The Sussex Wildlifer
In the Footsteps of my Daughter: A Wildlife Odyssey


I tried hard to interest a publisher in this book, but was unsuccessful. Rather than consigning it to the dustbin, I feel that it contains sufficient of interest that there may be a place for it on the Internet. It details a 169-day wildlife odyssey to research endangered wildlife, visiting the Cook Islands, the Fijian Islands, New Zealand, including Stewart Island and many of the small 'special' wildlife havens, Australia, Lord Howe Island, Tasmania and Singapore . Details of the amazing number of endemic birds on Maria Island, off Tasmania, are bound to excite and arouse the interest of even the most cynical bird lover. It gives details about how the trip was planned, where to see some of the best wildlife available in the countries visited, where to stay and where to eat. I hope that it imparts the joyous feelings experienced by my wife and me as we journeyed around-the-world; the pure joy of doing something never done before, every single day for five and a half months. Life will never be the same again. I hope that my book will encourage someone in the latter years of their life to embark on a great adventure, but younger people may also find it of interest when planning their gap year. It should come as no surprise that the greatest wildlife areas are also located in the most beautiful parts of the world.

I believe that although my trip was planned with wildlife locations in mind and specifically where endangered wildlife still clung to life, anyone planning a trip to the other side of the world will find my book of interest. Not only does it set out a terrific itinerary, but it tells of two outstandingly good, but reasonably priced, meals we had, the first on Rarotonga and the second in the northern suburbs of Cairns in Australia. Indeed, the meal I had on Rarotonga ranks as one of the best meals I have ever eaten. I also explain just how easy it is to back-pack around New Zealand, staying in hostels, small B&Bs and, where absolutely necessary, motels and small hotels and why this is infinitely better than going on an organised tour or driving yourself around in a camper van.

Meeting the local people was such a memorable experience. The friendliest people we have ever met anywhere in the world have been the native Fijians. Mind you, the New Zealanders we met ran them quite a close second. They never failed to acknowledge and greet us and always seemed genuinely interested in us and what we were doing.

My all time favourite place, however, was Lord Howe Island, the most magical location imaginable and a wildlife paradise. In parts of the world where the word paradise tends to be greatly over-used, LHI ranks very high indeed.