New Zealand

New Zealand

Tuesday, 26 October, 2021

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 filming sets from The Lord of the Rings trilogy. 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.

our podcast

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, a novel about the 1860 gold rush, a tale of Māori mythology, and a fantasy novel set in Wellington. (show notes / transcript)

recommended books

Can You Tolerate This?

buy | read review

Colour Scheme

buy | read review

The Colour

buy | read review

Come on Shore and We Will Kill and Eat You All

buy | read review

Death by Water

buy | read review

The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep

buy | read review

The Whale Rider

buy | read review

Top image courtesy of Init1alP/Shutterstock.

Want to keep up with our book-related adventures? Sign up for our newsletter!

featured posts

New Zealand is an enchanting blend of colonial and Māori culture — against the prettiest green-and-blue backdrop of mountains and sea you could imagine. It's a place for exploration, all good vibes, and meat pies.
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?!
The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep is a suspenseful fantasy novel set in Wellington. What better way to take a snack break than with the NZ treat called Fairy Bread?! Like the novel, it's sweet and a bit surprising.
It's never smooth sailing when the Honorable Phyrne Fisher is involved — but it is always a lot of dangerous and delicious fun. Dine on this delightful shrimp salad while catching up on Phryne's high seas adventures.

sharing is caring!

Can you help us? If you like this article, share it your friends!

our mission

Strong Sense of Place is a website and podcast dedicated to literary travel and books we love. Reading good books increases empathy. Empathy is good for all of us and the amazing world we inhabit.

our patreon

If you like the work we do, you can help support us through our Patreon! That'll unlock additional content, too — like Mel's recipe for Banh Mi Bowls, and Dave's behind-the-scenes notes for the latest Two Truths and a Lie.

get our newsletter
We'll never share your email with anyone else. Promise.

This is a weekly email. If you'd like a quick alert whenever we update our blog, subscribe here.

no spoilers. ever.

We'll share enough detail to help you decide if a book is for you, but we'll never ruin plot twists or give away the ending.

super-cool reading fun
reading atlas

This 30-page Reading Atlas takes you around the world with dozens of excellent books and gorgeous travel photos. Get your free copy when you subscribe to our newsletter.

get our newsletter
We'll never share your email with anyone else. Promise.
follow us

Content on this site is © 2021 by Smudge Publishing, unless otherwise noted. Peace be with you, person who reads the small type.