ISBN: 9781921497155

The Antipodean Express

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Available on backorder

A journey by train from New Zealand to Spain

Due for release  in May 2024


A railway adventure tracing a journey from the author’s home in New Zealand to its exact antipodes in rural Spain. The narrative recounts 89 consecutive days of travel with 33 trains through 19 countries. It describes most of the great trains of the Eurasian hemisphere, from New Zealand’s Northern Explorer to the Eurostar and everything in between. Full of people, memories, history, and places – anyone interested in travel, trains, food, music and cultures will love taking this armchair journey

Specifications: Paperback | 235 x 155mm / 9.25 x 6.25 in | 296 Pages

An epic journey from New Zealand to Spain, celebrating the enduring romance of travel by train.

When Gregory Hill set out to travel from his home in Wellington, New Zealand, to its antipodes – the furthest point from it on the globe – he knew it would be an incredible adventure. What he didn’t anticipate was that his journey would be one of the last of its kind before pandemic and war would make such an undertaking impossible. This turned what could simply be a captivating travel log into a meaningful reminder of the joy and privilege of setting out on an epic adventure.

The journey of The Antipodean Express takes in 89 days of travel, on 33 trains, through 19 countries. It begins in New Zealand’s North Island, weaves past the volcanoes of Java, through East Asia and on into Europe. From hilarious miscommunications in China to cultural immersion at the Bolshoi Ballet, there are stop-offs with half a world’s worth of impressions, people, history, food, music and culture. Hill also describes most of the great trains of the Eurasian hemisphere, from New Zealand’s Northern Explorer to the Eurostar, and everything in between.

The culmination is a day spent in the obscure Spanish village of Alaejos, locating the exact antipodes of the author’s living room. The perfect end to a vast adventure, and a last look at an era of such ambitious journeys.

Gregory Hill, born in Auckland, diverted from his country’s obsession with sport to pursue a passion for the French horn, which eventually led to his career in the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. Despite living in a country with a basic passenger train service, he nurtured a fascination for long-distance train travel, which he finally indulged in after his retirement.
In the year between ending his career and the world coming to a standstill, Gregory undertook an epic journey by rail from New Zealand to Spain. He now lives in Wellington with his violinist wife Anne, cherishing his two adult sons and two grandsons.

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