Ethan and Amy are voyaging to New Zealand in 1867 with their mother. They are shipwrecked after a fierce storm. Believing their mother has drowned, they find themselves thrown together with Meg, a girl who survives through petty crime; and Tama, a young Maori slave. The four join forces, live hand to mouth and become involved in an endless series of dangerous skirmishes. A gripping and colourful historical drama set against the land wars of the 1860s. The New World contrasts dramatically with Victorian culture but it is foremost a story of adventure.