See also: New Zealand Gift Books,
New Zealand Yachting & Boating History,

  • Driven by the Wind
  • Whaler by Providence
  • The Sea Devil
  • Sea Devil
  • Ocean.
  • Enderby Settlement.
  • Dumont d'urville. Explorer & Polymath
  • Vaka Moana
  • People of the Sea
  • Nga waka O Nehera. The First Voyaging Canoes.
  • Navigators & Naturalists
  • Pathway of the Birds
  • Voyages of the Pioneers to New Zealand 1839-85
  • Polynesian Navigation & the Discovery of New Zealand
  • Waka Taua
  • Two Voyages

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    DRIVEN BY THE WIND. The Memoir of Captain Henry Rose
    By Karen Stade. Paperback, 0.69 kgs, 170mm x 240mm, 213 pages, 0.31kg. Full colour and Black & White Photographs. Published 2019

    “…Christmas Day 1847 we were in a gale of a wind in the Bay of Biscay, the ship being deeply laden made rather bad weather of it. One of the boats was struck by a heavy sea and smashed and the First mate had his leg broken. The Cook…told me that I would never see my mother again…”
    So began the adventures of Captain Henry Rose, who went to sea as a 14-year-old apprentice and rose to command some of the fastest clipper ships in the world. He sailed the trade routes between England and China, the West Indies and the American seaboard carrying soldiers and horses, slaves, coolies and convicts. He took part in the tea clipper races of the 1860s, and he captained the immigrant ship Merope on her record-breaking voyage across the Southern Ocean to New Zealand.
    Henry joined the newly-formed New Zealand Shipping Company in 1873, relocating with his family from London to become NZSC marine superintendent for the colony. He later joined the newly-commissioned Wellington Harbour Board and played a major role in developing harbour facilities here.
    Driven by the Wind is based on a memoir Captain Rose wrote for his family in 1911. It has been extensively researched and expanded and is published at the behest of his great grandson.

    NZ$50.00 + delivery.

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    WHALER BY PROVIDENCE. Patrick Norton in the Marlborough Sounds.
    By Don Wilson. Softback, 0.90 kgs, 170mm x 240mm, 335 pages, Black & white Images. Published 2018

    Patrick Norton was 20 years old when he appeared before the judge at County Galway on a charge of theft. Convicted and sentenced, he was transported to New South Wales in 1810 and never returned to his native Ireland.

    This detailed and meticulously-researched narrative describes the seven-month voyage of the convict ship Providence from Cove of Cork to Sydney Harbour, the serving out of Norton’s seven-year sentence and his career as a sailor and whaler. He crewed on coastal trading vessels, faced the dangers of the southern ocean on sealing ships and then became a pioneer settler and shore whaler at Te Awaiti in the Marlborough Sounds. A decade before the Treaty of Waitangi was signed, legendary whalers such as Patrick Norton, James Heberley, Jacky Guard, Joseph Thoms, William Keenan, John Love and Jimmy Jackson lived and worked with Maori under the fierce control of Ngati Toa chief Te Rauparaha.

    Author Don Wilson, who descends from Patrick and Tangitu Norton and other Te Awaiti pioneers, traces their life and times and those of their descendants, the grandsons who went whaling at Campbell Island and fought in World War One and the great grandson who harpooned the last whale in 1964.

    NZ$50.00 + delivery.

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    SEA DEVIL. The Adventures of Count Felix Von Luckner, the Last Raider Under Sail.
    By Sam Jefferson. Hardback, 0.49 kgs, 160mm x 245mm, 250 pages, Black & white Photographs. Published 2017

    In 1916, a three-masted windjammer bearing Norwegian colours sailed out of a quiet anchorage in Germany, loaded with cargo and apparently bound for Australia and the South Pacific. Her true mission was quite different.

