Te Wai Pounamu Revisited (The South Island of New Zealand) – Book Review

From the south end of New Zealand to Nelson via the South Island

Lee Traynor has written down, with great attention to detail, his experiences and insider tips from the South Island in a book. Off the beaten track, he has planned a beautiful route with great hikes and kayaking tours along the south island. With little budget and lots of ideas, he toured this trip in 2017 at the end of the New Zealand Summer.


Front Cover of Lee Traynors Book

Front Cover of Lee Traynors Book


The starting in the book is with a detailed description of the trip, which parts were booked and what costs were incurred. The whole neatly divided according to accommodation, transport and the other categories that may arise during a trip. Also included are a few tips on fast and cheap travel within New Zealand. A rental car is not meant though. Here, Lee has preferred a few other methods of transportation throughout New Zealand.


Off the beaten track, Lee has made a great variation on the New Zealand trails. Starting on Stewart Island with a hike and a nice kayak tour, then heading over to the Fjordland with the Dusky Track. Since the Dusky Track is a multi-day track, you can take out some great planning details here. You can also see a few Keas in his photos. The great alpine parrots that have become quite rare now.


Hikes are illustrated with photos

Hikes are illustrated with photos


At the end of each hike there is a description and also a indication of the distances and an indication of the speeds he has travelled. All in all very helpful for your own planning together with the DOC website which provides details as well.

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From Te Anau to the Dusky Track, head to Dunedin, take a break and explore the city. Also, the damage to the equipment, which were created on the Dusky Track should be repaired here.

After a short break, continue from here via Wellington to Nelson. Why the route is so illogical, you will learn after reading the book. Saving money makes the route so unconventional.

From Nelson, heading to the Heaphy Track, one of New Zealand's beautiful Great Walks, which can be walked all year round. Illustrated with beautiful photos of the Heaphy Track.

The Queen Charlotte Track including kayak tour also got a seat on its journey. So it is in my opinion especially interesting for outdoor lovers with time to enjoy New Zealand.

Most convenient I found the detailed descriptions of the walks. Along with the descriptions of the DOC site, you can plan your hike so really well.

There is still room for some improvements at the way maps, here could be some markings where along the hike goes. So I see a big map, but I don’t know in detail where he was hiking along.


Hiking map

Hiking map


For whom is the book something

The book is in my opinion something for outdoor lovers and hikers. Anyone who likes to hike, kayak or plan a multi-day hike away from the Greatwalks should be able to get inspiration here. Especially if you are traveling with backpack and time, this book is worth a look. Even if you want to have super detailed lists and enumeration this is your book.


For whom is the book nothing

Flatrate tourists who want to rattle off New Zealand quickly, will not be happy here. Too long and detailed in the case are the descriptions and suggested walks. Even people who only want to do short hikes in New Zealand are wrong here.

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Year of publication: 2019

Number of pages: 112 pages

Language: English

Price: 29,99€

ISBN: 978-3748504-09-2


Rear of the book

Rear of the book


Where can I buy the book

The book is available at Amazon*, cheaper as digital version for the Kindle*.



About the author

Lee Traynor teaches technical English at the Center for Applied Languages ​​at the University of Leipzig. He was born in Melbourne, Australia.

An overview of all other books by Lee you can conveniently look here on Amazon*.



In this article, some links are marked with a *these links are so-called affiliate links and cause us to get a small commission if you order something via such a link. So you help us to run the blog and cover our costs. Thanks a lot!


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