A Maverick Traveller: The Podcasts of Mary Jane Walker

A Maverick Traveller: The Podcasts of Mary Jane Walker

www.a-maverick.com
This is the channel for the podcasts of New Zealand author, blogger and adventurer Mary Jane Walker (‘A Maverick Traveller’). Mary Jane has published twelve books of travel memoirs, several of which are now audiobooks on Gumroad. For more, see her website a-maverick.com!


Changing Times at Coronet Peak: From a cosy ski club to costly commercialism, and having to make their own snow
Jul 5 • 6 min
In this podcast I talk about a visit to Coronet Peak, a ski-field near Queenstown, New Zealand. Coronet Peak started out as a club field in 1947 but is now commercial. I talk about the old days when skiing was a way to get around and not yet a sport, and…
Russian Splendour Renewed: A Heritage Tour of Moscow and St Petersburg
Jun 29 • 10 min
Russia is a country where opinions about the past are constantly changing. In the Communist era many old buildings were pulled down or neglected (though some were preserved), but now more of the old buildings are being done up. Even buildings once…
The Peninsula of the Dawn: Te Atatū and its living mudflats
Jun 29 • 9 min
In the western suburbs of Auckland lies another slice of wilderness, the peninsula of Te Atatū and its two bush-clad estuaries, the Henderson and the Whau. Until 1960 the peninsula was almost cut off from the world even though it’s close to the inner…
Amazing Arrowtown: New Zealand’s Colonial Time Capsule
Jun 29 • 12 min
In this podcast, I talk about Arrowtown, Queenstown’s smaller neighbour, which has preserved its heritage as a tourist attraction while its bigger, brasher neighbour has relied on selling scenery. There’s a lot of character in Arrowtown. But beware: it…
Cyprus: The Island that Copper’s named after
Jun 9 • 22 min
NOW EXPANDED INTO A BOOK, ‘CATCHY CYPRUS’, ON AMAZON! I travel to Cyprus, a divided island nation in the north-eastern corner of the Mediterranean, tucked up hard by Turkey and Syria. Cyprus used to supply the ancient Mediterranean world with copper,…
Hatay, Explored Further
Jun 9 • 6 min
This is the second of my two podcasts on Hatay. I talk about the old town of Antakya (Antioch) and its heritage, including the remarkable Moses Tree and a historic mosque. I discuss the Green Man, Hızır, who is said to have accompanied Moses, and how we…
Homestay in Hatay
Jun 9 • 8 min
After Istanbul, I went to the south-eastern province of Hatay to stay with a friend I’d made. We stayed in the historic city of Antakya which the Bible calls Antioch, and travelled around the province looking at its amazing heritage. Not many people go to…
Prelude to Aspiring: Or, what to do when there’s no snow in paradise
Jun 9 • 7 min
Finding not much snow up the skifields this winter, I go on a trip to the Matukituki Valley. This is a hidden gem below Mt Aspiring, up a 50 km road westward from Wanaka. It was the site of a famous 1949 expedition in which the elderly explorer and…
‘Tossed by the Wind’: The rare and remarkable creatures of Tiritiri Matangi (Part Two)
Jun 9 • 10 min
My explorations of Tiritiri Matangi Island, continued from Part One, in which I encounter tuatara and rare songbirds and hike the island’s trails.
‘Tossed by the Wind’: The rare and remarkable creatures of Tiritiri Matangi (Part One)
Jun 9 • 19 min
Just north-east of Auckland, New Zealand, lies the sanctuary island of Tiritiri Matangi, a high-value scientific reserve that is home to some of the rarest and weirdest creatures on the planet such as the kiwi and the tuatara. And yet you can go there,…
On a Kiwi Visa in Cappadocia
Jun 9 • 14 min
Cappadocia was a centre of Greek culture for more than two thousand years. For most of its history, the old-time Ottoman Empire had a strong Greek presence, and presence of other Christian minorities, now almost gone from modern Turkey. In this podcast, I…
Bobs Cove: A Sacred Pool to the Māori, a Mine to the Pākehā, Instagrammable Today
Jun 6 • 12 min
This post is about Bobs Cove west of Queenstown: a really interesting place to spend a day, with one of the most Instagrammable views in New Zealand from the top of Picnic Point, other attractions nearby, and a ton of local history!
Auckland: Thoughts on a Young City
May 29 • 3 min
Auckland, New Zealand, is a city that’s now almost 180 years old, yet which even most locals don’t seem to think of as having much of a history. This is the podcast of a post that touches briefly on the history of Auckland, with some colourful images and…
Behind the Scenery: Striking Historical Gold in New Zealand
May 23 • 2 min
This a short, sharp post in which I reflect on the screening of ‘The Luminaries’ in New Zealand and why it is that we don’t do more to promote our fantastic historical stories, as we could.
