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South Africa to New Zealand before Kiwis flew!

New Zealand Bound

A few ships on route from England to NZ did stop at Cape of Good Hope and picked up passengers. 

The Daily Southern cross, newspaper, 29 Nov. 1862, page 11They left South Africa for what they thought were better opportunities in Australia or New Zealand at the time. In the mid 1860s there was quite a lot of emigrating from South Africa to Aus/NZ as there was active recruiting schemes going on down under. The ships mostly sailed from Cape Town. Some from Port Elizabeth. Many ships bound for Aus/NZ from England stopped over at the Cape and offloaded and took on passengers there. 

The Southern Cross Tuesday 24 January 1865
On the first hint of an offer of a free passage and a gift of land in New Zealand, there was a complete commotion in the Cape Colony. The office of the agent in Cape Town was absolutely mobbed. About 1,2000 souls were chosen. They have now arrived in this colony. If he prefers to pay part of his passage money, or the whole of it, he will receive an equivalent in land of the best quality in one of the finest parts of the most rising colony in the world.

The brig Susanne sailed from Capetown on October 6 1862 under command of Captain P.J. Moller and arrived in Auckland with 84 souls on November 27th 1862 in the Waitemata after a passage from Table Bay of fifty days. 

The Southern Cross Saturday November 26 1862
Shipping Intelligence
Port of Auckland - Arrivals
Nov. 25 1862
Susanne, brig, from Cape of Good Hope.
The Hamburg brig, "Susanne," 255 tons, Capt. P.J. Moller, arrived in Auckland yesterday, from Cape Town, Cape of Good Hope. She brings 84 immigrants. Chief officer, Mr Thomas Menar. Second officer, Mr R.K. Menar. She left Table Bay on the 6th ultimo, and has been fifty days out. Strong N. and N.W. winds were experienced throughout the voyage. Ran down her easting in parallel of 50 south. The Three Kings were made on Friday at midnight; North Cape was passed the following day. No vessel was sighted during the voyage, until arrival at the Bay of Islands, where, on Sunday, she sighted and boarded the American whaler "Roman," 40 months out, with 2,900 barrels of oil, and had at the time two large whales alongside. She is bound home. This is the first vessel arriving at this port direct from the Cape of Good Hope (war vessels expected). She is in good trim, and is very roomy for her tonnage. She brings 316 boxes of rosins, and 100 casks Cape wine. She belongs to the well known firm of J.C. Goddefroy and Sons, of Hamburg. After discharging her passengers and cargo she will proceed to Valaparaiso. Mr Charles Petschler is agent. Direct. 

The exodus from the Cape of Good Hope.

During the latter part of 1864, was due to a recruitment effort held in Cape Town and Port Elizabeth by agents of the New Zealand Immigration organization, under the Waikato Immigration Scheme of the Auckland Provincial Council, and the emigrants were given passage-free accommodation (steerage) in the chartered sailing vessels from Cape Colony to New Zealand. On arrival, the majority of the new settlers received land grants from the newly confiscated lands of the Waikato Maoris, which had been subdued after the 'land wars'. These lands were approximately, 40 kms south of the port of Auckland in the now known district of Pukekohe near Manukau Bay on the west coast of North Island. The scheme was part of an attempt by the General Government to bring large numbers of immigrants to the North Island. It was felt that the establishment of European settlements would help to consolidate the Government's position after the Maori Wars, and facilitate the development of the regions involved, to the mutual advantage of the general and provincial governments. The cost of such settlements would be recovered from the sale of neighbouring. land. Approximately 2000 immigrants altogether would now arrive from the United Kingdom, and 1 2000 European settlers from the Cape of Good Hope. There is no full account of this exodus to New Zealand in the Cape Archives. 

An analysis of the passenger lists for the main six ships chartered, indicate the families recruited in Cape Colony had only been in this country a few years, as the adults originated from Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England, which a sprinkling of German and Scandinavians, but it was evident that the minor-aged children were mostly born at the Cape of Good Hope. 

A brief summary of the chartered vessels, with the numbers of emigrants from Cape Town and/or Port Elizabeth. 

Ship 		Departed 		Departed Date  Arrived Auckland 
Alfred 		Cape of Good Hope 	Sep 1864 	18 Nov 1864 
Eveline 	Cape of Good Hope     2 Dec 1864 	22 Jan 1865 	325 passengers
Maori 		Cape of Good Hope 	Oct 1864 	23 Dec 1864 
Reiherstieg  	Cape of Good Hope 	Oct 1864 	24 Dec 1864 
Steinwaerder 	Cape of Good Hope 	Aug 1864 	18 Oct 1864 	200 souls 	aka Steinwarder
The Arrival of the Eveline at Auckland in January 1865.
The Southern Cross
23rd January 1865 page 4

