How Bali unexpectedly became a very special place for the former Home and Away Heartthrob
Growing up on Australia’s Gold Coast with a love of surfing, it would have been natural for Tai Hara to join the schools of Aussies who habitually take breaks on Bali’s shores, but he had no strong ties to Indonesia (his heritage is Australian-Japanese) and he didn’t want to follow the trend of his fellow surfers.
It wasn’t until 2015, when a friend’s 30th birthday party lured the actor to Bali, that he finally got hooked. It turned out the island was more exotic, welcoming and multi-faceted than he’d ever imagined. One look at his Instagram account and you’ll see the self-proclaimed “frangipani fella” posting plenty of pictures to suggest that he pops over to Bali at the drop of a hat.
‘We’re fortunate it’s so close to home.’ He likens the convenience and respite of short breaks in Bali to his experience whilst filming for Home and Away in Palm Beach, New South Wales, of which he said, ‘It’s so magic. It feels like you’re far away. It’s quite wild to be only an hour away [from Sydney].’
Most days, after acting for the TV series, he would stay at Palm Beach to surf and swim, taking full advantage of the opportunity to escape from ordinary city living. The character of the real Palm Beach is nothing like its depiction as Summer Bay on Home and Away – ‘a lot of drama and action and crime and death. The opposite of what you want at the beach.’
But his most loved beaches are those in Northern New South Wales. ‘Byron Bay, Lennox Head… That whole pocket is home to me. There’s a beautiful light house and a whale migration. It’s where the bush meets the coast in Australia.’
The soft spot he feels for home is irreplaceable, but the avid surfer also seems to enjoy plenty of other beaches all over the world. He and his wife visited their first Atlantic beach in Delaware, USA, by taking romantic walks on the beach, wearing stars and stripes and waving sparklers on 4th of July, and eating beach fries on the boardwalk – an all-American holiday.
Evidently what Tai Hara loves most about Bali are its beaches.