Kiwis Might Fly: A New Zealand Adventure

by Polly Evans | Travel |
ISBN: 9780385339940 Global Overview for this book
Registered by BethanieKay of Melbourne, Florida USA on 3/8/2007
Buy from one of these Booksellers: | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon DE | Amazon FR | Amazon IT |
13 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by BethanieKay from Melbourne, Florida USA on Thursday, March 8, 2007
I got this book at a book sale at work. It is an ADVANCED READING COPY, and is not in the stores yet. I couldn't get the system to recognize the ISBN number.

From the back of the book:

Polly Evans was a woman with a mission. Before the traditional New Zealand male hung up his sheep shears for good, Polly wanted to see this vanishing species with her own eyes. Venturing into the land of giant kauri trees and smaller kiwi birds, she explores the country once inhabited by fierce Maori who carved their enemies’ bones into cutlery, bushwhacking pioneers, and gold miners who lit their pipes with banknotes—and comes face-to-face with their surprisingly tame descendants. So what had become of the mighty Kiwi warrior?

As Polly tears through the countryside at seventy-five miles an hour, she attempts to solve this mystery while pub-crawling in Hokitika, scaling the Southern Alps, and enduring a hair-raising stay in a mining town where the earth has been known to swallow houses whole. And as she chronicles the thrills and travails of her extraordinary odyssey, Polly’s search for the elusive Kiwi comes full circle—teaching her some hilarious and surprising lessons about motorcycles, modern civilization, and men.

Journal Entry 2 by BethanieKay from Melbourne, Florida USA on Friday, March 9, 2007
Reserved for Triggerfish

Journal Entry 3 by BethanieKay at on Monday, March 12, 2007

Released 14 yrs ago (3/12/2007 UTC) at



Sent to Triggerfish as a trade. Enjoy ... and thanks for helping my book gather friends, not dust! :)

Journal Entry 4 by Triggerfish from Edinburgh, Scotland United Kingdom on Saturday, March 17, 2007
Wow, this book arrived so quickly ! Thank you, Bethanie Kay! Planning to send you PM tomorrow.

Journal Entry 5 by Triggerfish from Edinburgh, Scotland United Kingdom on Sunday, March 25, 2007
I really enjoyed this book! At first I thought it might be a case of chick lit meets travel writing, but my fears were unfounded. Evans had some interesting points to make about Kiwis and the growing tourism industry in NZ, AND she was also funny. I was reliving my own trips to NZ as i read the book, and I'm now thinking it's time for another visit (hmm, but I'm just back from 3 weeks in Australia...). I will be looking out for Evans' books about Spain and China now.
After a couple of friends have read this ,I plan to offer it as a bookring.
Thanks again, BethanieKay!

Journal Entry 6 by Triggerfish from Edinburgh, Scotland United Kingdom on Monday, November 26, 2007
Bookray being organised
participants so far,

Gothmarcus UK
Jinglefish UK
book-man-8 Ger
KiwiinEngland Ireland
releanna Austria
aunt-sophie Canada
Kirkles on a boat
teggers UK
sudokugirl Bos-Herz - Dec 08, book now here, end of ray.

Journal Entry 7 by Triggerfish from Edinburgh, Scotland United Kingdom on Friday, November 30, 2007
Posted to Gothmarcus today.

Journal Entry 8 by Vroomfondel from Shipley, West Yorkshire United Kingdom on Saturday, December 1, 2007
Arrived safely here, many thanks. And great timing too as I'm only 40 pages from the end of my current book!

Journal Entry 9 by Vroomfondel from Shipley, West Yorkshire United Kingdom on Tuesday, December 4, 2007
Part travelogue, part guide book and part quest. The first two bits work well, I'm not sure the third bit went that well. She headed off to New Zealand to search for the ultimate Kiwi bloke, and by the end of the book complained that he no longer existed. I just wonder whether he ever did exist (at least in recent history), or whether, like the advert to sell beer, he was just a figment of someone's imagination.

That said, it was still an interesting read.
And she mentioned Tim Tams!

Updated 6 December 2007: On its way to Jinglefish.

Journal Entry 10 by Jinglefish from Woking, Surrey United Kingdom on Monday, December 10, 2007
Safely arrived with me today. I have one book to finish, then one other ring book (why do they all arrive together!!!?!!!) and will then be into this as soon as I can. Thanks for posting to me Marcus - will journal when finsihed.

Journal Entry 11 by Jinglefish from Woking, Surrey United Kingdom on Sunday, December 30, 2007
Finally found some time to sit and immerse myself in these wonderful pages following all the Christmas activities that seem to follow relentlessly one after the other - the few days between Christmas and the New Year is great for catching up and, in particular, arm-chair travelling.

