Book review: Ultimate Road Trips Aotearoa/New Zealand

Everything you need to know for the ultimate New Zealand road trip

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Head out for the ultimate road trip adventure with a new travel guide, or just sit at home and dream.

Head out for the ultimate road trip adventure with a new travel guide, or just sit at home and dream.

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New travel guide to our Southern neighbour.

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There's something exhilarating and viscerally liberating about setting off on a road trip; the mundanity of everyday life is left behind and the freedom of the open road beckons with all the planned or spontaneous experiences and adventures it has to offer.

And when your trip is taking you around one of the most stunning countries on the planet, New Zealand - Aotearoa as it is known in the Maori language - you are guaranteed a journey of spectacular scenery and amazing exploits - from rugged mountains to deserted beaches, islands to forests, cities to wine regions, volcanoes and hot springs to museums and galleries.

Whether it's for a day trip, a weekend, a week or a marvellous month or more, New Zealand will throw its metaphorical doors open to you and give you unforgettable experiences suited to your interests and budget.

Ultimate Road Trips Aotearoa/New Zealand is a new road trip travel guide to our popular Southern neighbour.

Compiled and written by Kiwi travel, food and beer writer Brett Atkinson, the book is a great companion to pore over before you leave on your trip and to keep in the glove box as you travel. Filled with glorious colour photos and fascinating snippets, you'll either find yourself booking yourself on the next available flight or curling up with the book and a nice brew... and dreaming.

With itineraries for road trips across both the North and South Island, this guide is jam-packed with featured recommendations for what to see and do, detailed route maps and driving times, and where to stay overnight in hotels, lodges, campsites and caravan parks.

It explores the country's epic scenery, endemic wildlife and rich Maori culture in an easy to follow format which will help you make the most of your NZ road trip.

Travellers definitely won't go hungry either with helpful tips including the best fish and chips, farmers' markets, urban cafes and vineyard restaurants.

For travelling families there are special Kidspot recommendations to guarantee a successful Kiwi road trip with young ones of various ages.

The book is divided into the two islands - North and South - and includes sections on top Maori experiences and top outdoor experiences. There are also recommendations for best eats and best sleeps and sidetracks suggesting some fascinating places to visit or experiences to try on your journey.

Its best of the best gives recommendation for the best mountain scenery, best places for wildlife, best for active traveller, best for food, best for wine and best for craft beer.

Among some of Brett's tips are: Allow more time to complete your journey than you would expect because of winding road and one way bridges; carry tyre chains if going into alpine regions during autumn and winter and be prepared for road hazards such as flocks of sheep or herds of cows. He also recommends international arrivals spend the night in their city of arrival and recharge before getting behind the wheel.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Travel author Brett Atkinson.

Travel author Brett Atkinson.

Auckland - based Brett Atkinson has been exploring New Zealand and the world as a full-time travel, food and beer writer for almost two decades. He's researched and co-written Lonely Planet guides to 15 different countries across five continents, and is a regular contributor to newspapers, magazines and online media in New Zealand and Australia.

Brett's been published by the BBC, National Geographic Traveller and AFAR.

His earliest New Zealand road trip memories incorporate a 1970s caravan and the company of his mum, dad and brother Marc, but these days adventures with his wife Carol are more likely to include restaurants, vineyards, breweries and markets. www.brett-atkinson.net

OTHER TITLES IN THE SERIES:

ULTIMATE CYCLING TRIPS - WORLD by Andrew Bain

ULTIMATE CAMPSITES - AUSTRALIA by Penny Watson

ULTIMATE ROAD TRIPS - AUSTRALIA by Lee Atkinson

ULTIMATE TRAIN JOURNEYS - WORLD by Tim Richards

ULTIMATE WEEKENDS - AUSTRALIA by Emma Shaw

Ultimate Road Trips Aotearoa/New Zealand is published by Hardie Grant. AUD $45

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