A Land of Two Halves : An Accidental Tour of New Zealand, Paperback Book

A Land of Two Halves : An Accidental Tour of New Zealand Paperback

2.5 out of 5 (2 ratings)


After ten years in New Zealand, Joe Bennett asked himself what on earth he was doing there.

Other than his dogs, what was it about these two small islands on the edge of the world that had kept him - an otherwise restless traveller - for really much longer than they seemed to deserve?

Bennett thought he'd better pack his bag and find out.

Hitching around both the intriguingly named North and South Islands, with an eye for oddity and a taste for conversation, Bennett began to remind himself of the reasons New Zealand is quietly seducing the rest of the world.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 320 pages, maps
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Ltd
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Travel writing
  • ISBN: 9780743263573



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Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.

Review by

Very disappointing. Just a boring ramble with no decent travelling insights apart from the lazy journalists habit of just criticising everybody and everything. Highly unimpressed with the endless accounts of him standing waiting for a lift, smoking cigarettes and then just chucking the butts on the ground. Hate to say this Mr Bennett, but if you really feel no affinity for New Zealand, then perhaps you should just go home to England.

Review by

Bennett is an Englishman who moved to New Zealand in the mid-eighties and had taught in Christchurch for sixteen years at the time this book was written. Now 46 years old, he realizes that he's never explored his adopted country so decides to do what he had done all over the world as a young man- stick out his thumb and see where it takes him. He hitches along the perimeter of first the south island, which is less populated and largely working class, then does the same on the north island, sharing rides with both the very poor and the very rich and receiving all kinds of free advice with those lifts.This is the second book I've read from Bennett ( Musn't Grumble ) but I think this may have been his first book. Anyway, I like him. Unlike so many travel memoirs, Bennett isn't a cheerful lad and is quite curmudgeonly at times. But he also sees himself objectively and tells the reader when he suspects he is the problem. I also like that he reacts to weirdos the way most of us do, telling them to go away, rather than trying to convince the reader that he finds their company enchanting.You would think that reading about someone having this much time to think while waiting for a ride would be a little dull, but this guy is entertaining.