Who the heck is HOOGA?

Who the heck is HOOGA?

Our first moveable outdoor fireplace was a beaten up old grass catcher purchased at the recycling depot for just a couple of dollars.

Mounted on a stack of bricks, this simple device kept us warm during the southern New Zealand winter of 2011.

But it was only 20 inches wide and it didn’t have a chimney. So we started thinking about something bigger and better.

Calling on some amateur technical drawing skills and a good measure of wisdom from a retired chimney sweep, we set about building a serious moveable outdoor fireplace that would endure in the kiwi back yard.

Some people’s gardens are full of old car wrecks. Ours were soon full of old HOOGAs. But several models and many returns to the drawing board later, we settled on a design that we’re pretty happy with.

Why on earth did we call it a HOOGA?

There’s no brilliant reason for this, but as luck would have it we stumbled upon a Norwegian word – ‘hygge’ – which is pronounced HOOGA and means ‘cosy’. Perfect, we’ll take it.

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Building an outdoor fire that works in the unpredictable circumstances of a kiwi back yard requires a perfect balance of dimension, angle, chimney size and placement.