Australian Vera fan shares image of herself as TV star as she bids farewell to the North East

Australian Vera super-fan Christine Bennett is now travelling back home following her trip of a lifetime to the North East and is looking forward to sharing her many stories with family and friends.

The 70-year-old, who is currently making the 25-hour flight back to Victoria which includes a stop-off in Hong Kong, says she has unforgettable memories of her first time in the region, where the hit ITV series is made, and she will telling fellow Vera fans about the highlight moment she met its star Brenda Blethyn and Vera creator Ann Cleeves.

"It was a dream come true, I could not believe it," said Chris just before boarding her flight. And ahead of that she shared photographs of herself in a homage to the crime-busting detective.

Images taken during her bus tours of filming locations, which rounded off her trip, show her dressed in a Vera-style raincoat and hat - "in my Vera gear!" she says. And she certainly looks the part.

Chris had spent the start of her trip hopping on and off local buses "to get a feel for the area and the people" and now, having seen as much of the region as she could possibly pack into her near-three-week visit, she says of it: "Just everything here - the beaches, the castles, the countryside - blew me away."

She has travelled long distances by herself before, including to Japan, but this is the last big trip she will do - and what an experience it turned out to be. "I will have fond memories of the North East and a lifetime of joy for my meeting both Brenda and Ann," she says.

She feels a great affinity with Brenda Blethyn, with the pair sharing interests and even similar jobs earlier in life, and during their chat she says the actress spoke of her career plans beyond Vera, the last series of which is currently being filmed. "She is going to do a film called Fools with the actor Jim Broadbent," she says.

"It is a historical film but funny too - it sounds like an exciting project. She has done Vera for 14 years which is phenomenal for an actor of that calibre."

Chris hopes too that future work may bring the actress to her homeland. "Now she can do more film and stage, I hope she comes to Melbourne so I can see her again."