Story: Pacific migrations

Ten canoes leave Rarotonga

Ten canoes leave Rarotonga

This computer simulation takes into account actual Pacific currents and winds, and the sailing ability of double-hulled canoes. In the simulation five of the 10 canoes that set off in a south-west direction find New Zealand (the yellow tracks). The other five do not (the green tracks), but are still able to return to East Polynesia by tacking against the prevailing trade winds (the white zigzag tracks).

Using this item

David Bateman Ltd
Reference: Bateman New Zealand historical atlas, ed. Malcolm McKinnon. Auckland: David Bateman in association with Historical Branch, Dept. of Internal Affairs, 1997, plate 10.

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How to cite this page:

Geoff Irwin, 'Pacific migrations - Pacific navigation and exploration', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 2 June 2023)

Story by Geoff Irwin, published 8 Feb 2005, reviewed & revised 8 Feb 2017