Born in 1989, the newest member of Australia’s most successful entertainment act was only three years old when the group first started performing.
At age four Emma Watkins was already learning classical ballet and remembers going to see the Wiggles and coming away inspired to do other forms of dancing.
By high school she was teaching dance, then followed a full scholarship at the Sydney Film School and a Masters degree in Media Arts in Communication at the University of Technology Sydney.
Emma first started performing with the Wiggles in 2010 as Fairy Larissa and then as Wags the Dog. She’s been a full time member of the new-look Wiggles since 2012.
Where did you go for camping holidays when you were young?
Every year my family would drive down to Jugiong in NSW for the Renault Car Club Motorkhana races. All the families would camp at the park and watch the cars race around flagged courses for the whole weekend of Australia Day. It was always so hot and the children didn’t really watch all the races, we just went to the pool.
What was your favourite place to camp and why?
Jugiong was my favourite place to camp because I saw all of my friends there, and I made a friend who owned a horse and we would go horse riding. I also learnt to drive in Jugiong on a Junior motorsport license when I was 12. We were in the middle of the paddock in a really old Renault 10. There were a few bunny hops and a bit of stalling but I did eventually learn to drive and went on to compete in some competitions.
You must be a good driver now?
Yes I am in charge of driving the Wiggles bus.
Tell us about some of your favourite camping memories?
When my sister and our next door neighbours wanted to go on holidays our parents would just give us the tent and we would camp in the backyard. That was my idea of a holiday, a big sleepover together outdoors. It was so much fun because we still had breakfast inside in the morning. Thanks Mum and Dad.
Any not so favourite camping memories or experiences?
One time at Jugiong I was racing, so I must have been about 14, and I had finished my race and walked over towards the tent to watch. After about five minutes I could feel something crawl up leg and as I looked down I realised I was standing on a bull ant nest. I remember screaming and hitting my pants to get them out. I was bitten a few times, definitely an ants in the pants moment I’d never like to repeat.
Do you have any camping tips – must do’s and don’ts?
ALWAYS bring tent poles. Once I forgot to pack them and Dad was very unimpressed. Also, don’t bring a hair dryer (I was 12) there is nowhere to plug it in.
Do you still like to get out and explore Australia? If so, what’s on your camping location wish list?
I am so fortunate being able to travel Australia on tour with The Wiggles and in a way it feels like camping because we travel to a different town every day. We’ve been to all the capital cities but also to just about every regional town you could think of. We’re doing that again this year and it’s one of my favourite parts of the job. I would love to camp at Jenolan Caves again. We camped there was I was little but I don’t remember much except that we had a lovely visit from some kangaroos out the front of our tent. I would love to see that again and visit the caves. I might take my pet galah, Gucci, along for the trip too, she’d feel right at home!
The Wiggles Apples & Bananas CD & DVD is released this month.
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