The Half Gallon Quarter Acre Pavlova Paradise

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The Half Gallon Quarter Acre Pavlova Paradise
The Half Gallon Quarter Acre Pavlova Paradise cover.jpg
Author Austin Mitchell
Country New Zealand
Publisher Whitcombe and Tombs
Publication date
ISBN 978-0-7233-0349-7
OCLC 714880
LC Class DU427 .M53

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.

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 Australian and New Zealand dessert - essentially a cake-sized meringue base topped with whipped cream and fruit, named after the Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ ISBN 978-0-7233-0349-7
  2. ^ : The 1960s
  3. ^ NZWords pamphlet, pages 3,4 (no. 4, August 2000), by Tony Deverson and the New Zealand Dictionary Centre
  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. ^ ISBN 978-0-14-301826-1