The New Zealand Maritime Record - sponsored by the NZ National Maritime Museum


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as a service to Shipping Enthusiasts and Maritime Historians

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This website is developed from the site originally conceived developed & maintained by Marcus Castell and associates. Opinions are those of the various authors of the articles, and are not those of the NZ National Maritime Museum unless specifically noted. Information in this site has been updated to 2002. More information on historic ships (etc) is contained in the MARITIME INDEX website



This section of the Museum's site includes more than 1,500 images, accordingly some pages may require an extended download period.  They are best viewed at a resolution of 768 by 1,024 pixels.

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Migrant Liners in the Antipodean Service

1890     Hinemoa     Shaw Savill's four-masted steel barque Hinemoa was reputed to be the first sailing ship built with freezing-machinery for the transport of mutton from New Zealand, it was later removed and she subsequently carried many thousands of immigrants to New Zealand.

1890     Rangatira     Shaw Savill's first Rangatira broke her tail shaft and drifted for three weeks. She was given up for lost until finally reaching New Guinea, however her good luck was not to last and she eventually succumbed to an Austrian submarine.

1909     Rangatira     Shaw Savill's second Rangatira was designed specifically to carry emigrants to the Antipodes and return to Britain with frozen meat, but the most distinguished role of her short career was to carry ANZAC troops to Gallipoli.

1911     Maunganui     The Cyrenia carried many thousands of Greek and Italian migrants to Australia in the late 1940s and 1950's.  However, as the Maunganui of 1911, her first career had been as a trans-Tasman liner for the Union Steam Ship Company of New Zealand.

1922     Mataroa     Titanic's Third Officer survived to serve on the former Diogenese.  As the Shaw Savill liner Mataroa she carried Jewish survivors to Israel after the second World War and the Auckland Harbour Bridge to that city in her holds.

1938     Aurelia     The sixty year career of the Cogedar liner Aurelia began alongside the German Battleship Bismarck, but her most distinguished role was as the Beaverbrae.  Subsequently named the Romanza and finally the Romantica, her burnt-out hulk still haunts an Alexandrian backwater.

1938     Dominion Monarch     Never surpassed in spacious and under-stated luxury, the Dominion Monarch was the world's largest motor ship.

1948     Orcades     An album of photographs and memorabilia from the Orient Line's first passenger vessel to be launched after the second World War.

1950     Oronsay     An account of the twenty five year career of the Orient Line's second Oronsay.  After 64 line voyages, 37 cruises and 150 ports she ended her days in a Taiwanese Steel Mill.

1953     Arcadia     Constructed in the same berth as the Cunard liner Queen Elizabeth and along side the Royal Yacht Britannia, the much loved Arcadia was the largest P&O passenger ship to be built on the Clyde.  After steaming 2,650,000 miles she was the last of the company's post World War II liners to be scrapped.

1957     Oriana     The last Orient liner was a radical approach to passenger vessel design at that time.  Luridly lit and touted as the "Titanic of Huangpu River", the old gal ekes out her retirement on the Shanghai waterfront.

1961     Northern Star     Although her sister ship is still cruising the West Indies after nearly half a century of service, the short career of the unsuccessful Shaw Savill liner Northern Star ended in 1975.

Historic New Zealand Vessels

1864     Kennedy     The sixty-five year career of the West Coast Gold fields steamer ended on the Bar of the Wairau River near Blenheim, where her hulk can still be seen today.

1875     Hinemoa     In 1875 the New Zealand government raised an international loan of £10 million.  Among their first purchases was a magnificent yacht for themselves. However, most of her 69 year career was spent in more practical service

1883     Waverley     The survival of an historic vessel is sometimes a matter of no more than good luck, such is the case of the last surviving steamer to carry the miners and their supplies to the Gold fields of the South Island's remote West Coast.  The steamer was intended to be sunk to form a breakwater at a river mouth in 1928.  An eighth stranding was to be her saving grace; she broke free during a flood and her picturesque hulk still graces a peaceful lagoon.

1889     Amokura     After serving on the Africa station in the suppression of the slave trade, the Barquentine HMS Sparrow enjoyed an extended second career as a training ship for New Zealand cadets.  By a curious quirk of fate, her hulk now rests barely four kilometres from the Edwin Fox, the last surviving Coolie Trafficker.

1907     Maori     The second Maori was the first vessel designed expressly for the inter-island passenger service.

1913     Wahine     The inter-island ferry saw service as a troopship in three wars, but like her subsequent namesake, ended her 38 year career on a reef.

1925     Monowai     The "Grand Old Lady of the Tasman" began both her careers as a replacement for lost liners.  She would be the last of the Union Company's passenger liners on the Australasian service.

1927     Maui Pomare     Passenger ships with the engines aft are the most common configuration today, but probably the first such vessel was an ugly duckling built for the New Zealand government.

1930     Rangatira     Occasionally a passenger ship forges a special place in the affections of her passengers, such was the case with the elegant Rangatira.

1936     Matua     The Union Steam Ship Company's pocket liner and royal favourite, the Matua.

1939     Viti     With what was possibly the most expansive realm ever to befall the lot of a single individual, Sir Harry needed adequate transport to get around his far-flung colonies and below the Viti's bridge deck, with its own private promenade, was a sumptuous suite panelled in pale Maple.

1947     Hinemoa     The inter-island steamer express Hinemoa was the first passenger vessel built in Britain after World War Two.

