Originally published in September 2018
Rodney Harrex is the Chief Executive of the South Australian Tourism Commission (SATC). Rodney joined the SATC after a 25-year career with Tourism Australia, where he rose to the position of General Manager, UK and Northern Europe, after working in various international markets and Sydney. His roles have seen him travel and live across the globe, but Rodney believes there is nowhere quite like South Australia.
What’s your favourite place to visit?
I am a bit biased, but regional South Australia is among the best destinations to visit. So many of our regions are on people’s bucket lists – I’m lucky to have these experiences in my backyard, from cage diving with the Great White Sharks on the Eyre Peninsula, to the best wine regions and the most incredible produce and restaurants, we have it all. What adds to the enjoyment is that while our visitor economy is booming, we are devoid of tourist trappings. For me, getting away is about heading off the beaten path, escaping crowds and not having to share it with hundreds of others and their selfie-sticks – Adelaide and South Australia offer just that.
What’s your top tip for holidaying in Adelaide?
My top tip for any destination is to live it like a local. Put on a pair of walking shoes and explore Adelaide city, our thriving small bars, vibrant festival scene – Peel and Leigh Street are a must. Gone are the days of generic travel guides, check out the #SeeSouthAustralia and use it to plan an authentic experience.
What’s something you always packs when you travel?
I like to keep a record of my travels – phones are great to capture experiences or to note down the details of the great local café or restaurant. Memories fade and I like to look back on the experience and to be able to share highlights with family and friends.
What destination is on your bucket list?
I never tire of exploring South Australia and am always putting new aspects of the place on my list. The one other destination that is on my bucket list is Vietnam. Although I have visited once briefly, I made a mental note to explore this destination properly. The history of the place, the food and the people are all aspects that appeal to me and I hope to visit soon.
Can you share a travel disaster – or near-miss?
This is one that I have still not been able to live down with my family! When we lived in London, I took the family on a camping trip to France over the summer. It was a Sunday afternoon when I got to the task of pitching a tent and discovered I had forgotten to pack the poles! I tried getting alternate accommodation, but everything was sold out! I went to the only store I could find, picked up a few broomsticks and ‘pitched the tent’. Thankfully, it was summer, so we made it through the night. Not surprisingly, I haven’t been able to convince my family to take a camping trip with me since!
Main Image: Henschke and Co.