Married couple Matt and Brett join new season of Travel Guides

Travel addicts and long-time couple Matt and Brett, from the NSW coastal city of Newcastle, have joined the cast of Nine's popular series.

Are you prepared for the celebrity life that's about to be thrust upon you?
Matt: Not at all. Not in the slightest, I don't think.

You haven't been lusting for fame for years, then?
M: No, we haven’t really, but it's going to be an interesting ride.

Matt (left) and Brett appear in the new season of Travel Guides on Nine.Credit:Nine

But you are experienced travellers.
M: We are experienced travellers – having said that, Brett didn't even have a passport when we first met. But I fixed that pretty quick.
Brett: Yeah, he got the application, I paid for the passport.

Would it be fair to say that as travellers you have high standards when it comes to the places you stay in?
M: We stay as much as our budget allows. Sometimes we sacrifice the standard of accommodation for the standard of the cocktails at the bar.

But as long as you have one or the other, you're sweet.
M: Yeah, you've got to have a balanced holiday!

If they're keen for us to say good things about them, they'll give us a good experience.

In the new series of Travel Guides, everywhere you go is in Australia due to COVID-19. Are the cocktails good in Australia?
M: Australians make amazing cocktails. They can improvise. They don't freefall like they do in some other countries; that's sometimes a good thing and sometimes a bad thing, but overall I'm going to say the standard of Australian cocktails is pretty damn good.

In your past travels, do you have a favourite destination?
M: We've got quite an affinity with New Zealand. It's where we got married, and we've had lots of holidays there, so that's definitely somewhere we're keen to get back to as soon as the government allows.

When filming the series, was there a location that was particularly memorable?
M: The Red Centre. I always thought we were coastal beach people – and we are – but holidaying in the Red Centre was just amazing. We'd been to Uluru before, we had a fly-in fly-out long weekend where we stayed at Sails and visited the rock and then flew home and thought, 'OK, we've been there, done that.' But we were really lucky, we got the opportunity to go back this time and spend a lot more time there, and hire a car and go out into the outback. You'll have to watch for yourself, but we'd definitely say we had a much more authentic Red Centre experience this time around. We got to meet a lot of the locals this time.

Did you get to indulge your critical side on the show?
M: Oh, you mean are we honest? Absolutely, we're honest but I think we're also quite grateful travellers. So we do tend to put things in context, and things we might expect in one location, in one type of accommodation, we might not expect in another. In general I'd like to think we're pretty grateful.
B: We're definitely not travel snobs. Having said that, we do like the finer things in life if they're on offer.

Comedian Denise Scott narrates the new season of Travel Guides.Credit:James Penlidis

You've said one thing you will never do on holiday is go to McDonald's.
M: You can go to McDonald's at home. If you're going to go away, you've got to eat the local food and put the money into the local economy. A Big Mac is the same here or if you're buying it in Darwin – it's still a Big Mac! And McDonald's don't serve breakfast cocktails either. You can take your own but they don't like that.

Were you a fan of Travel Guides before ending up on it?
M: We were. We booked holidays based on Travel Guides – which we had to cancel because we were on Travel Guides.

How does one get on Travel Guides anyway?
M: You apply, you fill in an application form, you send in an audition video, and it's a long process from there.
B: No, that's not true. You have a barbecue, you have a few drinks, you put together a two-minute video, then before you know it you're on Travel Guides.

How aware are you of the cameras when you're going about your business on the show?
M: I didn't even know there were cameras. If I'd known there were, I'd have told them to stop it. Look, the cameras are there, but honestly you get used to it pretty quick, and the crew are just excellent, an amazing bunch of people, they make you feel at ease and before too long you're doing all sorts of ridiculous things that you'd never do on camera.

As you travel around on the show, there will be places of business jumping for the opportunity to get on TV. Do you ever feel any pressure to help the places you visit look good?
M: No – if we like it we'll make them look good anyway. It's all about the experiences they give us. If they're keen for us to say good things about them, they'll give us a good experience.
B: I think most of the places we go to don't know what they're filming for. They're very vague – "we're filming a travel show" – and people just want to get on board.

Do you like doing the touristy things when travelling, or are you after more out-of-the-way experiences?
M: We like to kick off with the major tourist stuff and then we do like to do a few more of the quirky, off-the-beaten-track things. We're quite happy to go down a dinky laneway to find a really good cocktail bar we found on a dodgy website.
B: We do like to eat local and sit at a bar and talk to the locals.

Travel Guides returns 7.30pm Tuesday on Nine.

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