1953     Maori     Fitted out for conversion to an armed merchant cruiser, the third Maori carried more than 1.2 million passengers in a trouble free career.

1971     Rangatira     The last inter-island steamer express and distinguished Falklands War veteran, the fifth Rangatira quietly rusts away at Naples.

1962     Aramoana to Aratere     A mere century after the proposal was first mooted, the MV Aramoana finally connected the country's two independent railway services.  Her most recent and trouble plagued successor cost 33 times as much.

A collection of Memorabilia & Ephemera from the vessels of the Union Steam Ship Company of New Zealand.

Preserved New Zealand Ships of Historic Interest

1853     Edwin Fox     The 149 year illustrated Log of the second oldest East Indiaman, one of only two surviving Crimean War troopships, last surviving Australian Convict Transport and Coolie Trafficker and one of only two surviving sailing vessels in the New Zealand emigrant service; the full-rigged sailing ship Edwin Fox.

1907     Lyttelton     The lovingly restored twin screw steam tug Lyttelton.

1925     Hikitia - floating crane in Wellington

1926     Rapaki - floating crane, exhibition ship at the NZ National Maritime Museum

1935     Tug William C Daldy - preserved vessel operational in Auckland     

Alpine Lake Steamers

       1868     Antrim     The 135 year old engine and boiler of the paddle steamer continue to be in use

1872     Ben Lomond     After many years as the oldest vessel on Lloyd's Register, the steamer was towed out into the lake and sunk in 600 feet of water.

1879     Mountaineer     With a saloon that was panelled with Birdseye Maple offset with Red Velvet upholstery, the paddle steamer became a houseboat after 54 years of passenger service.

1911     Earnslaw     This wonderfully maintained twin screw passenger steam ship still plies a remote alpine lake.

          New Zealand Maritime Disasters

1968     Wahine     The disastrously short career of the Wahine of 1966

1986     Mikhail Lermontov     The enigmatic last cruise of the Mikhail Lermentov, one of the largest passenger ships to be sunk in peace-time since the Titanic.

          The Wrecks and Hulks of Lyttelton Harbour

1855     Mullogh     The single screw, Iron hulled steamer Mullogh left the yards of Harland & Wolff's predecessor in the same year that the modern propeller had been patented and she is believed to be the oldest surviving vessel of her kind.  Actively considered for restoration 85 years ago, her rusting hulk now provides photographic opportunities on a remote beach.

1857     Belle Isle     A remarkable feature of the remains of the Bristol built Tea Clipper Belle Isle are the wooden nails in the hull, which at low tide are still clearly visible.

1862     Dolphin     The loss of the Dolphin in 1862 may be the harbour's first known wreck.

1863     Novelty     The Australian schooner Novelty was wrecked off Quail Island in Lyttelton Harbour.  Today there are no visible signs to show where this vessel met her fate.

1863     La Plata     The Norwegian barque La Plata, built for the Donaldson Line's South American service ended her 64 year career on a Lyttelton beach.

1864     Flying Squirrel     Built near Balclutha as a schooner, the Flying Squirrel became the harbour's first hulk in 1902.

1865     Darra     The Tea Clipper Darra of 1865 ended an eighty five year career disguised as Canterbury's first emigrant ship. Today her bones lie on Quail Island.

1869     May Queen     The Shaw Savill emigrant ship May Queen originally cost £22,000. Her career ended on the rocks in Lyttelton Harbour as a £7 wreck.

1875     Dorset     Little is known of the 78 foot Invercargill ketch Dorset, but her hulk can still be seen at low water.

1875     Frank Guy     The three masted Australian barquentine Frank Guy was beached in 1937.

1876     Raupo     Launched as the Peru, renamed the Louisa Craig and then the Raupo, the Iron hulled barque ended a sixty year career as a coal hulk at Lyttelton.

1883     Defender     The steam powered motor torpedo boat H.M.S. Defender lies buried on the beach at Purau Bay.

1891     Wai-iti     The former Norwegian barque Signe only made a single voyage as the Wai-iti.  Badly damaged in a freak mishap, she served as a Lyttelton coal hulk until being scuttled in Starvation Bay in 1935.

1909     Breeze     The Dutch built cargo steamer Breeze lies in a small bay near the Northern Head of Lyttelton harbour.

Lyttelton     The first vessel to bear the name Lyttelton was a steam lighter.  During the New Year's Day Regatta of 1907 she was beached on Quail Island.

The Queen     Other than her current location at the ship's graveyard on Quail Island, nothing is yet known about this wooden sailing vessel.

Distinguished Ocean Liners; Past and Future

1935     Normandie     A unique pictorial sequence depicting the destruction of the ultimate liner Normandie.

(Note: the pages relating to Queen Mary 2 have been removed from this site as they have been superceded by a wealth of up to date information available on the net by Google search)

Links to other sites about ships with a specific NZ connection

RMS REMUERA - NZ Shipping Company with brief details of other ships of the name


Other Site Links

NZMARITIME INDEX - site operated by the NZNMM. Indexes articles and pictures of ships and ships officers

NORTHERN STEAMSHIP COMPANY - site operated by NZNMM. Based on 2002 exhibition at the NZNMM


Note: As this site was developed by others, the NZNMM does not know the copyright of all illustrations used in this site. We believe that the appropriate approvals have, where necessary, been obtained, but any concerns should be raised with the webmaster along with full details of copyright ownership etc.



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