Experience the natural beauty and endless adventure which makes this country so spectacular.
• Informative editorial including main attractions, visitor information details and other usefull planning information
• Over 120 detailed maps of the major cities, larger towns and New Zealand's tourism regions
• Endless visual feast of over 235 magnificent colour photographs
• Delight in details of New Zealand's unique flora and fauna, natural wonders, arts and culture
• Discover the mystical middle earth film locations for The Lord of the Rings
• Features all New Zealand has to offer in adventure including snow sports, tramping, climbing, great walking tracks and extreme adventure activities
• Useful information on trip preparation, first aid, driving laws and travelling hints
• Details of New Zealand's preserved natural environment and national parks
• Over 5,300 index entries
It's not very often I get a chance to give a full-10 score to anything, especially a reference book that I might only use once or twice a year if I am lucky... but I tell you this... this book saved my bacon more than once on a recent trip north.
During a 7 hour drive, I was forced to make a number of route changes on short notice, due to roadworks, traffic jams, or just overshooting the right turnoff... and that can be a real hassle when you are stuck in the wrong lane in the middle of a hundred other drivers (many of whom should have been on serious medications, let me tell you!) in the middle of NZ's biggest and busiest cities. When you then realise you will have to drive for nearly a kilometre in order to park in the building right next to you, simply because you're one lane too far over and can't make that crucial right-hand turn at the next lights... it's enough to make me glad I keep my hair trimmed too short to grab, or I swear I would have been bald by now!
However, with the very-much appreciated efforts of my passenger, who is a self-confessed BAD map reader and navigator, we made the 7 hour trip in a state of relatively stress-free peace thanks to this fine volume. After studying the detailed and clear maps carefully, we even managed to work out a few slight alterations to the journey that shaved half an hour off the trip, allowing us to make a couple of extra stops, including a sit-down dinner, and still arrive well before our deadline.
For basic touring, this one has it all... concise maps full of extra bits of information, detailed street maps of major urban centres, historical and cultural attractions, even some stunning photography. If you are planning a vacation in NZ, this book is the one you need to get the most out of your time. With this, you can plan everything from accommodation to recreation.
Personally, once we started on the road, the book was the least of my concerns, so I left the on-road navigation to my co-pilot, since taking my eyes off the road would have been instantly fatal in places, with rain, sleet, black-ice and crazy drivers to deal with. But before each sojourn out from our base of operations, two things became essential for me to go over carefully... this book, and TUMONZ for printing off maps. I don't think we could have even found the local shops without this book... the maps I got free from the local AA branch were worse than useless, being downright inaccurate in places.
Overall, if you drive beyond the borders of your own town more than once a year, you should seriously consider buying this book. If you plan to take the family on a summer holiday around the coast, you definitely need this book. If you often end up in places you've never been before, you are crazy for not having this book already! The closest thing to a one-stop info shop, right here in the palms of your hands... but just remember, get a co-pilot... even if they aren't great at maps, they'll cope with this!
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