Wild New Zealand From The Road by Gordon Ell
Random House, $49.99

It's hard to think of a better guide to our wild places than Gordon Ell. For half a century he's enthusiastically promoted and fought fiercely to protect New Zealand's wildlife and forests, mountains and coasts.

The idea of a book outlining the special places where our natural treasures can be enjoyed by ordinary folk, as opposed to super-fit trampers, is a great idea too.

From his vast knowledge of the country Ell comes up with a magnificent smorgasbord of places within easy walking distance of the roads where you can see fossil forests, rare birds, lordly trees, beautiful flowers, majestic mountains, superb seascapes, friendly fish and ancient ruins. You can't help but be inspired to go out and see them for yourself.

The only regret is that there aren't a few maps to locate all these visual delights and make it easy to plan your first trip.