Kaipara Shipwrecks

(Revised DRAFT List subject to change)
Northland History Digitisation Project

1839 TORY
December Ran aground damage sustained. Repaired and returned to Port
Nicholson (Owned by The New Zealand Company)

1840 SIREN Feb 4
Brig 141 tons Struck the Tory Shoal when entering the Kaipara Harbour
No Lives lost
19 Cattle are reported as being landed
Captain Munro (confirmed by research in the Sydney Papers of the time
not Captain Munn as put in some accounts)
Further notes: This vessel was refloated . Noted as being at the Bay of
Islands “Siren,timber,leaky. “Then later noted as again sailing between
Sydney, Melbourne & Auckland. She was later noted in 1842 in
consecutive reports as being “laid up at Russell’s Wharf” Sydney harbour
Australia. D. Egan the vessel’s owner was noted as sailing her during 1841
in the Sydney Gazette & New South Wales Advertiser after her
grounding. Russell was noted as a boat builder. We can only assume the
Siren was broken up at Russell’s wharf then her timber used for building
other vessels. She had been put up for auction a few months before her
grounding at Kaipara in 1839 and was purchased by D.Egan. The vessel
was described as being made from teak.

1840 AURORA April 27
Barque (Full Rigged Ship) of 500 tons
Cargo Kauri Spars
Wrecked on a bank at the harbour entrance when leaving for Hokianga.
Total loss
Captain Theophillus Heale


1841 SOPHIA PATE August


Wrecked at the Kaipara Heads
Loss of 21 lives
Carrying settlers for the Wairoa District
Captain George Harrison

Barque 500 tons
Cargo saved. No lives lost
Sold where she lay then returned to Auckland.
Rebuilt and renamed as the Charles.
Sailed from Auckland for England 16th September 1847
Captain Howlett

1851 L’ALCEMENE June 3
French Corvette 36 guns 3 masted Vessel
Total wreck on Beach North Kaipara (Baylys Gorge)
Survivors made Okara, where rescued, transferred to Auckland
Captain Comte Harcourt

1853 HELENA September 16

1853 POSTHUMUS September 21

1855 RESOLUTION September 14

1863 SALCOMBE CASTLE September 15

Barque 265 Tons
Total wreck after hitting beach just south Kaipara Heads
Captain Brown

Total wreck
Carrying Ballast
All lives saved
Captain Bruce

Barque 383 tons
Total loss at Kaipara Heads
7 crew lost
Bound for England cargo of timber and Kauri gum

115 Ton Schooner
Ran aground in heavy SW winds three miles south of Maunganui Bluff
Total Loss


Master, Mr Bruce

1864 ADVANCE August

1864 LOTUS August 13

1865 PETREL March 28

1865 MAID OF KENT August 16

28 Ton Cutter
Came ashore near Moremenui Gully
Total Loss

81 Ton Schooner
Kaipara Bar
Built at Kaukapakapa Kaipara
Known as the pride of the Kaipara
Captain Nelson

19 ton Cutter
Came ashore 18 miles south of Kaipara Heads
Total Loss

48 Ton Schooner
Left Napier bound for Kaipara – never seen again
Sternboard washed ashore one mile north of Maunganui Bluff on August
Total Loss


1866 BONNETA September 26

1867 MOSQUITO September 11

Schooner 31 Tons
Beached 8 miles south of Kaipara Heads
Cargo of grass seed
Captain Phipps

Cutter 28 Tons
Off Kaipara Bar

Sank in rough weather near Whakapirau
Boat’s builder Thomas Condon drowned
Skippered and owned by Lionel de Labrosse Pahi

1869 LITTLE FRED February 28
Schooner 131 Tons


3 masted
5 miles north Kaipara Entrance
Total wreck
Captain Davies

1871 MIDGE December 14

1874 HERCULES March 23

1874 ALBION April 18



1876 STRATHNAVER September 30

1876 MELAINE January 15

Stranded about half a mile south of Poutu Point
Total loss
Master D. A. Stuart

Stranded Poutu Point
Total Loss
Cargo Cut Timber
Master George Smith

Stranded Kaukapakapa Creek
Total Loss
Master James Robinson

Schooner 55 tons
Crew of 5 all lost
14 Miles North Kaipara
Captain R. Church

235 ton Barque
Mary Catherine Bank
Captain J. Payne

53 Ton Schooner
Capsized total loss
1 Life lost on Bar
Master William McDonald

Stranded 2 Miles off South Head
Total Loss
Cargo Ballast
Master B. Creagh


1877 FLORA January

1877 FERONIA May 16


1878 MERLIN July 9

1878 KING OSCAR October 5

1880 PRAIRIE January 5

1880 CLARA HARGREAVE September 3

1880 JAMES A. STEWART October 7

1881 LADY DON January 2

Struck the Mary Catherine Bank
Severely damaged

315 Ton Barque
Stranded Total loss inside heads
Cargo Ballast
Master J. Mitchelson-White

Total loss Kaipara Heads

41 Ton Schooner
2 Lives lost on Bar
Master A. Craig

Stranded, slight damage, Tory Shoal
Master A. Black

Stranded total loss Kaipara Heads
Master J.C. Hiscock

338 Ton Barque
Stranded, slight damage middle bank, Kaipara Harbour
Master J. James

179 Ton Brigantine
Stranded North Spit 7 loves lost total loss
Cargo Timber
Master J. McClellin

68 Ton Schooner
Stranded Waipoua River


No Lives Lost
Total Loss
Cargo of Totara Piles
Master Peter Pullman

1881 RONA August 12


1882 EAST LOTHIAN January 17

1882 VINDEX March 29

1882 GRASMERE May 11

1882 TOREA July 1

1882 CABERFEIDH August 24

Foundered 20 miles south of Kaipara Heads
Total loss
All 5 crew lost
Hull washed ashore

173 Ton Brigantine
Stranded partial loss North Spit
Master M. V. Hurley

348 Ton Barque
Stranded slight damage Tory Shoal
Master C. Propley

Stranded total loss North Spit
All saved
Cargo Timber
Master J. Stolling

465 Ton Barque
Stranded Partial loss Kaipara Harbour
Master M. H. French

Stranded trifling damage Kaipara Harbour
Anchor Chain fouled
Master John Grundy

333 Ton Barque
Stranded Tory Shoal no damage
Disregarded Signalman’s instructions
Master F. Ohlson




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