SSoP Podcast Episode 16 — New Zealand: Kiwis, Majestic Scenery, and Māori Mythology

SSoP Podcast Episode 16 — New Zealand: Kiwis, Majestic Scenery, and Māori Mythology

Monday, 5 October, 2020

Head south to Australia and take a sharp turn east to arrive in New Zealand. It’s a landscape both magical and majestic, surrounded by the deep blue waters of the Tasman Sea and southwestern Pacific.

The country is divided between two primary landmasses — the North Island and the South Island — with about 600 smaller islands sprinkled about. Each delivers different landscapes and opportunities for adventure.

The warmer North Island is home to Auckland (the largest city) and Wellington (the capital). That’s also where you’ll find hot springs, volcanoes, and pristine beaches, as well as Hobbiton, the sets from The Lord of the Rings films. The North Island is also the place to immerse yourself in Māori culture with dance performances and hangi feasts (traditional Māori dish cooked in a pit oven).

The South Island — with the cities of Queenstown and Christchurch — is the place for skiers and snowboarders, with snowy mountains, fjords carved by glaciers, and stunning views from the Southern Alps.

In this episode, we get curious about life in New Zealand, then recommend books that transported us there, including a moving essay collection, a memoir from an American woman who married a Māori man, a novel about the 1860 gold rush, a tale of Māori mythology, and a fantasy novel set in Wellington.

Books, Transcript, and More

For a complete roundup of all the books we recommend, plus a full transcript and the other cool stuff we talked about, visit the Episode 16 show notes.


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She wrote crime novels with well-drawn characters, sharp prose, and twisty plots — plus put her own spin on 'Hamlet,' drove an ambulance during WWI, and was named Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire.
Craggy mountains, bold blue water, irresistible wildlife, Māori mythology, and super-cute kiwi birds: The stunning images in these must-follow Instagram accounts showcase what makes New Zealand a magical place.
What's not to love about a pie that fits in your hand, is golden and flaky, and is filled with a savory meat-and-cheese filling that will power you through your day and make you as happy as a Kiwi in New Zealand?!
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