by Bruce Ansley
One of New Zealand’s favourite storytellers, Bruce Ansley, shares his love of ‘poking around New Zealand’ with these tales of wild and strange journeys of exhilaration, joy and fear. He set off and personally retraced the path of doomed surveyor John Whitcombe across the Southern Alps, followed the raiding party of northern chief Te Puoho along the West Coast, sailed around New Zealand’s North and South capes, walked through the valley under the Two Thumb Range to mythical Mesopotamia, drove from Waiheke to Wanaka (in a hurry), set off on a hunt for the South Island’s ‘Grey Ghost’, looked deep into the heart of volcanic New Zealand and tracked the escape route of our most unlikely hero, jail-breaker George Wilder. There is much to learn and enjoy in each chapter, all written with Ansley’s characteristic self-deprecating wit and thoughtful insight. For a man who only went as far as Boy Scouts and self-described as ‘quite average and easily scared’, he really did challenge himself with these journeys. An ideal gift for the armchair traveller or New Zealand history buff.
Matakana Village Books