Having thoroughly enjoyed "It's Not About the Tapas" earlier this year, I knew what to expect. Yes, to a certain extent chick lit meets travel writing, but there is more to the writing than that as there are interesting snippets of past history, some candid personal truths and hilarious moments. I particularly enjoyed her description of Maori rat traps and the clumsiness of the Kiwi bird - LOL. I too have a fascination with provincial museums (and churches) - ask my family! I've dragged them around more than a few over the years - the highlight for them re boringness being the Tobacco Museum in Bergerac!!!! More than this, I love motorcycles and travelling so this was an interesting combination for someone who wants to now desperately shove off for a while to do exactly the same:-) All this said, Gothmarcus has a point about the latter part of the book - I did ever so slightly begin to tire of the descriptions of yet more stunning landscapes which were pretty much the same as before and longed for more "human" contact.

Thanks to Triggerfish for starting this ray off - I'm off now to find "Fried Eggs with Chopsticks".

Have PM's book-man-8 for address and will pass along as soon as I have this.

Journal Entry 12 by Jinglefish from Woking, Surrey United Kingdom on Wednesday, January 2, 2008
Posted to book-man-8 in Germany today.

Journal Entry 13 by book-man-8 from Tübingen, Baden-Württemberg Germany on Monday, January 7, 2008
I just got the book in the mail. Thanks for sending and the ray!

Journal Entry 14 by book-man-8 from Tübingen, Baden-Württemberg Germany on Wednesday, January 9, 2008
This book is OK, but no more. First I think it is not a thing to do, to make such a trip by motorbike without any practice piloting such a thing. Then there is that mix with (interesting) historical facts about NZ, present-day NZ and its people (mostly men), and the personal insights of the author. By far not the best traveloge I've read. To visualize NZ (and Polly's trip), it is most helpful to look at those places with a little help of "Google Earth".


This one is off to "KiwiinEngland". Homesick? Enjoy!

Journal Entry 16 by wingkiwiinenglandwing from Wellington City, Wellington Province New Zealand on Monday, January 21, 2008
This has safely arrived in Dublin. Thanks book-man-8.

Journal Entry 17 by wingkiwiinenglandwing from Wellington City, Wellington Province New Zealand on Monday, February 11, 2008
Hmm, didn't work for me. The comments she made on race relations got on my nerve...I kept on reading as I didn't want to be a sensitive local who took offense at things but...well, I had to stop reading. New Zealand is multicultural, yet she focused on the pakeha's (a term for white NZer's, which some people find offensive) and Maori.

Also, I objected to her dismissing people as not 'real men' as they were politely trying to have a conversation with her and mentioned topics she thought real men would not know about (eg coronation street and the diary milker). Final straw was her objecting to sheep shearers caring about the children who helped in the sheds.

Posted on 17th February 2008.

Journal Entry 18 by Releanna from Wien Bezirk 23 - Liesing, Wien Austria on Wednesday, February 20, 2008
arrived today - thanks for sending :)

Journal Entry 19 by Releanna from Wien Bezirk 23 - Liesing, Wien Austria on Monday, February 25, 2008
I'm a bit divided about this book. I learned some interesting things of NZ history and nature, maybe also about NZ life (not so sure about it). I agree with book-man-8: it is a very foolish and possibly dangerous venture to go on such a big bike-tour with no experience at all, especially if she had so much trouble to even get her license! She was very lucky that nothing bad happened to her or to other people.

Her search for the real Kiwi male is to machismo for my taste. The men she discarded as not genuine enough seemed to me quite perfect "real" men working hard for their living.

All in all I also say it is an o.k. read but for a NZ-guide-book I'd surely look somewhere else.

Journal Entry 20 by rem_VSP-560485 on Monday, March 17, 2008
Arrived today. Yet ANOTHER ring to add to the pile... I'll do my best, but it might take a few weeks before I get down to it.

Journal Entry 21 by rem_VSP-560485 on Monday, April 7, 2008
I would describe Polly Evans’ style as “travelogue meets chick lit”. And even though those are two genres which I love, I am not sure it’s a good mix, honestly. I know her style is meant to be quirky and modern, but it just doesn’t do it for me. Sure, she provides the reader with a lot of information (historical and other) about New Zealand and its people, but it’s always presented in a comedic way, which can become annoying after a while. And the fact that she had never driven a motorcycle before she decided to do that trip, and that it often leads her to dangerous situations, was probablement meant to be funny, but we can’t help but find her a bit stupid to embark on such a trip while she barely masters her means of transportation; it makes it a bit hard to take her seriously. But you have to give her the credit of going off the beaten track and bringing us to sometimes surprising places. So, overall, I would say I have mixed feelings about this book.

It is interesting to note that we can find photos of Polly Evans’ trips on her Website, which enhances the reading experience.

