I have been living in Germany now for nearly 13 years. And until last summer, we have managed to avoid going home to New Zealand in the winter. But now that two of my children are in school, it has become a lot harder to take advantage of the New Zealand summer. Travelling at Christmas time is more expensive than travelling at other times of the year, and yet the other school holidays (Easter and Autumn) are only two weeks. By the time you fly over to New Zealand (and we always like to have a stopover in Asia on the way!) and adjust to the time change, it’s nice to have more than a week or so before you have to fly back!
So last year we decided to “bite the bullet” and fly home during our German summer holidays – winter in New Zealand. My husband was very dubious. He pictured us giving up the hot German summer (which is actually not that reliable anyway!) and sitting in New Zealand, getting cold and wet and being miserable. And yet on the up-side, the children had 6 weeks holiday from July to August, the flights were a lot cheaper than flying at other times of the year, and it would mean we could have more time in New Zealand with family and friends, instead of having to rush back for school after only ten days holiday.
When we arrived in Auckland at the beginning of July, it was actually only 2 degrees cooler than it had been when we left Germany. The sun was shining, the sky was blue, and all seemed right with the world. We were in New Zealand for approximately 5 weeks, and during this time we had an amazing amount of blue sky and sunshine. As far as I can recall, we only had two or three damp mornings, and the waterproof trousers and gumboots that I had taken with us for the kids didn’t end up being used at all. We spent a lot of time on the beach (and the kids went swimming in the sea several times, although I have to admit it was too cold for me to contemplate taking my clothes off!) and as a family, found numerous fun things to see and do that we had one of our most relaxing family holidays yet. Despite the fact that it was winter!