    The ship was, in fact, the SMS Seeadler, commanded by swashbuckling German aristocrat Felix von Luckner. Over an epic voyage, he used cunning and deception to destroy fourteen merchant ships,across two oceans, capturing another and depriving Germany's enemies of tens of thousands of tons of supplies, before becoming wrecked in French Polynesia, all the while evading the utterly foxed and infuriated British Admiralty in a daring game of cat and mouse. In this time, only one allied life was lost and von Luckner was famed for the kind and generous way he treated both his prisoners and his crews.

    Not only is this the fascintating story of an unforgettable naval commander whose amazing exploits aboard the SMS Seeadler earned him the epithet 'Sea Devil' but also a rip-roaring World War I story depicting espionage, counterespionage and piracy of the most gentlemanly kind!

    NZ$38.00 + delivery.

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    SEA DEVIL. Count Von Luckner in New Zealand and The Pacific
    By James Bade. Hardback, 0.75 kgs, 210mm x 270mm, 176 pages, colour and black & white photographs & illustrations. Published 2006

    One of the most controversial figures in 20th Century Pacific History, Count Felix Von Luckner arrived in New Zealand in 1917 as a Prisoner of War, and as such, had to be protected from outraged members of the Public as anti-German sentiment was at a peak. However, his gentlemanly conduct towards all the hundreds of British and Allied crewmen he captured during his daring sea raids and his audaciuos escape from Motuihe Island (to the embarrassment of the New Zealand Authorities) turned him into a folk hero.

    In this comprehensive and extremely readable history, James Bade seperates the fact from the fiction and delivers an authorative, even-handed examination of the 'Sea Devil' - Pirate of the Pacific and daring swashbuckling Folk Hero.

    NZ$50.00 + delivery.

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    OCEAN. Tales of voyaging and encounter that defined New Zealand.
    By Sarah Ell. Hardback, 1.9kg, 260mm x 275mm, 288 pages, full colour photographs and Illustrations. Published 2018.

    Lying in the middle of a vast ocean, Aotearoa New Zealand was the last habitable land mass in the world to be settled by humans. Our history represents the powerful coming-together of two great seafaring traditions, Polynesian and European.

    Ocean tells the tales of pioneers and trailblazers, from the big names who left their mark on our history to everyday folk whose fates were dictated by time and tide. There are chancers and entrepreneurs, exploiters and environmentalists, war-makers and lifesavers. From myth and migration to exploitation and industry; from the word of God and the pursuit of money to summer carnivals, and the oldest sporting trophy in the world, these stories of ships, sailors and seekers show how our relationship with the sea has been pivotal throughout our history, while the contemporary accounts of those whose lives are deeply connected to the ocean bring our maritime past into the now.

    Magnificently illustrated with diverse imagery, Ocean is a spirited collection of historical tales, a landmark book about how the ocean has shaped New Zealand and its people.

    Was NZ$70.00 + Delivery
    Now NZ$55.00 + Delivery

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    THE ENDERBY SETTLEMENT. Britain's Whaling venture on the Subantarctic Auckland islands 1849-52
    By Conon Fraser. Softcover, 0.71kg, 165mm x 255mm, 256 pages, Full colour illustrations and photographs. Black and white photographs
    The British Enderby settlement on the Auckland Islands became synonymous in the 19th century for its association with whaling ventures. Charles Enderby - of Samuel Enderby & Sons, one of the most prominent English sealing and whaling firms had successfully petitioned for British government backing to establish a settlement on the Auckland Islands 'for the purpose of the whale fishery, as a station at which to discharge the cargoes and refit vessels. However isolation, a storm-swept climate, unproductive soil, inexperienced crews, drunkenness and - above all - a shortage of whales meant that the raw colony ran into trouble, and the parent company found itself facing disaster.

    Two special commissioners were sent to either close the venture down or move it elsewhere, and a bitter struggle developed, with Charles Enderby refusing to admit defeat and Governor Sir George Grey reluctantly becoming involved. Nevertheless, the settlement collapsed and the few Maori settlers on the islands, who had preceded and benefited from the colonists' presence, left soon after.

