Ever wonder where we got our Stray Journey’s tour names from? Here’s the low-down on the legends – or rather, explorers – behind the names.
Captain James Cook was the famous English skipper of the Endeavour who was largely responsible for charting early maps of New Zealand, and also the first European credited with making landfall as well as a complete circumnavigation of the ‘shaky isles’. Cook was killed in Hawaii in a fight with Hawaiians during his third exploratory voyage in the Pacific in 1779. He left a legacy of scientific and geographical knowledge which was to influence his successors well into the 20th century.
Sir Edmund Hillary was our most famous climber. Along with Tenzing Norgay, he was part of the first successful team to scale Mount Everest on 29 May, 1953. Originally from Auckland, this humble bee keeper went on to do much humanitarian work both in NZ and abroad. You can see his image on our five dollar bill.
Graeme Dingle is a New Zealand outdoor adventurer and mountaineer, also known for his writing and humanitarianism. He has climbed all of the world’s major peaks, was the first to climb all the European North Faces in one season, and the first to traverse New Zealand’s Southern Alps in winter. He has also been involved in numerous Himalayan expeditions and spent two years circumnavigating the Arctic.
Kate Sheppard was our most famous suffragette, as the key person to help New Zealand women win the right to vote in 1893. Her picture is observed on the ten dollar bill as she helped make us the first country in world to introduce universal suffrage. Her work had a considerable impact on women’s suffrage movements in other countries too.
Sir Peter James Blake was a New Zealand yachtsman who won a series of prestigious titles including the Whitbread Round the World Race, the Jules Verne Trophy, successive victories in the America’s Cup from 1994 to 1997 as well as setting the fastest time around the world as co-skipper of ENZA New Zealand. Unfortunately, Blake was shot by pirates while monitoring environmental change on the Amazon River on 5 December 2001. He was 53 years old.
Mackinnon was a New Zealand explorer and tour guide, originally from Argyllshire, Scotland. He emigrated to New Zealand sometime in the 1870s and was employed by the Otago Survey Department to try and find a tourist route into Milford Sound. He was unsuccessful the first time but in the second attempt in 1888 McKinnon discovered a passage between the head of Lake Te Anau and Milford Sound, which was named Mackinnon Pass. The route became known as the Milford Track and this was the first practicable overland route across the South Island.
Named after Julius Von Haast, a German geologist who helped chart various regions of the South Island. He has a mountain pass named after him as well as the world’s largest eagle (now extinct) not to mention 3 small settlements in the South West corner of the West Coast.
Jean Batten, our most famous aviator was born in Rotorua, in 1909. She went on to become the best-known New Zealander of the 1930s, by making a number of record-breaking solo flights across the world. In 1936 she completed the first-ever solo flight from England to New Zealand. Auckland’s International Airport is also named in her honour and you can observe one of the planes she used, hanging from the ceiling inside the terminal.
George Beetham was born in England in 1840 and emigrated to New Zealand with his family when he was 15. He made his first exploration of Mount Ruapehu in 1878 and returned the following year to make a complete ascent of its summit crossing the large southern glacier. He also made a close examination of the hot lake in the great ice plateau, the existence of which had not been previously recorded.
Major Charles Heaphy was a New Zealand explorer and a recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious military award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces. Born in London, England, he was just seventeen years old when he was appointed as resident Artist and Surveyor to the first New Zealand Company expedition, sailing with William Wakefield on the Tory, arriving in what later became known as Wellington late in 1839. In 1841 he joined Arthur Wakefield on the expedition that led to the founding of Nelson. From here he took part in several expeditions to explore the north west corner of the South Island. In 1848 he was appointed goldfield’s commissioner at Coromandel.
Frank Arthur Worsley was a New Zealand sailor and explorer who served on Ernest Shackleton’s Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition of 1914–1916, as captain of the Endurance, which aimed to cross the Antarctic continent. After the Endurance became trapped in ice and wrecked, he and the rest of the expedition sailed three lifeboats to Elephant Island, off the Antarctic Peninsula. From here, he, along with Shackleton and four others, sailed the 22-foot (6.7 m) lifeboat James Caird some 800 miles (1,300 km) across the stormy South Atlantic Ocean, eventually arriving at their intended destination, South Georgia. His navigation skills were crucial to the safe arrival of the James Caird. Shackleton, Worsley and seaman Tom Crean then walked across South Georgia in a 36-hour march to fetch help from Stromness whaling station. He and Shackleton returned to Elephant Island aboard a whaling ship to rescue the remaining members of the expedition.