The Mountains of New Zealand, by Rodney Hewitt and Mavis Davidson. 128 pages, with 136 photographs and 2 maps. Wellington, New Zealand: A. H. & A. W. Reed, 1954. Price, 18s 6d.
Unfortunately, the American mountaineer has had too little contact with New Zealand, one of the world’s most mountainous countries. Few Americans have climbed there, and it has been difficult to learn about its mountains from any one reading source, owing to the limited number of books available on the subject. But now, in this single, relatively short and inexpensive volume, one may be fully introduced to the amazingly large number of mountains "down under.”
In their broad survey the authors have provided a readable, profusely illustrated account of the ranges, peaks, valleys, and flora and fauna of North and South Islands. The coverage of peaks is most extensive, although details of the guide-book variety must necessarily be lacking in so short a space. More thorough indexing of peaks rather than ranges only, would be of help to the reader. The photographs, though not of the best quality in every instance, nevertheless give a fine impression of the varied mountain landscape. This contribution from two of the country’s veteran mountaineers will surely attract many appreciative readers, to whom the mountains of New Zealand will now seem much less remote.
Frederick O. Johnson