    Little trace of the colony remains, and the Auckland Islands are much as they were before Charles Enderby's arrival: uninhabited, isolated, wild, and beautiful, and now of World Heritage status.

    NZ$50.00 + delivery.

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    By Edward Duyker. Hardback, 1.92kg, 180mm x 254mm, 664 pages, 68 Full colour, sepia and black & white photographs, and 10 maps.

    Set against a broad sweep of European and Pacific history, this comprehensive new biography of explorer Jules Sébastien César Dumont d’Urville (1790–1842) reveals his life and times as never before. Dumont d’Urville (1790–1842) is one of the most famous explorers of the age of sail, an exceptionally erudite navigator who has been called France’s Captain Cook. D’Urville cultivated a profound engagement not only with maritime exploration but also with botany, entomology, ethnography and the diverse languages of the world. He lived through a tumultuous period of revolution, territorial expansion and scientific discovery. As a young ensign he was decorated for his pivotal part in the acquisition of the famous Vénus de Milo.

    This book also surveys d’Urville’s scientific contribution and the plant and animal species he collected. And it discusses his conceptualisation of the peoples of Pacific—it was d’Urville who coined the terms ‘Melanesia’ and ‘Micronesia’. D’Urville made an invaluable contribution to Pacific exploration as well as to the ethnography and natural history of Australia and New Zealand.

    Using primary documents that have long been overlooked by other historians, including D'Urville's personal journal, author Edward Duyker charts the multiple facets of d’Urville: his passionate but emotionally fraught marriage; his scientific legacy in the Pacific, Australia, New Zealand and Antarctica and his secret orders to search for the site for a French penal colony in the Antipodes.

    This is an unrivalled biographical work, fully encompassing the private and public world of this indubitably larger than life figure.

    NZ$70.00 + delivery.

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    Edited By K.R.Howe, Hardback, 245m x 300mm, 360 pages, monochrome and full colour photographs.
    The discovery and settlement of the islands of the Pacific is the last and greatest story of human migration. The daring explorers who crossed the vast ocean that covers a third of the erath's surface were the world's first deepsea sailors and navigators. Thousands of years before any other peoples left the sight of land, they were venturing across unknown seas to settle far-flung islands.
    Published to support a major international touring exhibition of the same name, this richly illustrated account of Pacific voyaging, past and present, presents the very latest findings from world authorities. These fascinating insights are interwoven with superb photographs, artefacts, maps and diagrams, which together tell a story that is a testament to the ingenuity and bravery of humankind.
    Entertaining and informative chapters cover
  • the human settlement of the globe
  • origin traditions of Pacific peoples
  • important findings in archaeology, linguistics and genetic studies
  • traditional canoe building and sailing techniques
  • amazing pre-instrument navigational systems
  • ancient Pacific voyaging and trading routes
  • the arrival of the West and its impact on Pacific peoples
  • the modern revival by today's Pacific peoples of canoe building and traditional navigation

    NZ$90.00 + delivery.

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    By James Wharram with Hanneke Boon. Softback, 0.97 kgs, 218mm x 218mm, 285 pages, black & white illustrations. Published 2020

    Long before Western man ‘discovered’ them, the People of the Sea, as many inhabitants of the South Pacific islands called themselves, had a vibrant, socially sophisticated culture in which travel on water played an essential part.

    For sixty-five years James Wharram has designed, built, and sailed craft of Polynesian double canoe form, demonstrating with them that the sea, far from being a barrier between the islands, is their highway.

    The ocean voyages of James and his team culminated in their circumnavigation in the stunning 63ft Spirit of Gaia, during which they explored the lands and cultures of their craft’s spiritual home — the Polynesian islands.

