'Don't do any of it': David Farrier warns against visiting Dark Tourist hotspots

  • 23/07/2018

You'll likely recognise David Farrier from the intriguing Tickled documentary - but now, he's turning the quirky dial to extreme with his new Netflix series Dark Tourist.

He describes dark tourism as "a global phenomenon where people choose to vacation in places associated with death and destruction."

Episodes include a trip to Colombia to meet drug lord Pablo Escobar's most-loved hitman and an exploration of Fukushima, devastated by a nuclear meltdown in 2011.

Farrier told The Project he's now very concerned about the radiation he was exposed to at Fukushima.

"I'm going to get myself tested, I'm going to send my blood off to Australia where they can test for radiation," he said.

He also went swimming in a lake formed after an atomic bomb went off, admitting that it was probably a "stupid" thing to do.

"I ate some fish from the lake as well," he said.

"The thing with radiation is when you're there in the moment you kind of forget about it, because you don't feel it.

"It's not like you're cooking - yet you kind of are - and then after the fact you think like, 'Oh god, how many hours was I there for?'"

He said one of the most terrifying experiences was a place in the United States "where you pay a man in dog food to torture you until you break."

Farrier says it was the most physical pain he experienced during the series - although he also went through a simulated border crossing in Mexico, which he says was very testing.

"I'm a coward - I'm not brave, and I found that awful but there's a waiting list.

"People have done the rollercoaster, they've done the theme parks. [Now] they're like, 'Waterboard me'. That's what people do for entertainment now, which is what Dark Tourist is all about."

Asked if he'd recommend any of the sites he visits in the series, he warned: "No don't do any of it. Do none of the things."

He's not aware of any Dark Tourist spots in New Zealand, but he said quake-ravaged parts of Christchurch might be the place where a dark tourist would go on our shores.