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Lands of the Shining Peak: 'When death itself is dead, I shall be alive'

September 18, 2020

From Whanganui, I arrive in Taranaki, a peninsula formed by Mount Taranaki, a name that's thought to mean 'Shining Peak'. It's a beautiful province but one with a murky history of conflict between Māori and settlers, including the now-famous pacifist struggle led by Te Whiti and others at Parihaka.

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September 12, 2020

Tales of the Whanganui: Rediscovering the 'Rhine of New Zealand'

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September 5, 2020

From Chasms to Coast: A landscape less often travelled

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August 28, 2020

Union Jacks and Grumpy Cats: Monumental disagreements in Aotearoa / New Zealand

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Forthcoming books

A Maverick Australian Way

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A Maverick Asian Way

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A Maverick Pacific Way

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A Maverick Middle Eastern Way

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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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