Winter in Europe means Summer over here in Oceania. It means that the sun will be frying anyone that spends time here, like us for example. December is the first of three hot summer months in New Zealand. Being sweaty in a warm and humid climate is nothing new but the sheer power of the Sun here has really shocked us (even though we were warned before we arrived). The big burning ball in the sky isn’t messing around, it WILL give you a sunburn if you’re not careful.
For most of the planet the Ozone layer in Earth’s atmosphere provides us with at least some protection from the Sun’s harmful UVA and UVB rays, but unfortunately the ozone layer above New Zealand and Australia has a nice big hole in it. New Zealand’s powerful sun causes some type skin cancer in about 69.000 Kiwis each year. New Zealand and Australia have the highest melanoma incidence rates in the world. Forget SPF 10, 20 or 30 for protection when you choose sun cream, here you are recommended to use at least 50. We are using 50 (sometimes 70) every day but we are still getting burnt after only a few hours in the sun. The Sun gives lots of good energy, happy hormones and vitamin D, but be careful – not everything it gives you is welcome.
P.S! We walked to a place nearby called French Bay, a few kilometres away from our house (remember we are still housesitting for another two weeks). It was low tide when we arrived so we spent a good hour and a half relaxing (frying) before the water was high enough to take a dip without having to walk too far from the shore. The water from the Tasman sea was lovely warm and the salt made it easy to float! At least for one of us, the other sunk like a stone every time… Can you guess who? 🙂