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Guide To New Zealand's 'Treasure Island'

Where can you see kiwis coming out to feed in daylight? The answer is Stewart Island, where kiwis are among the many natural treasures. The island is an increasingly popular holiday destination for eco-tourism, with a wealth of attractions and many bush-walks.

The first guide book to the island in many years has just been published by the University of Otago Press. Titled Stewart Island: A Rakiura Ramble, the book has been written by award-winning natural history writer and conservationist Neville Peat. It is part of a series of guides with a regional approach and a strong emphasis on natural features. Peat's popular book The Catlins is in the same series.

Packed with useful information, and colourfully illustrated, Stewart Island is a guide and souvenir rolled into one. The book covers what to see and do, highlights, local flora and fauna, and something of the history of the island. There is detailed information about walks and tramps, and numerous photographs of the stunning scenery and wildlife.

Stewart Island is best known as a haven for native birds, such as the kiwi, weka, and on adjacent Codfish Island, the endangered kakapo. Along with the birdlife, Neville Peat also describes a number of other species - plants, insects, fish and lizards that are rare or unique to the island.

In April the New Zealand Conservation Authority recommended that Stewart Island become a national park, and a government decision is imminent. Neville Peat has been visiting Stewart Island since 1968, and is the author of Stewart Island: The Last Refuge.


Contents: 1 'Treasure Island', 2 Town and Around, 3 Tramping, 4 Rare and Special, 5 Points South

About the Author Neville Peat is the author of numerous guides to southern New Zealand natural features and attractions, including The Catlins. He is co-author, with Brian Patrick, of Wild Central, Wild Fiordland and Wild Dunedin, all of which have been short-listed for the Montana New Zealand Book Awards. He is based in Dunedin.

Stewart Island A Rakiura Ramble Neville Peat 64 pages, ISBN 1 877133 93 0, $19.95, illustrated, published October 2000

CONTACT For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact Philippa Jamieson, University of Otago Press, tel (03) 479 9094, fax (03) 479 8807, email

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