Thursday, November 01, 2012

EXPLORING AOTEAROA - Short walks to reveal the Maori landscape

Take a short walk through the rich tapestry of Maori legend and rediscover the landscape with Exploring Aotearoa, a book that examines historic and contemporary sites of Maori significance.

 Maori culture has close ties with the landscape, in pa and early battle sites, and in myths and legends. Virtually every stream, hill, bay and other natural features had a name and the landscape was imbued with spirits and associated with legends and ancestors. Although we are surrounded by the Maori landscape, there are still some undiscovered by both Maori and Pakeha, such as Musick Point.

From north to south, nearly 200 of the most accessible and memorable landmarks can be visited including volcanic summits, headlands, lakes and islands as well as pa sites urupa (graveyards, of which there are over 7000), and hunting and fishing grounds. Where relevant, the text provides a brief history of battlefields where fierce fighting erupted between tribes or between Maori and Pakeha.  

Exploring Aotearoa has been researched, walked and written by popular outdoorsman Peter Janssen; it extends his successful short walks book series, while also tapping into the growth and interest in Maori tourism.

Every entry in the book is linked to a short walk that, in most cases, will be well within the scope of all age groups and fitness levels. Details of the grade, duration and directions for the walk complete the entry. All the walks are on well-maintained tracks with good signage and on public land. Most walks take 30 minutes to an hour and no walks are more than 3 hours.

About the author
Auckland writer Peter Janssen has travelled extensively throughout New Zealand and has worked for many years in the publishing industry. He is the author of Excellent Short Walks in the North Island and Excellent Short Walks in the South Island, and Best Short Nature Walks in New Zealand published by New Holland. This is his fourth book in the successful series.

§  There’s been a proliferation of books about Maori culture but this is the first book to explore the New Zealand landscape from a Maori perspective. Many locations included in the book are not popular knowledge and will surprise local residents.
§  Excellent resource for anyone wanting an active pursuit with added historical interest.
§  Extremely useful guidebook for school field trips.
§  Suitable for visitors with limited time and those people with families wanting an easy short walk.

By Peter Janssen  New Holland -  Price: $34.99

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