This is a photograph of a painting on loan to Dargaville Museum from Mr Noel Hilliam. The west coast of Northland was known as the shipwreck coast. The bars of Kaipara and Hokianga harbours took many ships, and others were driven onto the coast. The Alcmène was a French warship headed for Whangaroa from Tasmania. On 3 June 1851 the captain miscalculated, and the ship beached on Northland’s barren coast. A group walked 35 nautical miles to a village, and local Māori carried out a rescue. Twelve members of the crew died.
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Oil painting by Bet Downey
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