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New Zealand: South Island and North Island - Books and Movies
RECOMMENDED READING 
  • The Carpathians by Janet Frame. An inventive and delicately structured narrative follows a relocated New Yorker, Mattina Brecon as she tries to get to know her neighbors on Kowhai Street, where she has taken residence in order to research the Memory Flower for which the town is famous. A fearful sense of unnamed and unnamable disaster haunts the pages of this novel by the acclaimed New Zealand writer whose topsy-turvy vision of a world beyond bearing reminds us uneasily of our own.
  • Hibiscus Coast by Paula Morris. A literary thriller set in contemporary Auckland and Shanghai, the novel tells the story of a bold scheme to steal Goldie paintings from the Auckland Museum and replace them with expert forgeries. Emma is recruited by her manipulative ex-boyfriend to forge a lost work by Gaugin, and when talent, hubris and greed collide with disastrous consequences, Emma has no choice but to flee up the Hibiscus Coast.
  • In a Fishbone Church by Catherine Chidgey. A story of three generations of the Stilton family, woven together with brilliance and subtlety, spanning continents and decades. From the Berlin rave scene to the Canterbury duck season, from the rural 1950's to the cosmopolitan late twentieth century, five vivid lives cohere in a deeply affecting and exhilarating novel.
  • The Bone People: A Novel by Keri Hulme. At once a mystery, a love story, and an ambitious exploration of the zone where Maori and European New Zealand meet, this Booker Prize-winning novel is a powerful and unsettling tale saturated with violence and Maori spirituality. It weaves its story together with dreams, myths and legends, the world of the dead, and the ways of ancient cultures.
  • Straying from the Flock: Travels in New Zealand by Alexander Elder. An illuminating road trip through the history, life, and attractions of one of the world's most beautiful countries. This is a personal account of one passionate traveler's visit to New Zealand's mountains and beaches, fjords, rainforests, vineyards, and hidden eateries. Filled with colorful stories and memorable personalities, the book not only describes the trip of a lifetime, but captures a life-altering experience.
  • The Book of Fame by Lloyd Jones. A lyrical, semi-fictional account of the 1905 All Black rugby tour of Europe - a tour that shaped New Zealand's identity, from which the players returned to find themselves accorded almost god-like status. This remarkable, award-winning novel is both a tribute to some of the world's first sporting celebrities and an investigation into the curious workings of fame.
     
RECOMMENDED VIEWING 
  • The Piano (1993) by Jane Campion. Holly Hunter stars as Ada McGrath, a mute but strong-willed 19th-century Scottish expatriate who arrives in New Zealand with her daughter (Anna Paquin) and her beloved piano in tow. Although betrothed to a landowner (Sam Neill), she's pulled into an affair with a laborer (Harvey Keitel). Hunter and Paquin both won Oscars for their performances in this haunting drama from writer-director Jane Campion.
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001) by Peter Jackson. From the idyllic shire of the Hobbits to the smoking chasms of Mordor, director Peter Jackson has created a world that surpasses the expectations of J.R.R. Tolkien purists as Frodo Baggins (Elijah Wood) embarks on his epic quest to destroy the ring of Sauron. The movie - which nabbed 13 Oscar nominations - is superbly cast with actors such as Ian McKellen (Gandalf) and Viggo Mortensen (Aragorn), and stays remarkably true to the book.
  • Whale Rider (2003) by Niki Caro. A Maori tribe must contend with the distinctly nontraditional concept of having a female leader when the intended heir to the throne dies during childbirth, leaving his twin sister, Paikea (Keisha Castle-Hughes), to prove herself. Rawiri Paratene, Vicky Haughton, Cliff Curtis and Grant Roa also star in this inspiring coming-of-age tale, which earned the then-13-year-old Castle-Hughes an Oscar nomination.
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Why travel with other women?
Many women do not have families or compatible friends who wish to travel. When going on a main-stream tour, women often find that most activities are geared towards couples and quite often they feel left out. Singles' tours are not always what women are looking for. If you do not have a traveling companion, there is also the issue of the expensive "single supplement", sometimes as much as 50 or even 100 percent of the tour cost. By going on women-only tours, women can easily avoid paying for the single supplement by sharing a room with another woman traveler.
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