Auckland’s Icon: A trip to Rangitoto, the harbour volcano
May 23 • 6 min
I hike up Rangitoto Island, the iconic green volcano that dominates the approaches to Auckland Harbour. I swim on the far side of the beautiful island, where you can’t see Auckland at all and could imagine yourself completely away from it all in the South…
An Undeveloped Gem: Auckland’s Rotoroa Island
May 23 • 4 min
In this post I visit Auckland’s Rotoroa Island, a refuge for alcoholics from 1910 till 2005, which missed out on being over-developed for tourism in the way that neighbouring Pakatoa Island was. Perhaps fortunately so! These days, Rotoroa Island is a…
Covid from a Kiwi Perspective
May 23 • 7 min
The countries that are succeeding and the countries that are failing. What distinguishes them, and what will happen in the future?
15 Best Places to see the Sunrise in Auckland: Two Inner-City Volcanoes
May 23 • 6 min
I watch the sun rise from two of Auckland, New Zealand’s pretty green volcanoes and talk about their history and significance to Aucklanders. The second in a continuing series of posts about sunrises in Auckland, described as Part 2 in the audio.
15 Best Places to see the Sunrise in Auckland, New Zealand: The City’s Eastern Beaches
May 23 • 4 min
Before the lockdown, I went to a number of spots in Auckland to photograph the sunrise. This is the podcast to accompany a post that includes some photos and a video from the city’s eastern beaches, taken as I strolled from St Heliers to Ōkahu Bay via…
Sample Introduction to Eternal Egypt: My Encounter with an Ancient Land
May 12 • 4 min
This is the introduction to the audiobook of Eternal Egypt: My Encounter with an Ancient Land. In this book, Mary Jane explores Egypt, a cradle of civilisation described by the ancient Greek historian Herodotus as the ‘gift of the Nile’. Mary Jane long…
Lovely Lebanon audiobook: Free Sample Chapter
May 7 • 9 min
Here is a free sample chapter, ‘The Hezbollah War Museum’, from the audiobook of my 2019 book Lovely Lebanon: A Little Country with a Big History. The audiobook is currently available on Gumroad, and the ebook and print book are currently available on…
Catchy Cyprus: Once was the Island of Love (audiobook) (free Introduction)
Apr 23 • 15 min
This is the Introduction to my tenth book of travel memoirs, ‘Catchy Cyprus: Once was the Island of Love’, which you can buy as an audiobook with PDF images on Gumroad, or also as a Kindle or paperback on Amazon.
What can you find within Five Kilometres of your House?
Apr 11 • 8 min
Holed up in Point Chevalier, Auckland, I explore my local surroundings within a five kilometre exercise bubble, and discover a wealth of hidden places that I’d often ignored before.
Leper Colonies or Lockdown for Covid-19?
Apr 11 • 8 min
A report from the front lines of the invisible war in New Zealand, a comparison with Mediaeval social distancing practices, and a visit to a secret oasis in the hills above Queenstown where you can still take your exercise and admire the views!
Introduction to my 2019 book ‘The Scottish Isles: Shetlands, Orkneys and Hebrides (Part 1)’
Mar 30 • 10 min
This is the Introduction to my ninth book of travel memoirs, ‘The Scottish Isles: Shetlands, Orkneys and Hebrides (Part 1)’, which you can buy as an audiobook with PDF images on Gumroad, or also as a Kindle or paperback on Amazon.
Lockdown in Queenstown
Mar 29 • 4 min
Will Queenstown revert to the animals? That’s the question my editor sets out to investigate as the mountain resort town enters the second night of a four-week lockdown, with bewildered ducks wondering who will feed them, timid wild cormorants getting…
From Oamaru to Timaru
Mar 29 • 10 min
In this post, I travel north from Oamaru to the similarly-named town of Timaru, stopping off at Waimate. If Oamaru is the ‘whitestone city’, Oamaru is bluestone (meaning basalt) and granite, courtesy of a nearby volcano named Mt Horrible. Perhaps the most…
Blown Away in Brisbane
Mar 29 • 6 min
Brisbane is Australia’s third largest city. It’s the hub of Queensland culture, offering glimpses of the past and of the future.
The Lonely Landscape of the Chatham Islands, where the Coronavirus probably won’t ever arrive
Mar 29 • 5 min
My fourth blog post on the Chathams. From Waitangi I headed north again, toward freaky lonesome volcanoes and wandering cattle. And then down south and around, through Kōpinga Marae and listening to a lecture at Kaingaroa, marvelling at the landscape all…
The Museum at Waitangi
Mar 29 • 8 min
In this post, I visit the museum in the council chamber at Waitangi on the Chathams, and talk some more about the islands’ fascinating history, with pictures. Who is that man in the photo? Listen on!
