Story: European discovery of New Zealand

One of de Surville’s anchors

One of de Surville’s anchors

In December 1769, as James Cook was rounding the northern tip of the North Island, the French explorer Jean François Marie de Surville was in the same waters. After missing what would have been a historic meeting with Cook, de Surville anchored in Doubtless Bay. In a storm his ship, the St Jean Baptiste, lost three anchors. Two of them were recovered from the seabed in the 1970s. They are among the oldest relics of early European contact with New Zealand. Here a diver examines one of the anchors on the sea floor.

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Alexander Turnbull Library, Kelly Tarlton Collection (PAColl-0412)
Reference: PAColl-0412-1

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

John Wilson, 'European discovery of New Zealand - French explorers', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 21 May 2024)

Story by John Wilson, published 8 Feb 2005, updated 1 May 2016