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Guide to Maori-related walks
It is always interesting to take a walk where there is a story, and Peter Janssen is a master at helping people find such walks.
Author of numerous guides to interesting sites, walks and little-known attractions to visit around New Zealand, his latest book is Exploring Aotearoa: Short walks to reveal the Maori landscape (New Holland).
There are pa, battle sites, grave sites and natural features associated with legends and ancestors from North Cape to Stewart Island.
He gives a brief introduction, history and information about how to get there, whether the track is easy or hard, and an idea of the time it takes.
Not surprisingly there are more sites in the North, but in Otago they include the Maerewhenua rock drawings near Duntroon, Moeraki boulders, pa at Katiki Point, Huriawa and Mapoutahi, as well as Puketapu, Mt Cargill, Mt Iron at Wanaka, Queenstown Hill and Lake Hayes.
Recommended to pop in your pack or glovebox when on holiday this summer.
- Charmian Smith
Josephine helps out
Josephine is the oldest restored steam locomotive in New Zealand and the star of the new foyer at the Toitu Otago Settlers Museum. And now she is also the star of a children's book.
Josephine off the Rails, by Diane Miller, with illustrations by Sheryl Macleod (Lifelogs) tells what happens when Josephine meets a little lost dog and takes a trip to help him find his family. It is guaranteed to delight young fans of those TV stars Thomas and Chuggington.
They will like it all the more when they can visit the real engine in all her glory.
- Janice Murphy
Safety in the Mountains' 75th anniversary is marked by a colourful, compact and comprehensive revised 11th edition. In its editor, Invercargill engineer Robin McNeill, the publishers (the Federated Mountain Clubs of New Zealand and the FMC Forest and Mountain Trust) have chosen a figure widely respected among the outdoor fraternity for his knowledge, sense and clarity.
Illustrator Adele Jackson complements the text to make the 66-page book accessible and lively.
The book is, of course, no substitute for experience or, at times, more detailed information.
Inevitably, you would be hard pushed, for example, to safely cross a glacier and extract someone from a crevasse from studying two pages of words and diagrams. Nevertheless, there are useful primers - and many reminders - on topics like navigation, river crossing, weather, wilderness medicine.
The book with its round corners and limited weight (148g) is designed to be carried in the pack, and I can imagine thumbing it productively during wet "pit" days or when emergency strikes.
- Philip Somerville
Comprehensive rugby lists
In today's fast-paced life, there is sometimes no time to sit down for a few hours and get through a book.
That is what is good about Gregor Paul's new book Top 10 of everything Rugby (Exisle). It can be picked up for five minutes, then put down, many, many times.
Paul, who writes for the Herald on Sunday, explains that he has always been a compulsive list writer.
Over the years he has built up quite a catalogue of lists and through that the book was born.
Paul covers all the bases, and covers both good and bad of the game, heroes and villains.
There are the obvious mentions and the more obscure.
This would be a good Christmas filler and a book that would entertain the rugby fan.
- Steve Hepburn