All posts filed under: Road trips

Season highlight: Racing road trip to Ohau with the Swiss boys

Two years ago, when traveling around New Zealand, I had stopped at Lake Ohau for some hiking and soon discovered the Lake Ohau Lodge. Back then, I went in to have a look at the place and say Hi! The owners Mike & Louise were just tasting wines for their son’s wedding and within minutes I was offered a glass of wine and not long after that dinner with the family. I decided to stay for the night and Mike showed me a primo parking spot for my van where I could see Mt Cook from my bed. The family also runs the ski field up the local mountain and when I said I was a ski instructor and keen to see it, the field’s operations manager gave me a lift up the mountain to have a look at it – in summer. While I’m reminiscing about it all I found a couple of old pics on my computer: Ever since I first visited the Ohau Lodge and its ski field I wanted to go back to ski …

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!  

Sleeping in the back-seat of my car with my snow bag

Good morning! Just woke up on beautiful Waihi Beach and although the back-seat is not quite as comfy as the luxurious mattress  it’s still a special feeling to wake up right at the beach, stick your toes out the sliding door and feel the warm sand under your feet – instead of the cold Wanaka floor. A quick dip in the Pacific and a coffee later I am ready to hit the road again – exploring the Coromandel Peninsula and it’s lovely white beaches. PS: The moon roof is pretty funky though – especially when you wake up in the middle of a night and catch a glimpse of the Southern hemisphere skies. Lots more stars than in Europe!

Finally back at the Ocean in Mount Maunganui

After a long and wet drive from the middle of the North Island I finally arrived in Mt Maunganui – a truly special place where a volcano eruption formed a cute little mountain at the end of a peninsula. Above is a picture from last year – when it was sunny while we visited but this time it was cloudy and wet. Still good enough for dipping my toes into the Pacific Ocean for a bit.

The car break down in Ohakune

As I drove out of Ohakune the other day I thought back to the days that I had last spent in that tiny mountain village, in December 2012, after a car break down. Maggie and me were traveling through New Zealand in a 1985 Toyota Masterace van that we had transformed into our temporary home for our travels. Just a couple of days before leaving the country our good old Goldie van overheated outside of Ohakune and we had to stop immediately and sleep next to the road. Waking up the day after we discovered a giant wrecker’s place right next to us – called Smash Palace, with old wrecked cars as far as we could see. A pretty perfect place for a break down! Colin, the owner promised to help us out, but first it was time for coffee and cookies and a tour around the giant graveyard. Impressive! We stayed just outside Colin’s mechanics workshop and discovered the tiny village of Ohakune while he and his team fixed up Goldie. I didn’t see Colin …