Cook and Endeavour discover and chart New Zealand 1769-1770

Cook and Endeavour discover and chart New Zealand 1769-1770

New Zealand was the next target in Cook’s sights, he had secret orders to explore and determine whether the existence of a southern continent that had been believed to exist by geographical philosophers could be verified…

  • Endeavour set sail westwards in the search for New Zealand
  • On the 7th October a lookout on the mast head (Nicholas Yound was he your ancestor?) yelled out “Land-ho” or some such and it was as a result of this that the first point of land sighted on New Zealand was called “Young Nick’s Head” New Zealand.
  • Rounding the North Island, Cook came into a large inlet on the 16th January, 1770. On the 31st January, Cook named the inlet “Queen Charlotte Sound”, hoisted the Union Jack and took possession of nearby lands “in the Name and for the use His Majesty”.
  • From a hill above, Cook saw the waterway that is now Cook Strait and began to understand that New Zealand comprised two main islands.
  • Cook and his crew circumnavigated the islands charting and proving the two island theory conceived and observed from the hill and vantage point.
The question then remained having been away several years already, what to do next. Cook discussed the options with his officers, whether to return to England via Cape Horn which with the approaching winter was likely to bring bad weather or alternatively to set for home via the Cape of Good Hope…

James Cook an intriguing character pushed onwards…his navigational charts are still used today the measurements with basic instruments were so accurate…no guesses where he goes next…

Do you know where Van Diemans Land is? For related posts on James Cook click on his name below

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