Mike Yardley: Last-minute Christmas gift ideas for travel buffs

Author
Mike Yardley,
Publish Date
Wed, 22 Dec 2021, 8:55AM
(Photo / Supplied)
(Photo / Supplied)

Mike Yardley: Last-minute Christmas gift ideas for travel buffs

Author
Mike Yardley,
Publish Date
Wed, 22 Dec 2021, 8:55AM

With Christmas fast approaching and the growing prospects of Kiwis resuming international travel, here’s a roundup of some fabulous new books destined to fuel your wanderlust and your wanderings around New Zealand, plus they beckon as ideal last-minute festive gifts. 

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2022. With travel back on the agenda, global travel authority Lonely Planet has unveiled its top 10 countries, cities and regions to visit next year with the release of Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2022. Best in Travel 2022 is Lonely Planet’s 17th annual collection of the world’s hottest destinations and the must-have travel experiences for the year ahead. This edition places particular emphasis on the best sustainable travel experiences – ensuring travellers will have a positive impact wherever they choose to go. This year, the number-one city has been given to Auckland, New Zealand, recognised for its blossoming cultural scene where the spotlight is on local creativity, while Taipei, Taiwan is second-ranked, with Freiburg, Germany in third place. 

Remote and proudly independent The Cook Islands – one of the world’s smallest countries – claims the coveted spot as the number-one country to seek out in 2022, while Norway places second and Mauritius third. Adding to the 2022 Best in Travel list, Lonely Planet’s number-one region for 2022 is the Westfjords, Iceland, a region of the island nation untouched by mass tourism where communities are working together to protect and promote their spectacular landscapes.  

Each year, Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel lists start with nominations from Lonely Planet’s vast community of staff, writers, bloggers, publishing partners and more. The nominations are then whittled down by our panel of travel experts to just 10 countries, 10 regions and 10 cities. Each is chosen for its topicality, unique experiences, ‘wow’ factor and its ongoing commitment to sustainable tourism practices. 

Lonely Planet’s The Travel Book. This is a stunning coffee table book and a journey through every country in the world. The fourth edition has just been released. Each country features an all-new profile that includes details of when to visit, what to see and do, and how to learn more about the country’s culture from its film, music, food and drink. Beautiful photography depicts what life is like in each nation from gorgeous landscapes to vibrant scenes of street life. It’s 416-pages of deliciousness to inspire your own wanderlust or as an impressive gift! 

Who Lived There is a charming new read. You could literally discover these places on a tour all around the country, and the different and amazing stories behind each place. New Zealand is full of buildings whose back stories have been lost over the generations. Wondering about the stories behind some of these, from cute colonial cottages to abandoned industrial buildings and ghost towns, Nicola McCloy and Jane King went looking to find out ... who lived there?  

Having worked together on the highly successful 2018 title Let’s Get Lost, the two friends hit the road once again. On their travels they sought out the fascinating stories of the people who lived, worked and died in buildings that range from basic stone cottages in barren-looking countryside to pretty coastal villas, romantic churches and small-town taverns - including some Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga sites, such as Thames School of Mines, Fyffe House and Pompallier Mission, as well as many Category 1 and 2 listed buildings.   

Turn the pages to find out about places as diverse as the old School of Mines in Thames, Rush Munro’s Ice Cream Garden in Hastings; Couldrey House at Wenderholm, near Auckland; Mt Cook Police Barracks in Wellington; Langlois-Eteveneaux House in Akaroa; Donovan’s General Store in Okarito; the Empire Tavern in Dunedin and Invercargill’s David Strang Building. (Named after the man who invented instant coffee in 1889!) 

In the Company of Gardeners. While this book is about gardens, it does look in depth at a number of different gardens in locations all around the country, appealing to the green-fingered and travel buffs, alike. Magnificent gardens of different types from all around New Zealand, with entertaining stories on their origin, inspiration and development - all stunningly photographed. From lush regenerating native bush, through formal gardens and heritage fruit trees, to community gardens and a dry garden in Central Otago, there is a place here to inspire everyone. The stories of their inspirational founders and developers are told simply and informatively, and bring the gardens to life. Located from Butler Point, across the harbour from Mangonui in Aotearoa's far north, down to Central Otago and Southland, the varying terrains and climates affect which plants flourish, and the exchange of ideas between the gardeners keep things vibrant and ever-changing. Several of the gardens have been developed by siblings, partners or families, all drawing strength and ideas from each other. After reading this book you won't know which urge is stronger - to get outside and do some gardening, or plan a tour of inspirational gardens of New Zealand. 

New Zealand's Wild Weather. A compelling, informative and highly illustrated series of investigations into the different types of weather events that occur in New Zealand. It covers the likes of cyclones, heat waves, snow and drought, recounting gripping eye witness accounts and explaining just what’s going on behind them all. Popular natural history writer Gerard Hutching has found a range of people affected by diverse weather events over the decades and tells their stories, bringing these events to life - from a dairy farmer and his quad bike being lifted 5 metres into the air by a cyclone then dropped 100 metres away, to the fisheries inspector who survives a lightning strike. The science behind these extreme weather events is explained in simple accessible terms by the scientists from MetService. 

Mike Yardley is our resident traveller on Jack Tame Saturday Mornings.