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Stories from our Back Roads: The North Island by Ray Stone


One of two new books, this North Island volume introduces the reader to loads of fascinating tracks, trails and back roads from Wellington to the far North.


Many of the routes pass through some forgotten parts of the country, and the author often has interesting stories to share. Ray Stone has driven all the tracks and provides detailed notes on what to look for when driving, with advice for drivers and maps to help drivers on their way.


Highlights of the book for me are:

  • The Tahonga Road in Northland that begins with an eclectic display of letter boxes and its history of a shark fishing expedition in 1855.

  • The Gumfields Road from Kaitaia with its history of shipwrecks and gum, and a species with the unfortunate name of bladderwort.

  • There are the tracks from Warkworth to the Kaipara Flats with the history of the first European settlers. There are also metal roads driving around the Coromandel.

  • Driving the Te Waiti and Pakihi roads uncover the murder of missionary Carl Volkner in Opotiki in 1865.

  • Taking the long way to Napier takes in the Shine Falls, perfect for a picnic lunch.

Stories from our Back Roads: The North Island is sure to become a well-thumbed book for your next travel adventure. It’s comprehensive and very well done.

Reviewer: Iain McKenzie

Bateman Books, RRP $49.99

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