All posts filed under: Stuff you’ll need

When you’re not allowed to wear your ski boots on an airplane….

Just when I thought I had learned all the life lessons New Zealand had in stock for me it presented one last one – an obvious one though: Never exceed your airline’s weight limits when it comes to your luggage. Or rather: Don’t rely on having a handsome guy at the counter who will just check in your excess luggage just because you’re blonde and a ski instructor. There might only be dragon-like old women instead who are pretty unimpressed with your excuses and flirt attempts…. Anyway – here’s the story: When I had booked my flights to New Zealand in spring I paid a decent amount of money to be allowed an extra 16 kgs in my ski bag – which had worked perfectly fine on my way here. On my way back I had repacked my bags slightly different – putting most of my stuff into the ski bag to the point where I almost couldn’t carry it any more and downsizing my big suitcase to a more Thailand-friendly small backpack. In theory …

On the road again with the magic equipment carrier camping car

It finally paid off to have bought that car at the beginning of my trip: It fits both my surf board and my snow bag (and the clothes you will need under and in the snowbag) – and when you put the board onto the skis it even has enough space to sleep besides it. Quite happy with that car! I wish I could take it home…. by the way: If you know somebody traveling to New Zealand soon and looking for a car let me know – Fugly needs a new home from mid-November on!  

Meet Fugly, my new friend on four wheels

Did I mention I was looking for a car? It took a series of very lucky coincidences but I eventually found this “beauty” which matched all my requirements: four-wheel drive to get up and down the mountain roads, enough space in the back to store my ski and snowboard gear, eights seats for weekend trips with my ski instructor friends (or transforming the seats into a giant bed). Plus a moon roof to watch the stars as you lie down. And the name…. well, you can probably imagine what F… ugly translates to?

“Yeah, nah.. not too bad. Just a bit chully.”

This is the typical Kiwi answer I get whenever I tell a local how much I am suffering from the cold. As a ski instructor AND being Austrian I thought I was used to being exposed to cold weather but it’s a different kind of cold we experience here. Although the temperatures are not as low as in Austria it’s the wet & humid NZ climate that make it so hard to handle. Plus the fact that there’s no heating. Which is probably the worst. Especially when you work outdoors all day…. you would really look forward to coming home, being warm, drying your wet gear and having a cosy evening. But as soon as I open the door to our house it and the expected feeling of warmth and cosiness does not kick in I remember why: We don’t have heating. And that’s not only the problem of our house, if basically applies to most houses in New Zealand. And I must admit: We are pretty lucky that we have a fireplace and double …

Winter has arrived in New Zealand

As you might have seen from my beach pictures New Zealand had greeted me in a friendly way last week – with temperatures around 20 degrees and perfect t-shirt and jandal weather. Just when I started liking the idea of a mild winter Kiwi winter showed its real face and hit Auckland last night with a terrible storm and freezing cold temperatures. According to radio the peak temperature measured in Auckland today was 6.8 degrees Celsius. (Not that this would be really tough for me but did I mention there’s neither heating system nor insulation…?) Google News is full of weather coverage today and there seem to have been roads closed on both islands, snow falls down to sea level and power cuts in and around Auckland. Luckily, I wasn’t really affected by that over here – only concern were cold feet. In desperate need of really warm socks I headed to the close-by mall – wearing 1 long-sleeved merino shirt 1 Odlo thermal skiing jumper 1 fleece jumper 1 down jacket 1 rain jacket my …