Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The A to Z Challenge: Z is for Zealand

Abel Janszoon Tasman was a Dutch seafarer who in 1642 became the first European known to have visited New Zealand. He named the land he had encountered "Staten Landt", as he believed it might be linked to a Staten Landt in South America. The following year another Dutch navigator showed that the South American Staten Landt was a small island, not part of a continent, so cartographers changed Tasman's name to Nieuw Zeeland, after the Dutch province of Zeeland. Captain Cook anglicised the name to New Zealand, and that's stuck, although we now sometimes call our country "Aotearoa [land of the long white cloud] New Zealand".

It's an odd accident of history that our country has been named after an area that's physically so different, but these days New Zealand very much has its own identity.

New Zealand is a land of mountains and lakes, coasts and forests. It's the setting for my books, and it's my home.

Lake Manapouri

Milford Sound

Bay of Plenty

Milford Track

Beech forest, Te Anau

Mt Taranaki

Blue Pool, near Wanaka

Kepler Track
(Photographs all taken on our travels around the country.)

We've reached the end of the challenge! Thank you for your company on the journey.


  1. You’re a gifted writer. Your stories move me to tears on occasion and i bark a laugh at the wry observations and dialogue. It’s been a pleasure to follow your postings this month. Thank You.

    1. Thanks so much, Charles! I really appreciate your kind words.

  2. Thanks for the sharing the photos--they brought back great memories. We didn't get to all those places, but we did the (then brand-new) Kepler Track and it was a great experience! And it rained on us in Milford Sound :)

    1. I enjoyed going through the pictures, and recalling the experiences that went with them, so it's nice to be able to share them!

      It's a rare day when it doesn't rain on Milford Sound. :) It does produce all those wonderful waterfalls, though.

  3. Thanks for sharing your home with me this month :) It's been so fun to visit from the other side of the world. New Zealand is simply stunning, and you have such a warm knowledge of it.

    1. It's been a pleasure! Thank you for being such a delightful visitor.