Mailed to kirkles on April 11.

Journal Entry 22 by Kirkles from Bangor, Co. Down United Kingdom on Monday, June 16, 2008
I had given up this book for lost. I'm really glad it arrived, it was a great surprize. It arrived while I'm Auckland. I'm looking forward to reading it while I'm in New Zealand and I can see if it I have some of the same experiences!

Journal Entry 23 by Kirkles from Bangor, Co. Down United Kingdom on Wednesday, July 23, 2008
I have just finished reading this on the eve of sailing out of New Zealand. This book is not quite what I was expecting. From the back of the book I was expecting more of an anthropological study of New Zealanders, but Polly Evans is a travel writer after all. My travels have been limited to only three towns in the North Island and not the South Island at all, but my experiences are quite different from Polly's. She doesn't mention the warmth of hospitality of the Kiwi's and how ready they are to accept you into their home after only an hour or so of knowing you, how the person in the post office takes a genuine interest in you and how you are. In America one is often told to have a good day and it is taken as a habbit, being said without thinking about the words, like how are you instead of hello. But here in New Zealand, they wait on the answer and genuinly wish you a good day and will go out of their way to help that happen. I feel she didn't stay in one place long enough to get a feel for the people of a place. Having said all that it was nice to have a picture of other parts of the country. I don't think I'll read and more books by this author. Personally, I have eaten fried eggs with chopsticks - no problem at all, quite fun.

I like the idea of a travel book travelling. I think I'll offer it as a RAY again and get it moving.

Journal Entry 24 by Kirkles from Bangor, Co. Down United Kingdom on Wednesday, August 6, 2008
ongoing book ray - mailed to Teggers yesterday

Journal Entry 25 by teggers on Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Recieved in the post this morning. I am interested in reading this, especially to see if my impressions of the book relate to those already written here.

Journal Entry 26 by teggers at -- Controlled Release, -- By post or by hand/ in person -- United Kingdom on Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Released 13 yrs ago (12/2/2008 UTC) at -- Controlled Release, -- By post or by hand/ in person -- United Kingdom



Sent to sudokugirl. I'm very sorry for the delay, recently life, in the form of university has been making it very hard to do or even think about anything else.

Journal Entry 27 by sudokugirl from Sarajevo, Sarajevo Bosnia-Herzegovina on Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Arrived safely today. Thank you for shipping, teggers, I'm looking forward to reading this.

Journal Entry 28 by sudokugirl from Sarajevo, Sarajevo Bosnia-Herzegovina on Wednesday, January 7, 2009
I quite liked this book. Sure, this whole kiwi bloke business seems like a very flimsy excuse for some travelling through NZ/writing a new book, but the writing is good and I found the stories about NZ very interesting.

Thank you for sharing, BethanieKay and Triggerfish. The book is now off to my sister, who has some plans for it.

Journal Entry 29 by PepeLePew from Sarajevo, Sarajevo Bosnia-Herzegovina on Wednesday, January 7, 2009
Thank you, sudokugirl. This is my next TBR book.

Journal Entry 30 by PepeLePew from Sarajevo, Sarajevo Bosnia-Herzegovina on Wednesday, January 14, 2009
This book was easy to enjoy once I got over the few things that annoyed me about it: author's rather obvious and not so successfull attempts to be funny in some parts of the book, too much talking about her motorcycle and too detailed descriptions of her meals. However, all of this must be forgiven since it is a beautiful story and full of wonderful and interesting facts about this country. It made me want to go there so much and to meet as many New Zealanders as possible.

Thank you all for passing it on. This book will be travelling again pretty soon.

Journal Entry 31 by PepeLePew at on Thursday, January 15, 2009

Released 13 yrs ago (1/15/2009 UTC) at



Rabck for a fellow bookcrosser. Hope it gets there all right

Journal Entry 32 by rapturina from Rotterdam, Zuid-Holland Netherlands on Monday, January 19, 2009
What a surprise! Thanks, PepeLePew, finding this book in my mailbox made my day! :D

It was interesting to read the previous comments, people seem to have quite different opinions about this book! It'll go straight to Mt TBR, hopefully I'll get around to reading it soon.

Journal Entry 33 by rapturina from Rotterdam, Zuid-Holland Netherlands on Monday, May 24, 2010
I finished reading this a while ago, but seem to have forgotten to write a journal entry! I liked the book, I thought it was funny. Sure, it seems a bit irresponsible to go drive a motorcycle around NZ without much experience, but surely she's just exaggerating a bit to make for a good story? Either way, I found her antics quite entertaining. I have never been to New Zealand, but her descriptions make me want to go straight away, which is what good travel writing does in my opinion. :D

I gave the book to my sister & her husband as they have been to NZ and might enjoy it!

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