Winter escape essentials

27 July 2020

Winter escape essentials

Most years around this time we take a family mid-winter holiday somewhere warm and sunny. It’s usually Fiji, Samoa, Rarotonga or Vanuatu. With the current travel restrictions the plan was to 'rediscover home' with a trip to Queenstown. But this wasn’t going to be our usual warm beach holiday so a selection of outdoor winter warmers was essential. A trip to the Albany Mega Centre, for the whole family, quickly became a pre-travel must do.

John, being the golf enthusiast he is, was most excited about the opportunity to play the Millbrook course again. And, as if a house full of golf equipment wasn’t enough, he headed down to the Golf Warehouse for what he said were 'the essentials'. I thought he’d be back with new clubs, balls and tees but was surprised to see him come back with a good selection of quality winter clothes. This included waterproof pants, thermals, a TaylorMade beanie and an Adidas waterproof jacket. Stylish enough for Millbrook but will also be great for keeping warm as we tour around. Who knew the Golf Warehouse had such quality clothing items? Apparently John did!

I was pleased for John but a little annoyed that he sorted himself out and left getting the kids sorted to me. Rob, my teenage son, who initially tried to convince us that we should leave him at home (as if we would) warmed up to the idea of Queenstown when he looked through the travel guides. He’s talking Rapid Jet and Bungy which aren’t my idea of a good time. We head to the Albany Mega Centre together where he’s spoilt for choice with three outdoor adventure stores all within 100 metres of each other – Kathmandu, Bivouac Outdoor and Macpac.

He loves all three stores and seems determined to be democratic by purchasing something from each of them. We walk away from Macpac with an excellent padded down jacket to keep the cold out. From Bivouac, Rob chooses two long-sleeve merino tops in some funky bright colours that I wouldn’t have thought were him. (At least we’ll be able to find him easily if he falls out of the jet boat I think to myself!) And finally from Kathmandu, Rob finds a pair of good quality Merrell hiking shoes. I’m pleased that they are all items he can wear beyond the holiday.

Susan, at aged 9, is most looking forward to going skiing. We took her when she was three but she can’t really remember it. We head to Rebel Sport and between us we find a selection of warm leggings, sweatshirts and warm fleecy jackets. Her selection is brighter pinks, reds and purples whereas mine is dominated by blacks and greys – more and more my colour of choice as I get older. While I’m there I grab scarves and gloves for everyone, knowing that no one else would have thought about the importance of these for keeping the cold out.

We make one final stop at Pricewise to stock up on toiletry staples like soap, shampoo, lip balm, moisturiser and to update the travel first-aid kit.

The holiday was brilliant. Colder, but much more action-packed, than our usual winter getaway. This might just become the new annual holiday tradition. And getting ready for our outdoor winter adventurer holiday was really easy because the whole family found everything they needed at Albany Mega Centre.

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