Going the Distance: Women Outdoors in New Zealand

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Tandem Press, 2002 - Hiking - 160 pages
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Sea-kayaking in the Hauraki Gulf, mountain-biking in the Maniototo, horse-trekking in the Urewera, canoeing on the Whanganui River, camping and tramping are some of the activities in this book encouraging women to venture into the outdoors. Travel journalist Tess Redgrave and award-winning photographer Becky Nunes left their comfortable, Auckland urban lives to make the ten journeys described in their inspirational book. * Fiordland * Catlins, Southland * Otago Central Rail Trail * Port Pegasus, Stewart Island * Tora Walkway, South Wairarapa * Whanganui River, Central North Island * Te Urewera, East North Island * Eastern Bay of Plenty * * Rangitoto and Motutapu Islands * Cape Reinga, Far North All the practical information required to embark on each of these journeys - maps, gear lists, contact details of operators - is included at the end of each chapter together with a list of futher reading, both historical and contemporary. Although women have always 'gone outdoors' in New Zealand, in the last 10 to 15 years they have started to go out in droves and there are now operators offering opportunities both for those who want to be challenged to their physical limits and for those seeking a more gentle meander through the land. The journeys in Going the Distance are medium adrenalin and should be accessible to women of all ages and reasonable fitness. Another dimension is added to several stories where the modern day journey is layered over the top of an early colonial woman's experience. For example the seven-day sea voyage from Doubtful Sound to Preservation Inlet was inspired by the 1898 trip of 2 Victorian travellers. The account of their journey makes an interesting contrast as does Katherine Mansfield's The Urewera Notebook which accompanies Tess and Becky on their horse-trek into the same country. These personal stories capture the essence of the journeys - the human side of the experience and the women's response to the environment. From venturing into the sub-Antarctic ocean to kayak in Stewart Island to tramping in the far-north they are challenged by the elements, however their adventures illustrate the joy and satisfaction to be gained by going outside one's comfort zone and heading into the outdoors. 130 colour photographs illustrate the stories and entice the reader to explore further. 'These stories are about journeying 'distances' in the widest sense - through a physical landscape, following the paths of those who've gone before. But they are also about distances travelled with other people and with oneself. As can often be true of the outdoor experience: sometimes the more difficult the journey, the greater the distance travelled.' Tess Redgrave

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