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Whales and Dolphins of Aotearoa New Zealand

For centuries whales and dolphins have captured our imaginations. But how much do we really know?

Whales and Dolphins cover

Barbara Todd

Publication date: March 2014
NZ RRP (incl. GST): $49.99
Extent: 304 pages
Format: Paperback, 270 x 205mm
Illustrations: 200+ full-colour and black-and-white images
ISBN: 9781877385711

Buy at Te Papa Store

For centuries whales and dolphins have captured our imaginations. We have revered and mythologised them, hunted them to the brink of extinction and passionately protected them. But how much do we really know?

Marine mammal expert Barbara Todd uses a powerful combination of science and culture to explore whales’ incredible diversity, biology and adaption to life in the oceans. Stories from people whose lives have been inextricably linked with whales – including legendary Māori whale riders, international scientists, conservationists and former whalers – reveal our changing relationships with these majestic creatures.

Hundreds of breathtaking photographs, historical pictures, astonishing facts and informative illustrations – plus a special section detailing every species known in New Zealand waters – bring the whales and dolphins of the South Pacific to life.


'The most beautiful book that has come across my desk in years'. Graham Beattie's review on Jim Mora, National Radio 18 March 2014. Listen to the full interview here.

About the author

Barbara Todd has a degree in education and did post-graduate work in early childhood education. She taught for many years before her love of the sea turned her from the classroom.

She then spent the next 20 years working with research teams studying whales in both the Northern and Southern Hemisphere. She has worked with Orca in the Pacific Northwest, Humpbacks in the Caribbean and Tonga, Sperm whales in New Zealand and Southern Right whales in New Zealand's sub Antarctic Auckland and Campbell islands.

Barbara has written 12 children's books on marine life as well as the book Whales and Dolphins, Kaikoura, New Zealand. She has also provided photographs and written articles for numerous publications, conducted worldwide workshops on whales, produced educational materials and featured in documentaries on whales and dolphins including National Geographic's Divine Dolphins.

In 1987, Barbara and her partner Roger Sutherland started Nature Watch Charters, the first eco-tourism whale-watching venture in New Zealand. Valuable data and photo-id images of the area's whales and dolphins were collected on every trip, and shared with other scientists as well as New Zealand's Department of Conservation. The award-winning company attracted many thousands of people from around the world and inspired documentaries such as TVNZ's Cold Water, Warm Blood.

Author: Barbara Todd
Publication date: March 2014
NZ RRP (incl. GST): $49.99
Extent: 304 pages
Format: Paperback, 270 x 205mm
Illustrations: 200+ full-colour and black-and-white images
ISBN: 9781877385711

Buy at Te Papa Store