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Latest Blog

The Catlins: An overlooked corner of New Zealand

May 14, 2019

The Catlins is a part of New Zealand visited by few, yet full of wonders, including a forest that has changed little since the Jurassic era. The forest stands next to its fossilised predecessor at Curio Bay, where the rare hoiho or yellow-eyed penguin also breeds. Travelling to the Catlins is like travelling back in time, not just to a more unspoilt era but also because there isn't much tourist traffic compared to resorts like Queenstown.

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May 7, 2019

Paradise! The Real Top of the Lake

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April 24, 2019

Kars and Ani

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April 10, 2019

Climbing Mount Ararat: Borders, bears and rockets

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March 20, 2019

The Enduring Lure of Egypt (Part 2)

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March 12, 2019

The Enduring Lure of Egypt (Part 1)

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February 26, 2019

New Zealand's Post-Colonial Housing Crisis (a second post on housing)

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Forthcoming Books

A Maverick Australian Way

Due out in 
March 2019

A Maverick Asian Way

Due out in 
June 2019

A Maverick Pacific Way

Due out in 
October 2019
More books

About the Author

Mary Jane Walker is a writer of historically well-informed travel stories that come with an autobiographical flavour. Mary Jane is a solo woman traveller who travels with no plans, just using intuition. She suffered a tragedy in her personal life and sought refuge through hiking and travelling the world.

Mary Jane first experienced world travel in an unusual way, as part of the crew on a Chinese junk named La Dame de Canton, the first to be built in the old way in decades. La Dame sailed from Canton, now Guangzhou, to Paris.

After only six weeks on the boat, Mary Jane found herself in the US military base of Diego Garcia, in which the junk sought refuge with ripped sails and water contaminated by salt.

Just as in the old days of exploration by sail, the voyage took a couple of years to complete, with many stops along the way for fresh water and supplies, and, yes, for repairs as well.

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