    About the Author: James Wharram’s life was changed forever when, in his early twenties, he saw Thor Heyerdahl’s film of the Kon Tiki voyage, and then encountered a book on Polynesian double canoe sailing craft.
    He determined to disprove Heyerdahl’s assertion that Polynesia could have been settled only from South America, and not from south-east Asia, which would require craft more sophisticated than a balsa raft.

    He has dedicated his working life to demonstrating the seaworthiness, windward ability and practicality of the Polynesian double canoe form, and has probably sailed more sea miles in craft of this pattern — all to his own design — than any other person.

    NZ$65.00 + delivery.

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    By Jeff Evans. Paperback, 0.38 kgs, 170mm x 245mm, 223 pages, black & white illustrations. Published 2016

    The arrival of the Polynesian people in Aotearoa was the final step in a series of remarkable voyages which saw them touch every spot of land through out the South Pacific.

    Much information has been passed down about the waka and their journeys, but this knowledge has never before been combined into onbe book. Nga waka o Nehera fills a major gap in New Zealand historical reference literature by bringing together for the first time the written traditions of those waka remembered as having voyaged to Aotearoa.

    This book features:

  • Alphabetical listing of the nearly 200 waka, including waka relating to the Chatham islands
  • List of crew members associated with waka
  • name variations
  • Karakia and Waita
  • Maps showing major reference points and landing sites.

    NZ$48.00 + delivery.

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    French Exploration of New Zealand and the South Seas (1769-1824)
    By Michael Lee. Hardback, 1.35 kgs, 170mm x 250mm, 480 pages, Colour Photographs, Black & White illustrations. Published 2018

    The sublime accomplishments of James Cook have cast a long shadow over the period of Global seafaring and exploration by the French in the 18th Century, during which time Europeans first visited and charted (most) of the islands of the South Pacific, but as historian James Belich put it: ‘There is little doubt that Cook has been emphasised to the unfair exclusion of the massive French contribution to European knowledge of New Zealand.’

    This book seeks to redress this balance, drawing in the main on primary sources (both here and in France, and including primary research from original French documents never before translated into English) and scholarship from key researchers in this field.

    As well as fascinating descriptions of what the French saw when they travelled around NZ’s coast, Lee focuses on the key characters of this age of French exploration (names such as de Surville, du Fresne, La Perouse, D’Entrecasteaux, Duperrey, Freycinet, D’Urville and Lesson), their relationships with Maori and the desire of France to complete with the British in the Pacific.

    NZ$70.00 + delivery.

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    PATHWAY OF THE BIRDS - The Voyaging Achievements of Maori and their Polynesian Ancestors.
    By Andrew Crowe. Softback, 1.04 kgs, 190mm x 252mm, 288 pages, Colour Photographs. Maps and Line Drawing. Published 2018


  • Winner of New Zealand Heritage Book Award 2019
  • Winner of two Ka Palapala Po'okela Awards 2019
  • Storylines Notable Book Award 2019
  • Top Ten Non-Fiction for 2018 - Auckland Libraries
  • Top Reads of 2018 - Weekend Herald

    Congratulations Andrew. What a fantastic achievement.

    The Voyaging Achievements of Maori and their Polynesian Ancestors.

    Pathway of the Birds explores a neglected epoch of world history, one that saw Polynesians expand their territory across the world's largest ocean in one of the most expansive and rapid phases of human migration in prehistory.

    Were Polynesians adept at navigating return voyages or had they settled the Pacific in a more random fashion? In an effort to find out, Crowe surveys a wealth of evidence from surprisingly diverse sources, including archaeology, palaeoecology, genetics, ethnology and linguistics, and presents it here in the context of Polynesian poetry, the long-distance migration of birds, non-instrument navigation, and wind tunnel experiments. From this, a spell-binding picture emerges of a people who have been deprived of recognition for some of their most illustrious achievements.

