Telling everyone

Telling me …  Yes, it was Christian’s idea. But he had to put no effort in persuading me because it was no surprise, everything we are and how we live our life has been pointing to this decision: Always taking chances, not being wrecked by tiresome everyday life, looking for challenges.

Telling the Kids … It was a talk with the school’s secretary in February when Anna listened curiously and just staring at me afterwards. On our way back home from school I had the opportunity to explain myself, tell her about our dream and how we were struggling to make it real. She was very understanding and indeed happy about the fact that she would be able to see the sea every day, but also sad about leaving all her friends behind. Verena was quite indifferent, maybe on the happy side, you never know with kids this age.

Telling the Family… It was still in February when we told parents and siblings about our plans and there was a faint sign of shock, I admit. Fortunately, it has turned to sympathy even with a slight dash of enthusiasm.

Telling the Friends … Our couchsurfing friends were excited and courious about the details of the trip, the location, the climate etc … looking forward to having some couchsurfing meetings in NZ, too  ;)

Telling the Boss …  Due to a three month’s period of notice I had to disclose our plans in March. As I have always been very fond of my day’s work and enjoyed being a busy mom it makes me kind of sad that I had to quit (instead of picking one of various other chances to enable a prolonged absence).


Need a house

Motueka isn’t a really big city. With its 5000 people it’s almost the same size of our home town Thalgau. The offerings on the house rental market are limited – found only 13 on Most of them not furnished which means a lot of hassle to buy stuff and then sell after a year. A bit disappointing and complicated.

New idea: Why not rent a holiday house for that year? They’re furnished and some of the landlords might be interested to fill the house for a long period to simplify administration.

Sent about 25 inquiries to owners of properties that looked interesting and found one nice house in town that fits our needs and budget and  is available for the whole year without interruption. :)


Landlords in NZ are VERY helpful, polite and talkative, even if it is an already lost deal. I’m afraid people from foreign countries are not that welcome in Austria in general.

It seems that everyone is connected with everyone in Motueka somehow. Funny. Got several invitations to come over for a beer when we’re there. :)


Finding a school

There are 10 Rudolf-Steiner schools in NZ, so it should be possible to get a place for our kids we thought. Sent an inquiry to Christchurch – several years waiting list. Sent another one to Auckland – also waiting list. OK, this is gonna be a challenge. Hastings – full. Lower Hutt – waiting list. Tauranga – waiting list but endeavours to keep a place for international students. Motueka – class 2 is full, but one student has left during holidays! A tiny chance!! Exciting!

Waiting for a reply, if the new teacher of the class is comfortable with an international student. 6 weeks later: YES!

Anny can join class 2/3 in the middle of the school year since the terms are shifted half a year compared to Austria. Verena will attend the kindergarten for six months and then start with class 1 in February 2013.

Note: School fees for international students are quite high in NZ.



English teacher wanted!

The challenge: How to prepare our kids to an English speaking school? Anna’s English skills are basically limited to counting from 1 to 20 and saying yes and no. Verena isn’t even capable of that.

– We need an aupair from an English speaking country –

Posted a request on the aupair groups on and got a few applications from different countries, but all of them didn’t really match our requirements. Posted the job on too. Still no useful applications there.

Got a regular couchsurfing couch-request from an Australian girl with childcare background who was already travelling across Europe for a while. She wants to stay two nights. OK. Fine. Half an hour later got another message from her that she found the aupair posting on the group and wants to stay for a full month. Awesome!



The next level

Two year have passed by since our last holiday travel to NZ. As every year in winter time we strongly miss the calm climate of the island on the other side of the world. It’s time to start a new attempt to go there and bring the challenge to a new level!

To be more precise on that: We plan to stay for a full year in NZ. :) 

At least that’s the idea. Let’s see if we can make it happen…



Wie im Flug

… ist der Urlaub vergangen. 5 Wochen am anderen Ende der Welt, ein Abenteuer.

DANKE an alle, die direkt oder indirekt am Gelingen beteiligt waren!



Auckland Domain

Die letzten Stunden haben wir damit verbracht, in einem der grösseren Parks in der Stadt unsere Koffer für den Flug zu reorganisieren, unsere Essensvorräte zu eliminieren und noch ein wenig zu entspannen vor der Heimreise. In The Domain, dem  “öffentliche Park” befindet sich nicht nur das Auckland Museum, sondern auch Springbrunnen, Sportplätze, ein tropisches Pflanzenhaus, Wälder, Bänke und viele, ebenfalls Erholung suchende Aucklander.




Das hübsche, stilvolle Devonport auf der Nordseite der Hafenbucht von Auckland hat uns die letzten 3 Tage in Neuseeland beherbergt: Viel gibt es dort nicht, lange Strassenzüge mit verschnörkelten, weiss angestrichenen Holzvillen, einen Aussichtsvulkan, eine Hafenpromenade, eine Reihe von Restaurants im Zentrum (die aber alle gegen 22 Uhr schliessen). Aus irgendeinem unerfindlichen Grund waren die Unterkünfte komplett ausgebucht und wir konnten mit Stolz (und Glück) von uns behaupten, eine der letzten freien Zimmer im Ort ergattert zu haben, noch dazu im einzigen Hotel, und das mit Meerblick ;)




Hinter diesem hübschen Namen verbirgt sich eine relativ dicht besiedelte Halbinsel, an derer,  nach Osten ausladenden Spitze, der Shakespear Regional Park liegt. Eine sehr ruhige Gegend, in die nicht viele Touristen finden. Und jeder Strand ein wenig anders, andere Muscheln in anderen Farben, Grössen, mehr oder weniger Steine, keiner gleicht dem anderen.




Der Regionalpark nordwestlich von Auckland war ein Vormittagsausflug, der sich gelohnt hat. Tausende Tölpel auf spitzen, der Küste vorgelagerten Felsen. Das Gedränge, das Geschrei und vorallem der Geruch der Kolonie ist atemberaubend! Vorsichtig schleicht man sich an die Klippen, um einen Blick zu erhaschen, aber die Vögel nehmen ihre begeisterten Zuschauer gar nicht wahr. Ein Gedränge wie im Winterschlussverkauf …