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Browse the 1966 Encyclopaedia of New Zealand
Graphic: An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand 1966.


This information was published in 1966 in An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand, edited by A. H. McLintock. It has not been corrected and will not be updated.

Up-to-date information can be found elsewhere in Te Ara.




Scarcely less tragic was the loss 13 years later of the ship Wairarapa, of 1,786 tons, which was wrecked on Great Barrier Island, whose rock-bound shores have claimed nearly two score victims, large and small. Of the 186 passengers and 65 of a crew who left Sydney in the Wairarapa, 121 were drowned. On 29 October 1894, while 10 to 15 miles off course approaching the Hauraki Gulf, and steaming at full speed through a dense fog, the ship ran bow on into a steep 800 ft cliff. The impact smashed boats and rafts, and a great many people were still on board when the breaking seas swept away the funnel and the bridge, and washed the decks clear of life. The captain's certificate was suspended for a year when a Court of Inquiry found that he failed to take the correct point of departure at Three Kings Islands.

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