Mike Yardley: Great new reads for the Armchair Traveller

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With the prospect of international travel remaining a hopeful but still distant aspiration, and much of the country straight-jacketed by Covid-19 alert travel restrictions, satisfying your wanderlust can feel rather problematic at present. But whether you’re itching for some great escapism in prose, or staking out some travel-related Christmas gift ideas, here’s a round-up of some excellent new release books that will satisfy and stimulate your travel cravings.
Gone Bush is Paul Kilgour’s first-hand account of life in the New Zealand backcountry and beyond. It’s the inspiring story of a wanderer, long-distance tramper and hut-bagging legend. Paul Kilgour was bitten by the tramping bug early. He began going on epic trips as a young boy, beyond the North West Auckland farm and out along the coast.
During these wanderings, he met old folk living simply in tiny huts out the back of farms and on clifftops, and swaggers walking in remote and beautiful locations. Even at that early age, deep inside Paul stirred the spirit of adventure and a longing to go further. And further he went.
Gone Bush is about a lifetime of walking the backcountry – Paul has clocked up 50 years of it. He tells stories of the eccentric characters he met along the way, some of the 1200 huts he’s visited and his most unforgettable journeys. In 2007 and 2008, Kilgour walked the length of the South Island – his long walk home – an epic 1550-kilometre tramp from Fiordland to Golden Bay via backcountry huts and off-track routes. Gone Bush is a charming, meandering read – like setting off on a serene tramp in the mountains, a heavy frost underfoot and the sun on your back.
The Wild Twins is the real-life story of Amber and Serena Shine on strength, survival and a lifetime seeking adventure. From their first steps, the twins set out from their family farm in rural Waiuku with the bush and mountains in sight. Together they've run the world's highest marathon on Mount Everest, walked jaguars in the Amazon, sailed treacherous seas from Hawai'i to San Francisco, navigated ice falls while climbing Mount Cook, raced 322 kilometres on a dogsled, and survived naked in the African wilderness for twenty-one days on the hit Discovery show Naked and Afraid.
In The Wild Twins, Amber and Serena share their most extreme achievements, the secrets behind their strength and endurance, and advice on living life to its fullest. With go-getter attitudes, perseverance and fearlessness, these inspiring sisters are all about getting outdoors and reaching your potential - returning home covered in mud and with a story to tell.
Amber and Serena Shine were born and raised in a small rural town in the North Island of New Zealand. Together and apart, they have lived, explored and adventured abroad while juggling careers, from the New Zealand Army to Australian mining, Alaskan dog sledding and much more. Their love of the outdoors keeps them constantly adventuring – they have taken on mountains, sailed across the Pacific and survived in the wilderness, to name a few. They are passionate about inspiring others through their experiences, adventures and life philosophies. This is their first book.
The Spirit of Cardrona is a stirring business story about a young woman who pursued her unlikely dream of setting up a world-class distillery in Cardrona. It is the story of Desiree Reid-Whitaker’s upbringing, of her persistence and resilience, of overcoming life’s trials, tribulations and natural shyness, to succeed on a path-less-travelled. Desiree spent two and half years visiting the world’s greatest whisky distilleries and learning from some of the world’s great masters before risking all she had to make her dream a reality. Her quest to produce a single-malt whisky that would compete with the best whiskies in the world is a classic story of Kiwi persistence, self-sacrifice and dedication to excellence.
The Spirit of Cardrona. (Photo / Harper Collins)
The Spirit of Cardrona is an inspirationa...

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