New Zealand: Rain

Here we are in the Coromandel which is so beautifully described as sunshine capital of the world. Yesterday afternoon we had a bit of rain but nothing too unusual. However at night it was a bit of a different story. All of a sudden a storm started above us. Rain started flowing underneath our camper in which we were sleeping. Then the lightning started. Each lightning created an echo which was continuously bouncing between the mountains. This took place during the entire night. In the morning we woke up and stood outside our camper which was now standing in a large pool of water above the grass. Luckily enough we could still drive away without any problems.

After leaving our campsite we decided to grab some coffee at a local place. While ordering we heard some man talking about how the first floor of his entire house flooded. He still had a positive attitude but by the looks of it that might just be him trying to stay strong. After drinking our coffee we decided to go to an I-Site, a place were tourists (like us) can go to get some information. As this was our first time visiting New Zealand we didn’t know if this kind of weather is normal. This was certainly not the case, in fact this was the worst storm that has hit the island in hundred years. The woman at the I-site informed us that many roads had been flooded. Out of 3 roads which you can leave the Coromandel 2 are not save anymore. She told us the best thing to do is to leave as soon as possible as weather only will become worse. So we decided to go to a little village called Raglan which lies to the south of where we were.

We step in our car, turn on the radio and search for a station which talks about the weather. We hear all different kind of story’s.  Cars that drifted away, roads that are blocked, tree’s that fell over, houses that flooded, you name it. And things will only become worse. This is because in a couple of hours it will be high-tide. I’m already in New Zealand for a couple of weeks and I’ve seen how much the difference can be. We keep listening to the radio station while driving next to a river. It’s incredible to see how a river, yesterday so clear and so blue, now is brown through all the dirt and sand.  The tree’s and bushes in the banks were already underwater.

We keep driving and leave the river behind us. Now we are somewhere more south between loads of flooded grasslands. Everywhere are leaves and tree trunks on the road. While driving the wind keeps pushing us with all its force. Often we have to steer to stay on the right side of the road. Even traffic signs are lying on the road. We do notice the further we go south the better the weather is. After driving for a while in these conditions we enter a small village called Aroha.

It was not raining anymore but the wind was still strong. We parked our car in the center of the village and searched for a café. Again we order some coffee and sit down somewhere close to the entrance. Not even a minute later the weather alarm goes off. We see firetrucks and police cars leaving the city in the direction we came from. While sitting in the café we hear from some locals that there is a huge power failure which effected thousand of houses.

Never have I been in these kind of weather. In the Netherlands, were I’m from, we complain a lot about the weather but never is it like this. I’ve heard people say that designers need to travel a lot. This is because you will be introduced to new experiences, cultures and meet different people. It’s was a unique experience and one that will stay with me after the vacation. I would have never been able to design a storm with this much depth, and you never know, maybe someday I can use this experience in a game.