.
I’ve never been back to Venice. I keep saying I must go back because I loved it so much but sometimes places with great memories can be really disappointing when you revisit them.Every time I drink a Campari and soda it tastes like Venice. A true lush – every city reminds me of a drink!
1988 | Hawaii
Kauai is one of Hawaii’s eight major islands. [Ex-husband, now Senator] Derryn Hinch and I bought a place there in 1988 and we had it for about nine years. It’s the garden island. They have a law that no building can be higher than the tallest palm tree. They shot South Pacific, Jurassic Park and the George Clooney film, The Descendants, on Kauai.
I once went for two weeks and was still there 11 weeks later. There’s something magical about it. It rains most afternoons for 10 minutes – the most beautifully scented rain – and it’s very spiritual.
All of Hawaii is, I think. Just going there used to make me so happy; I was euphoric. We used to travel with hand luggage because there were several muu-muus and Hawaiian shirts hanging in the wardrobe and that’s all we needed.
Every time we went to Kauai, I didn’t want to leave. I could have lived there. Selling the house was sad but it was the ’90s and we were broke. C’est la vie – they’re only things. ￼