Travel queen’s ‘embarrassing’ confession
She is Australia's queen of travel, having zigzagged across the world for more than two decades as the face of Getaway.
But despite her travel guru status, TV presenter Catriona Rowntree has a packing confession to make.
"I totally overpack, it's embarrassing," Rowntree told news.com.au.
"My husband has to sit on my suitcase before a trip and I don't think that's right."
But Rowntree, who was recently announced as the new ambassador of cosmetics brand Clarins, has finetuned some tried and tested methods of preparing for trips, especially when it comes to what to wear.
"When I find out where I'm going I pick up my phone and go to the weather app. What's it like where I'm travelling to?" the presenter said.
"Then I go on Instagram and find out who is wearing what and where. For example, following Queen Rania before my Egypt/Jordan trip was not only inspiring but allowed me to dress respectfully, then I order the clothes I need online. All this without leaving the house!"
The seemingly ageless 47-year-old also has her in-flight beauty routine down pat.
"I always ask the flight attendants for tips and they got me hooked on Clarins Double Serum," she said.
Agathe Christie’s husband was an Archeologist, he would go out to work everyday here in Aswan and Agathe would wait here at The Cataract Hotel. This was her balcony, looking across to Elephantine Island, where sick of feeling lonely she started to jot down ideas for a book, which evolved into Death On The Nile, one of the world’s great Crime Novels. She wrote everyday from here. What a view! I’d be inspired too. Her room is permanently booked out, but I asked if we could just film on the balcony to share the story. Such a magnificent hotel. @sofitellegendoldcataract @getaway @journeystocome @scenic_au @spell_byronbay
"I'm already addicted to Clarins Beauty Flash Balm, but a serum is great - trust me on that. "I don't think I'm a fan of those funny sheet masks, I keep forgetting I have them on and then wander the cabin talking to people. But I love the Clarins SOS Hydra Face Mask and can say I had a 'glacial facial' using this (while filming recently) in Alaska. The cold really gives you a glow."
And on the topic of flights, how does Australia's most famous jetsetter survive those gruelling long-hauls?
For starters, she always has following in her carry-on bag: her Kindle, Restivit sleeping tablets, vitamins, Clarins Beauty Flash Balm, gum, a nail file and hand cream.
"The first thing I do before I board is check the time zone of my final destination, as this predicts when I'll sleep," Rowntree said.
"Then I pretend I'm going to work - but never do - and watch every foreign film going, as I'm sure this will subconsciously teach me another language.
Ok, not quite a tiara and white gown, but will a snorkel and cozzie do? Just before THE wedding (can’t breathe, so excited) Getaway will take you to some amazing Honeymoon locations, from Fiji, to luxury in the Blue Mountains, even Knotts Berry Farm. Good times people, hope you enjoy our travels. @getaway #9 5.30pm @channel9style @jetsswimwear @channel9 #9getaway #fiji #oolala #savala #cruise @journeystocome
"But I do honour thy circadian rhythms and because I normally film the moment I land, I try to sleep for at least six hours. This seems to have worked for the last 20 odd years so I'm sticking to it."
While she's not normally one to sit around and do nothing, it's been a particularly busy few months for Rowntree.
She recently filmed a three-part Getaway special on the Alaska's glaciers, hosted the Australian Ballet's Pas de Deux in Paradise event at Hamilton Island, and is preparing for next year's launch of her new book, The Best in World Cruising.
The book assembles Rowntree's best tips, advice, ideas and personal anecdotes for seasoned cruisers and first-timers alike.
"Aussies are per capita the biggest cruise nation on the planet," Rowntree said.
Antler Academy! This is what all reindeers must go through if they want to lead Santa’s sleigh. You want fame? Well fame costs and right here is where you start paying for it, in sweat...at Antler Academy, North Pole! Do you think it shows I’m having the time of my life, even though I’m stepping in reindeer poop?#northpole #alaska #antleracademy #reindeer @getaway @scenic_au @journeystocome @princesscruises
"There is a cruise out there with your name on it and I'm the girl to help you find it. Life is so short - spend the kids' inheritance, embrace solo travel! Travel is good for your health.
"I'm 94 and have convinced everyone I'm half my age," she joked. "'Book it and go' is my mantra."
For travellers who prefer the solid ground, Rowntree raved about her visit to the Kimberley, a longstanding bucket list item she finally ticked off this year.
"I had a moment flying over the tops of this extraordinary land, from one Aboriginal art sight to a hidden waterfall, when hot tears started to run down my face," she said.
Alaska has been called The Great Land, but it’s a land that’s constantly shifting. For millions of years glaciers have retreated and advanced, carving out the landscape in its wake. When the snow falls in winter at the top of the mountains, it can take up to 200 years for those little snowflakes to melt in summer and make their way down to the lakes and rivers below where the whales, bears, all sorts of things feed. Everything is all connected! But this glacier, Mendenhall, will probably be gone in around 25 years, the lake behind me didn’t even exist back in the 1930’s, as the glacier rapidly recedes. Today the precipitation is not keeping pace with the humidity...the future is in our hands. Thanks @bigsticktv for this pic. @getaway @scenic_au @princesscruises #mendenhall #juneau #alaska
"When I got home, I bought a ticket in that $100 million Lotto and vowed, 'If I win, I'm sending as many Aussies as possible to WA.' I didn't win, but I still would love you all to go."
And Rowntree recommended plenty of Aussie destinations that didn't get as much attention as they should.
"Quirindi rocks!" she said. "Bendigo had the most sublime art gallery, Hay has the nicest locals, New Norfolk has awesome shopping, Broome has the best night markets, Port Fairy has the world's best ice cream and did you know the You Yangs in Little River has koalas and kangaroos just 15 minutes from the airport?
Just waiting to be picked up before my big Travel Card event today and thought I’d share a few ‘saviour’ products I’ve splashed on. Because my lovely makeup artist Gladis was stuck in traffic on the way over, I quickly whipped on an SOS Hydra mask and tried for the first time the SOS Primer in no.1. Gladis walked in and went ‘what have you done to your skin, it looks amazing!’ So I think that’s a good thing, big 👍🏻. I don’t normally wear lippy, as I’m such a talker, it always ends up on my chin/cheek/teeth. So we just used a red lip stain (3) and my normal lip balm. I’m feeling quite glam. Thankyou @gladishassaratimua @clarinsaus @mossandspy #clarins #clarinspartner
"We are blessed with the most bloody brilliant regional towns on the planet. Jump in the car and go, go, go."
Incredibly, for someone as well travelled as Rowntree, she admitted there was one fairly popular bucket list experience that's eluded her so far.
"Don't even think of saying the words 'blossom time in Japan to me'. Cannot cope, I've been robbed," she said.
"Not for want of trying, I've never been to this glorious country. I'll just have to rack up another year on Getaway until my boss allows me to go there, to share with you of course."