There are Moriori, after all!
Mar 29 • 8 min
This is my second post about the Chathams. I posted it a day after hearing that the New Zealand Government had done a deal to recognise Moriori claims. I visit the grave of Tame Horomana Rehe or Tommy Solomon, the ‘last’ Moriori who wasn’t the last, and…
East to the Chathams
Mar 29 • 14 min
New Zealand has a North Island and a South Island, but did you know that there’s an east island as well? More precisely, an archipelago called the Chathams. I flew there in January 2020 and went exploring. It turns out that this place is far more…
‘I can’t believe I haven’t stayed here before!’ The Wonderland of Oamaru
Mar 29 • 12 min
This is a post about Oamaru, an amazingly historic town in northern Otago, New Zealand. It’s the home of the famous writer Janet Frame, and a town that’s obvously had a lot of community investment over the years.
Up to the Place of Light, down the Water of Tears
Mar 29 • 11 min
The Pigroot, which I’ve also blogged about, runs south of a great wilderness. To the north, there is another scenic drive, which runs through the the Lindis Pass and the towns of Cromwell, Ōmārama, Otematata, Kurow and Duntroon. This is about that road…
Dunedin’s Town Belt and Olveston House, and a backtrack to Mt Cargill
Mar 29 • 2 min
Adelaide is famous for its parklands, but Dunedin should be too. In this post I explore the city’s town belt, the great belt of parklands that encompasses its downtown area. I visit historic Olveston House, in the town belt. And I also climb to the top of…
The North Coast into Dunedin
Mar 29 • 2 min
I continue my journey from the Pigroot down into Dunedin, visiting the oldest surviving farm in New Zealand and a bizarre warrior museum when I finally hit town.
The Old Gold Road: Dawdling to Dunedin on the Pigroot Trail
Mar 29 • 7 min
In this post I describe spring travel along the ‘Pigroot’ road from Queenstown toward Dunedin. I stop in at the historic townships of St Bathans, Wedderburn and Naseby. In the next post I’ll complete my journey, travelling south along the coast.
Train Time for Timaru?
Mar 29 • 7 min
Timaru, New Zealand, used to be a Railway Junction. Why can’t main line passenger rail services be restored in the age of climate change?
‘Where I Went’: Chapter 2 of Iran: Make Love not War – Sex, Drugs and Rock’n’Roll on the Silk Road
Mar 10 • 5 min
This is the second chapter of my book Iran: Make Love not War – Sex, Drugs and Rock’n’Roll on the Silk Road. It describes where I went in Iran, and is a good overview of the book, which can be purchased as a Kindle or Paperback on Amazon (ASIN…
Free sample of A Maverick Cuban Way audiobook: Introduction
Feb 25 • 3 min
This is the Introduction to my book A Maverick Cuban Way, first published in 2017. You can listen to it for free. The whole audiobook is for sale on Gumroad for US $9.99 at https://gumroad.com/l/Ouhrj. You can also see the photos in the book, 247 images…
Iran: Make Love not War - Part 6 - Weaving Carpets Slowly
Dec 30, 2019 • 5 min
In this podcast, based on a November 2019 blog post, I talk about the artistic and scholarly culture of Persia and its contribution to the survival of Persia, or Iran, as a nation over many centuries. Surprisingly enough, carpet weaving seems to have…
David Unaipon Country
Dec 30, 2019 • 10 min
In this podcast, based on a November 2019 blog post, I travel to Raukkan in South Australia to pay my respects to the memory of David Unaipon, the polymath who appears on Australia’s $50 bill. I also talk about David Unaipon’s life and achievements,…
Outside Adelaide: From Hahndorf to Port Elliot
Dec 29, 2019 • 12 min
Adelaide, South Australia, is a very charming city. But sometimes you want to get out into the country. In this podcast, of a blog post I put up in November 2019, I go to the German-Australian town of Hahndorf, and then to the Warrawong Wildlife…
Doubtful Sound Revisited
Dec 28, 2019 • 11 min
This podcast combines the fourth and fifth of my posts about travel in New Zealand in springtime. I visit Doubtful Sound / Pātea in south-west New Zealand on the 19th and 20th of September, 2019, taking an overnight boat trip and describing the things I…
The Humiliations of Persia
Dec 16, 2019 • 10 min
This is a further podcast in my Iranian series. It concerns the way that Persia, or Iran, has often suffered a form of cultural condescension at the hands of the West, for instance in the relative virtues of the Spartans and the Persians in the ‘300’…
The Great Dieback
Dec 15, 2019 • 9 min
In this podcast, I talk about the serious global problem of phytophthora species being spread from one country to another. Phytophthora is a Greek word meaning ‘Destroyer of Plants’. It refers to a kind of fungus or blight organism that thrives in damp…
A Spring Break at Wanaka
Dec 15, 2019 • 10 min
This post is one of a series that I’m putting out this southern summer, 2019/2020, about the pleasures of travelling off the beaten track in New Zealand. Off the beaten track in terms of place, and time of year. For it’s about a trip I made in spring,…
Off the beaten track at Manapouri
Dec 13, 2019 • 4 min
A post about spring travel in New Zealand, when things aren’t busy but the weather’s mostly fine. I stay at a funky holiday camp with a lot of history and talk about local hiking treks.
