Mark Pickering was born in the U.K. but has lived and enjoyed the great outdoors in New Zealand for over 30 years writing 17 other books. This book was first published in 2003 and is now into its third edition.
I am very pleased to be reviewing a book on one of my greatest passion in life – exploring this glorious country of ours. Many of the walks I have done over many years and am in total agreement with them being in this book. What I particularly liked about this book was the fact that Mark states in the preface that with some of the longer walks a full topographical map is essential, an example being the Crater Lake walk on Mt Ruapehu.
In an introduction to this book Mark has essential information for the inexperienced. This should be read carefully before setting out on any of the walks.
I especially liked the range of walks for people of different fitness levels, from city walks, coastal walks to more strenuous walks.
My particular favourites have been in the North Island
- Kawau Island (accessible by Fullers ferry from downtown Auckland),
- From Mansion House to the Copper Mine,
- The Tongariro Crossing (a fairly high level of fitness is required),
- The Crater Lake, Ruapheu – the last two being weather dependent .
In the South Island my favourites would have to be:
- Queen Charlotte (possible as day walks using water taxis)
- Pupu Hydro walk and Pupu Springs
- Hooker Valley, Aorangi Mt Cook, with spectacular scenery and swing bridges (a fear I overcame to do this wonderful walk),
- Lake Matheson – Mirror Lake,
- Catlin River walk (Coastal Otago), and then
- Way down to Stewart Island to Ulva Island – from a one hour return from Boulder Beach or two hours from West End Beach.
This book is well laid out and one that could be easily put in a day pack and pulled out for reference. I would like to add that though this book is full of good information regarding each walk it should be noted that for some of the longer walks in some areas, you do need to get DOC information on conditions on the day and state of tracks. Good equipment is also essential.
I grew up with parents that were trampers, and have a husband that loves the great outdoors as much as I do. Hopefully we have instilled in our own two daughters this great love. I would like to see others so inspired that their heart also sings like mine does.
Reviewed by Christine Frayling.
202 Great Walks – The Best day walks in New Zealand
by Mark Pickering
Published by Raupo Publishing (NZ) Ltd