Story: Subantarctic islands

‘Victoria’ tree, Auckland Island (1st of 3)

‘Victoria’ tree, Auckland Island

The story of the Grafton survivors, who spent 19 months on the Auckland Islands, led to considerable public interest in castaways. In 1865 the state governments of Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland initiated a voyage by HMCS Victoria to search for shipwreck victims. In Erebus Cove the trunk of a rātā tree was chiselled flat and an inscription was carved into the wood: ‘H.M.C.S. VICTORIA NORMAN IN SEARCH OF SHIPWRECKED PEOPLE OCT 13TH 1865’. Remnants of the message were still visible in 2010, when this photo was taken. The crew also released goats and rabbits on Enderby Island to provide food for castaways.

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How to cite this page:

Jock Phillips, 'Subantarctic islands - Castaways and farmers, 1860–1940', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 9 August 2022)

Story by Jock Phillips