About the Book
The all-time classic telling of life in the 1960s Hauraki Gulf
In 1964 trailblazing author Shirley Maddock and photographer Don Whyte made an extraordinary voyage around the Hauraki Gulf, documenting its people and places. This was a watershed moment in New Zealand history where New Zealanders were given the opportunity to see themselves, not just in the pages of this book but also on screen. It was a time when the way of life on the Gulf islands was a resourceful one, largely cut-off from the outside world. The best-selling and much loved Islands of the Gulf is a precious record of a bygone era, and an enchanting must-have for New Zealand households, baches and boats.
Right on Auckland's doorstep, across 4000 square kilometres of ocean lie some 40 islands - more if you count the gannet perches. In the early 1960s Shirley Maddock joined Captain Fred Ladd, the pilot whose jaunty seaplanes served those isolated island communities, to film New Zealand's first (locally produced) documentary series, Islands of the Gulf, publishing a book of the same name. Maddock would visit everyone from farmers to gumdiggers, rangers to nurses, flying through the morning haze to the rugged battlements of Great Barrier and the dim, bluish mound of Little Barrier; over the top of North Head to the bone white tower of the light on Tiritiri Matangi; beyond to Kawau, east to Rakino and the little Noises; south-east to the long golden lengths of Waiheke and Ponui, and last to the clouded peaks of the Moehau Ranges; and nearer to the inner harbour islands of Motutapu and Motuihe, Brown's Island with its lopped-off crater and, at the entrance to the Gulf, the last great volcano, Rangitoto.
This new 2017 edition is being published to coincide with the remake of Islands of the Gulf showing on TV ONE prime-time later this year with Shirley Maddock's daughter, actress and writer, Elisabeth Easther.