History in Motion: Travelling through Time on the TSS Earnslaw
Oct 25, 2019 • 7 min
New Zealand is a young country, but a country with a lot of history all the same. This includes the amazing lake steamer, the TSS Earnslaw, launched in 1912 and still going strong under steam power. This podcast is based on a blog post of the same title,…
Adelaide and South Australia (Part 2)
Oct 20, 2019 • 6 min
I talk about how Adelaide is a supremely walkable city, ‘Designed for Life’, thanks to a farsighted early plan. I walk around the downtown and visit the old gaol, and talk about threats to Adelaide’s livability as a result of road construction and loss of…
Iran: Make Love not War - Part 5 - The Caspian Riviera
Oct 13, 2019 • 3 min
It had been really hot at Alamut, and the mountains semi-arid. So we went through green forests to the shores of the Caspian Sea, the strange inland ocean of central Asia, where people from Tehran go for their holidays.
Iran: Make Love not War – Part 4 – The Valley of the Assassins
Oct 4, 2019 • 7 min
Perhaps you’ve heard of the ‘Old Man of the Mountain’? Hassan-i Sabbah was the real-life inspiration for the game Assassin’s Creed. I visit his stronghold in the Alamut Valley, part of a historically rebellious and frontier-like part of Iran northwest of…
Adelaide and South Australia (Part 1)
Oct 4, 2019 • 8 min
This podcast is based on the first of a series of blog posts on Adelaide (the capital of South Australia) and the region nearby. Adelaide is a spectacularly attractive city with massive inner city parklands, though many historic buildings are at risk. The…
Australian Alps: a visit to the ski resorts of Perisher and Thredbo
Sep 11, 2019 • 18 min
In this post, I visit the ski resorts of Perisher and Thredbo in the Snowy Mountains area of the Australian Alps. The area’s quite famous and historic (as in ‘The Man from Snowy River’) and the skifields are huge. I give out some practical tips about…
Iran: Make Love not War - Part 3 - Tabriz and the Road of the Martyrs
Sep 4, 2019 • 10 min
In this episode, I cross the border into Iran and travel to Tabriz, then on to the Alamut Valley. The first thing I see at the border is people smuggling cigarettes! In a small town on the border, I get told with a throat-slitting gesture that I must wear…
Iran: Make Love not War - Part 2
Aug 11, 2019 • 7 min
In this episode, I cross the border from Turkey into Iran and talk about some of the practicalities of getting there, including visa issues and changing money.
Iran: Make Love not War - Part 1
Jul 29, 2019 • 7 min
This podcast is based on the first of a series of blog posts I’m putting up about a trip I made to Iran, in the Autumn of 2018. I describe where I went in the country and some of the issues it faces. I crossed overland from Turkey, and made my way to…
A Maverick Traveller (audiobook): Part 2 of 2
Jun 25, 2019 • 226 min
This is an experimental upload of the first half of an audiobook of A Maverick Traveller, prepared using Animaker and Amazon Polly. A Maverick Traveller is the first of Mary Jane Walker’s travel memoirs, first published in 2017 and since updated The…
A Maverick Traveller (audiobook): Part 1 of 2
Jun 25, 2019 • 190 min
This is an experimental upload of the first half of an audiobook of A Maverick Traveller, prepared using Animaker and Amazon Polly. A Maverick Traveller is the first of Mary Jane Walker’s travel memoirs, first published in 2017 and since updated. The…
Maungatautiri, the Sanctuary Mountain
Jun 10, 2019 • 11 min
The world’s largest ecological reserve behind a pest-proof fence lies south-east of Cambridge, New Zealand, close to Hobbiton and the Waitomo glow-worm caves. It’s the Maungatautari Reserve, also known as Sanctuary Mountain. All kinds of ancient and…