Unusual and/or eccentric guides to New Zealand?
June 13, 2009 3:59 PM   Subscribe

What are the most eccentric, unusual travelogues of or guides to New Zealand — especially the North Island, and especially Auckland/Wellington — around?

I'm heading to NZ in November and would rather not rely too heavily on the usual sorts of travel literature. You know what I mean: all that stuff packed with "If You Go" boxes and stories like "How I Climbed [mountain x]". So what's some of the odder preparatory material out there? I'd simply like to hear everything I wouldn't from, say, a Lonely Planet. Books, articles, blog posts, radio, films: any medium is acceptable.
posted by colinmarshall to Travel & Transportation around New Zealand (3 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
A Land of Two Halves by Joe Bennett is an offbeat book about the author hitchhiking the length of the country which is an enjoyable read even if you weren't planning on visiting and will probably give you more insight into what the country is like than lonely planet would. (plus the author used to be my english teacher at high school so I guess I am a bit biased)

Also I would recommend Going as Far as I Can by Duncan Fallowell.

Neither of these books are travel guides, rather they are just a series of anecdotes from each authors travels throughout the country, so hopefully they fit what you are looking for to some degree.
posted by sartre08 at 5:25 PM on June 13, 2009

My friend Chiara is a recent American ex-pat in Wellington, and a prolific diarist. She spent a year working and travelling in NZ, then returned to the States for a while, then just recently went back to New Zealand and got permanent residency status. Her blog is not really a travelogue, but it does have some amusing stories about New Zealand from an outsider's point of view, both living in Wellington and backpacking around the country.

Use the search form or the main archive page; the category archives are not very useful for navigation (my fault, I'm the webmaster).
posted by mbrubeck at 9:18 PM on June 13, 2009 [1 favorite]

You might like to check out the TV series "Off the Rails", if you can find it. It's a series about the New Zealand rail system, focusing on the small details and ordinary people of the country. It was actually produced for a domestic audience, and so is very different from the normal gushing tourism promos.

Also, check out Florian Habicht's documentary film "Kaikohe Demolition". You won't find a more affectionate (but accurate) portrayal of life in the rural, less wealthy parts of New Zealand.
posted by fearthehat at 1:11 AM on June 14, 2009 [1 favorite]

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