    With an engaging narrative, integrating a diversity of research and viewpoints, and over 400 maps, diagrams, photographs and illustrations, Crowe conveys the skills, innovation, resourcefulness and courage of the people that drove this extraordinary feat of maritime expansion

    NZ$50.00 + delivery.

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    By John McLean. Paperback, 0.63 kgs, 160mm x 250mm, 272pages, some full colour and black & white illustrations.
    A lot of New Zealanders have at least one - and often several - forebears who sailed from Britain in the nineteenth century to take part in the pioneering process, which built the country that we know today.

    From a variety of sources, including the diaries of passengers on a number of emigrant ships - mostly sailing vessels but also a few steamships - the author has told the story largely in the words of the participants themselves, thus giving a unique insight into what life was like during the long voyage (up to five months) down the Atlantic, around the Cape of Good Hope and through the storms of the southern ocean to New Zealand.

    The reasons for emigrating, the tearful farewells, the onslaught of seasickness, quarrels , epidemics, storms, fires, shipwrecks, shipboard activities, the fun of "crossing the line" into the southern hemisphere, and finally the excitement of viewing for the first time the land that they had gone through so much discomfort to reach - all are told in highly readable, if not entertaining, way that exposes the reality of life on an emigrant ship in the days of sail.

    NZ$45.00 + delivery.

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    By Jeff Evans. Paperback, 0.30 kgs, 175mm x 245mm, 128 pages, Black & white illustrations.Published (Reprint) 2011

    This book offers a straightforward account of how and why Polynesian seafarer's made their journey south to New Zealand. The first part of the book discusses the origins of the voyages, legends of the homeland and the explorer Kupe, traditional Polynesian navigation techniques, and the preservation of seafaring knowledge by Maori. The second part of the book presents a gripping account of the canoe Hawaiki-nui retracing the route from Tahiti to New Zealand in 1985 using traditional voyaging methods.

    Richly illustrated with photos, maps and drawings, this is an essential guide to a great story of discovery.

    NZ$40.00 + delivery.

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    By Jeff Evans. Paperback, 0.20 kgs, 185mm x 250mm, 76 pages, Black & white illustrations.Published (Reprint) 2017

    A Maori war canoe being paddled at full speed is an awesome sight. Thanks to the renaissance in canoe building, more and more traditional waka taua are on the waterways, and feature in major events like the Queen's Jubilee. Waka Taua gives a concise introduction to all aspects of the war canoe: its history, recent revival, types and variants, phase of building, parts of the waka, crew responsibilities and paddling techniques. With numerous historical and contemporary photographs and drawings, this easy-to-read book is the perfect reference for these amazing craft.

    NZ$38.00 + delivery.

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    By David Horry. Softback, 0.48 kgs, 165mm x 240mm, 218 pages, Colour illustrations. Published 2018

    The first immigrants sailed to New Zealand from the Central Pacific in large double hulled waka built without any metal, using only natural materials and stone tools. It was the longest of all the Polynesian voyages, and the greatest test of their seafaring skills. The people who made the journey carried no navigational instruments at all. They relied entirely on the skill of their navigator who used his observations of the sun, stars, ocean, birds and clouds to carry them safely to land. They risked the voyage to New Zealand to escape warfare, death or starvation.

    Abel Tasman sailed up the West Coast of New Zealand in 1642. He was not exploring for the fame or glory; he was an employee of a multinational trading company. His quest was to discover new lands with goods to trade back to Europe. The motivation behind Abel Tasman’s voyage was profit. This book follows two voyages; that of Abel Tasman in the Heemskerck and Zeehaen, and the Polynesians in the waka Kurahaupo. It describes the journeys to their dramatic point of coincidence in Golden Bay.

    There are many books about the history of New Zealand that begin with the arrival of the Europeans; this one ends there.

    NZ$45.00 + delivery.

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    See also: New Zealand Cruising & Travel Guides, New Zealand Yachting & Boating History,
    New Zealand Naval History, and NZ Nautical Tales

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