And the Spa is complete (almost)

This year has been the year (so far) of getting the deck built and the spa put into place and then setting it up to work correctly and be easy to use. So until last weekend we had much of this sorted, but not the last part.

Over the last weeks the electrician and gas guy/pumber  (it’s a gas powered unit remember) worked together; result, a permanent power source to the spa was installed.





The gas line put into place and made easy to access alongside the deck, at the bottom of the back porch stairs.






Then the heating unit was refitted, all electrical connections tested and certified.





Finally, all was in place, so when we arrived last weekend and set it all up we were very expectant of being able to set it up, get it going and enjoy a spa on Saturday evening. We flicked the main switch to on and everything burst into life, the airjets swirled, the digital readout lit up and the temperature started going up – very slowly, very very slowly.

Then it stopped. And would go no further.

A quick call to the gas guy (2.30 saturday afternoon) and remotely he toook me through a range of remedial options, bleed the gas line, check the fitting here / there etc. It seemed to work, then again we topped out at about 17 degrees, not warm at all. Saturday night spa was off. Sunday morning the gas guy rang, “I’m coming down” he said, be there about 11.30am.

He arrived, did his own testing, we checked all electrical fittings as well, strange – no power at the igniter switch – stood there scratching our heads…….then light bulb moment.

The airjets were running, not the water jets, and if there was no water running through the igniter switch, there was no ignition – the unit requires pressure there to get the spark going, so a quick push on the button on the top of the spa, air jets off, water jets on, ignition, flame = heat.

So, for all who come after us the set up is simple. If the spa is empty, fill from the hose reel fitted to the back wall of the house, fill to above the water jet nozzles, but below the mosiac line.







Attach gas bottle, turn on power, turn on main switch (the one of the right – the red one has to be in the on position as well) listen for the water jets to be running inside the pool and then the ignition kicks in and magic happens.

And, thanks to the gas guy / plumber we also have a drainage process that isn’t manual labout and involves buckets. The drain plug sits at the base of the spa, connect the hose and run the hose to the drain, then open the panel and reach inside, turn the red handle and the spa empties.

The gas guy / plumber?

Mike from Tuamaranui Plumbing, can’t say thank you, loud enough for all his efforts, he and team there are very, very good indeed. Use them if you can.


From huckery to elegant

So, some of you will have seen the recent updates about the new deck being in place and stained etc, Zoe’s immediate comment was that the house now looked ‘huckery’ – which led to a flurry of explanations to our overseas friends on the providence of that term in Kiwi slang.


So, there has been much conjecture and conversation around possible colour combinations – much of this online through Zoe’s FB page and the final options were only chosen in the carpark of Resene, Whanganui last Friday.


I had a almost full day call on Saturday so Zoe first purchased a new water-blaster (told me the old one had no oomph) and then took the back wall of the house on (in the rain most of the time) with an immense grin on her face. Sunday, we got a first coat on that wall and Zoe couldn’t resist adding the orange just to see what the overall effect will be.

There’s a heap of cutting in and a second coat for this wall, I’ve got the water-blasting to do on the other three sides, a local builder to come and manage some minor repairs to eaves and fascia and of course the spa to be moved into place, fenced and the gas guy to come to refit the hoses etc before it’s back up and running.


By the way, our lovely friend Fifi, did the render of what our initial colours could look like -Zoe pulled the two images together and they match!


More images and details to come as the summer slowly begins it’s wind down into Autumn, but winters still a while away, so if you’re keen on getting some walking in, some cycling (the local companies do a stunning job getting to to and from the start / end points of some of the best riding in the region) let me know and come and experience RaetihiRetro for yourself.

and the snow came down……..again

Headed up to RaetihiRetro last week as Zoe had some time off and we wanted to get on the mountain, wasn’t sure with the forecast not looking great and so it turned out on Thursday, with the road closed at the 3km mark


Friday the conditions cleared and from 9am the lower mountain was open, with High Noon opening around 11am. With the dump (blizzard) the conditions were amazing with powder everywhere and deep, I’ve not spent time in these conditions so the first time I got stopped I did the usual, pushed down to get up and simply sunk arms length into the snow. Had to pull the soft dry fluffy snow into a central mound and compact it to allow myself to stand up and then work my way out.


Just awesome conditions but a bit tiring compared to the usual slip n slide you can get on Turoa at times. Well worth it though with it being the day before the school holidays and with the forecast suggesting another dump on the way. Sunday forecast was for continuing fine weather until late in the day so off we went, the day started well with clear skies – even frosty first thing which was odd as it had been very misty on Saturday night.

However forecasters get it wrong, and very quickly the high cloud came down and white out (dry snow) hit across the whole hill, with glasses on and poor light I was struggling and considered a final run around 1pm, then the liftie on the Giant told us all that they were worried about the hill road conditions and it was a good idea to start heading down. Called Zoe and gave her the news and headed to the car, under that much snow all cars are white.


And if a 2 wheel drive (and for a lot of 4 wheel drive) these conditions were unfamiliar and dangerous. While I waited for Zoe I helped push a few cars out and watched them slide away, Zoe arrived and we started down. A lot of people just went to fast, slid and went into snow banks so the first part at the top was mainly avoiding others while ensuring our own safety. It took about 45 minutes to get down – normally about 20 minutes is normal.

The rest of the afternoon we got text and Facebook updates from others still at the Cafe on the field who were stuck while others were pulled, pushed and rescued. One of our friends showed up at the house after 7pm, after waiting all afternoon for her chance to come down the hill.

This photo was taken while we sat behind this large 4×4 who had no idea how to manage the road and slipped and slid for a while, then the driver got out and waved us by, I have to say the old Subaru Legacy, set to the Snow/Hold drive setting managed beautifully.


The really good news? This snow fell and sat and once the conditions cleared on Monday the holiday renters should be having a great time, fully booked out until the final weekend of the holiday now. And the mountain (Turoa side) is at close on a 2m snow base and the forecast is for a few more dumps to come so a long happy season looks a distinct possibility.

Getting ready to open the door and welcome customers

The first weekend of the season went off, with 1m of new snow in the week prior the Sunday / Monday delivered bluebird conditions with well groomed trails and the lifts opening up when possible.

HighNoon opened late Sunday and unfortunately Movenpick was closed Monday due to a mechanical fault – that’s been sorted quickly and is open again.


this was the view from the top of High Noon on Monday afternoon.

The house is close to ready, there is some painting to be finished – small areas to be redone and architraves getting final coats, also the floors. We originally hoped to get the floors sanded / sealed etc much earlier in the year and now it’s winter we can’t get it done – it just doesn’t work at this time of year.

So the kitchen floor is unpolished and the bathroom floor is a hodgepodge of varying surfaces which we will cover asap – just need to decide what the surface will be and who/when it will be laid.


As you can see it needs doing.


And we need to finish a few other things, silicon around the tiling and some other little things, then it’s all open for business.