New Zealand: travel books to read before you go

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This excerpt from Lonely Planet’s New Zealand guide provides a selection of travel literature to get you in the mood for your trip.

Given NZ’s starring role on the world tourism stage, the current bloom in dedicated NZ travel literature isn’t surprising.

The 1 ThingBob Moore, a Wellington-based Englishman, traversed every kilometre of State Hwy 1 (NZ’s national drag) then wrote The 1 Thing: A Small Epic Journey Down New Zealand’s Mother Road (2006).

A Land of Two HalvesLyttelton-based Joe Bennett, another Englishman-in-NZ, wrote A Land of Two Halves (2004), a tale of hitchhiking around the country.

Long Cloud RideIf you’re into cycling, pick up Long Cloud Ride by Josie Dew (2007). Dew − a roaming Brit cyclist − chronicles her nine-month, 10,000km NZ journey. Through wind and rain, she gets close to the Kiwi psyche.

Slipping into ParadiseLiberal-minded travellers who don’t mind the odd tree-hug will love Slipping into Paradise: Why I Live in New Zealand by Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson (2004), a gushing sonnet to NZ from a relative newcomer to the country.

How to Watch a Game of RugbyHow to Watch a Game of Rugby by Spiro Zavos (2004) is a brilliant insight into the national preoccupation by a respected sports journalist, and will ensure you don’t ask stupid questions when you’re watching the All Blacks at the pub.

How to Gaze at the Southern StarsIn the same series, astronomer Richard Hall helps you find the Southern Cross in How to Gaze at the Southern Stars (2005).

More travel literature reading lists for other destinations can be found here.