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.
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)
Top image courtesy of Init1alP/Shutterstock.
Want to keep up with our book-related adventures? Sign up for our newsletter!
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.
Strong Sense of Place is a listener-supported podcast. If you like the work we do, you can help make it happen by joining our Patreon! That'll unlock bonus content for you, too — including Mel's secret book reviews and Dave's behind-the-scenes notes for the latest Two Truths and a Lie.
This is a weekly email. If you'd like a quick alert whenever we update our blog, subscribe here.
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.
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.
Content on this site is © 2021 by Smudge Publishing, unless otherwise noted. Peace be with you, person who reads the small type.