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  • Discover Captain Cook’s New Zealand

    Captain James Cook set sail from England in August 1768 on a brave voyage to the South Pacific and ‘unknown southern lands’, arriving in New Zealand on 8 October 1769.

    The 250th anniversary of HMS Endeavour’s expedition is being marked worldwide and Silver Fern Holidays has created a 2019 Captain Cook themed holiday to celebrate. Our itinerary includes historic Endeavour landing sites and adds the Southern Alps to create an amazing 29-day tour.

    The places, monuments and museums that tell the story of Cook’s voyage may be enjoyed throughout 2019, and we can tailor-make a tour for any departure date and duration. Additional events are planned for October to December 2019 which will attract an international audience including, so it is said, a Royal visitor!

    Who discovered New Zealand?

    Polynesian explorers arrived in New Zealand by canoe 700 years ago, and named it Aotearoa, which means ‘the land of the long white cloud’. Dutchman Abel Tasman was the first European to discover New Zealand in 1642, but after a violent encounter with Maori ‘waka’ off South Island, he set sail without landing. 127 years later, Cook’s landing in Poverty Bay changed the history of New Zealand and Britain, when he became the first European to discover this spectacular country!

    How is New Zealand marking the 250th anniversary of Cook’s voyage?

    Events focus on North Island where Cook’s first landings were made. In New Zealand the commemorations are called Tuia – Encounters 250. Tuia means ‘to weave’ or ‘bind together’ and the story of the Maori people is integral to the 2019 festivals.

    A full-sized replica of Endeavour sails to New Zealand in 2019, arriving in Gisborne in early October, sailing into the Bay of Plenty, Mercury Bay, around the Coromandel peninsula to the Bay of Islands. By November, Endeavour will reach the Marlborough Sounds to anchor in Ship’s Cove, Cook’s favourite New Zealand anchorage.

    Follow our blog for Captain Cook 250 updates and contact us to discuss visiting New Zealand in 2019.