The Half-Gallon Quarter-Acre Pavlova Paradise

The Half-Gallon Quarter-Acre Pavlova Paradise[1] was a popular book by Austin Mitchell, published by Whitcombe and Tombs (Christchurch, 1972), with illustrations by Les Gibbard. It provided a witty, satirical description of life in 1960s New Zealand,[2] and Kiwi culture.

The Half-Gallon Quarter-Acre Pavlova Paradise
The Half Gallon Quarter Acre Pavlova Paradise cover.jpg
AuthorAustin Mitchell
CountryNew Zealand
PublisherWhitcombe and Tombs
Publication date
LC ClassDU427 .M53

Described as "a celebrated vision of New Zealand as heaven on earth",[3] the book was a great success in New Zealand. The phrase "Half-Gallon Quarter-Acre Pavlova Paradise" soon became part of the New Zealand vernacular, with the term "quarter-acre pavlova paradise" being included in the Dictionary of New Zealand English.[4] Mitchell revisited New Zealand 30 years after writing his original volume, and motivated by the social changes he observed, he penned a sequel entitled Pavlova Paradise Revisited.[5]


  • "Half Gallon", popularly called the "Half G", was the standard size of a flagon of beer then sold in New Zealand pubs
  • "Quarter Acre" referred to the ubiquitous suburban section of land on which most Kiwis built their homes
  • "Pavlova", a popular New Zealand dessert

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Mitchell, Austin Vernon (1972). The Half-Gallon Quarter-Acre Pavlova Paradise. Christchurch: Whitcombe and Tombs. ISBN 978-0-7233-0349-7.
  2. ^ "The 1960s". New Zealand History.
  3. ^ Deverson, Tony (August 2000). "From Staten Landt to Aotearoa New Zealand: The Naming of 'Pacific's Triple Star'" (PDF). NZ Words. New Zealand Dictionary Centre (4): 3.
  4. ^ Orsman, H. W., ed. (1997). The Dictionary of New Zealand English: a dictionary of New Zealandisms on historical principles. Auckland: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-558380-9..
  5. ^ Mitchell, Austin Vernon (2002). Pavlova Paradise Revisited: A guide to the strange but endearing land where Kiwis live. Auckland: Penguin Books. ISBN 978-0-14-301826-1.

Further readingEdit