Ships of the Waikato Immigration Scheme 

Southern Cross Feb. 23 1865
Arrival of the Eveline from the Cape of Good Hope.
The Eveline, 814 tons, Captain James Taylor, arrived in harbour yesterday afternoon with Government emigrants from the Cape of Good Hope. She took her departure from thence on the morning of the 2nd of December, and experienced fine weather in running down her easting. She ran down as far as 500 S, and sighted the Snares, the first land made after leaving, on the 8th January. The passage from land to land was made in 35 days. Strong northerly gales have prevailed on the coast. The Eveline brings some cargo and 325 Government immigrants. The vessel is consigned to Messrs Cruickshank, Smart and Co. The following is a list of cargo, and passengers names.
Passengers (partial extract)
.....William Law, Eliza, Mary Ann, Rosanna, Arthur, and Agnes Niddrie
Michael Radd
Patrick Griffin
Thomas and Mary Ann Kanaly
David, Mary Ann, James, Elizabeth, and Mary Ann Niddrie.
James and Catherine Gill
Alexander and Ann Hay
John, Bella, Robert and Jeminia Fraser
Andrew Callagen
Thomas, Bridget, Lizzie, Ellen and Sarah Brown
John Bridget
Mary and High McCarthy
Robert McLaughlin
James. Mary, Mary, Henry and John Coleman
Henry, Frances Jane, Henrietta Mary, Stephen Thomas and Mary S. Wells
M. Hallinen
Michael, Margaret and Bridget Tobin
George, Wilhelmina, Margaret, Sarah, George, Paul and Wilhelmina Purchase
James and Mary Ann Crone
Margaret, Sarah, George, Paul, and Ann Warren
James Bridget
James and Nicholas Wilson
Alexander, Ellen, Jessie, William, Alexander and Thomas Chaplain
Phillip Purcell
John, Jemima, Catherine, Thomas and Jemima Watson
Francis Tout
Richard Graham
William, Sarah, John, Sarah, Ellen, Margaret and Elizabeth Charains....

Cargo - 10 bales hops, Buchols and Co. 118 boxes raisins, 3 octaves and 2 quarter-casks wine, 10 cases old tom, 5 cases wine, 1 ? brandy, order.

, 283 tons, Captain: Burnett, sailed Cape of Good Hope - arrived Port Nicholson 8th December 1841---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Ann left Gravesend England 5th Oct 1847 for Ireland, left there 25th Dec 1847, stopped five days in the Cape of Good Hope for repairs, arriving in Auckland 17 May 1848. 

From the Port Nic. Advertiser
Tuesday 27 December 1842 
The Thomas Sparkes, from London, for New Zealand, struck on the Whale Rock when entering Table Bay, and became leaky; she was about to discharge cargo, to undergo repairs.

Friday February 3 1843 
Arrived January 31 - Ship Thomas Sparks, 498 tons, A1, Robert Glaister Sharp, from London, via the Cape; Ridgway, Guyton & Co., agents. Passengers - H.W. Petre and Lady, J. Hersthouse and Lady, J. Wilkinson and Lady, Rev. J. O'Reilly, J. Oates, J. Christian, J.D. Newbgin, A.W. Wilkinson, D. Williams, Surgeon.- Intermediate, 5 - Steerage 55

Vessel: CLIFTON 
Captain's name: KETTLEWELL 
Date of departure: 26 September 1847 
Port of departure: Galway and London via Cape of Good Hope 
Date of arrival: 23 January 1848 and 26 January 1848 
Port of arrival: Auckland 
Tonnage: 867 
The Southern Cross 29 January 1848, p 2 says it carried 75 New Zealand Fencibles, with 70 Women & 130 children.
The War Office File 43-89 says it carried the 5th Detachment, Royal New Zealand Fencibles, comprising: 79 men, 72 women, 161 children, Lieutenant W.A. Gray. 


Captain's name: Thomas Mchurraith 
Port of departure: Cape Of Good Hope 
Date of arrival: February 2, 1852 
Vessel type: Barque 
Tonnage: 342 
Source: Southern Cross 3 February 1852 

The New Zealander Wednesday 4th February 1852 pg 2
Arrival Auckland
Feb. 1 - Clarinda, barque, 342 tons, Captain Thomas McIlwraith, sailed from Cape of Good Hope on November 23, under sealed orders to proceed for a cargo of guano, on the Coast of N.S. Wales. On opening his instructions in 62 deg. East longitude, Captain McIlwraith found his destination to be Lady Elliott's Island, in latitude 24 deg. 6 min. south, longitude 152 deg. 45 min. east, close to Great Sandy Island, on the east coast of New South Wales, for which he accordingly steered.- Bain & Burtt, agents. The unfortunate wreck of the Bolton Abbey on the island and the narrow escape of the Countess of Minto, when she was blown out to sea with only two hands on board, more recently the brig Arab, Captain Palmer, also from the Cape of Good Hope arrived at Sydney from Lady Elliott's Island, with 15 tons of an article resembling guano, and reported the arrival at the Island of the ship, Sea, from Port Phillip, the Captain of which, after testing the supposed guano, immediately declared it worthless and bore away for Callao. Captain McIlwraith's report. "Monday, January 12, 1852 - At daybreak made Lady Elliott's Island. Came to anchor in nine fathoms, on hard coral bottom, with fifty fathoms on best bower. Landed through heavy surf to examine the island. Found the wrecks of two vessels on shore, with every appearance of the crews having recently left, a boat partially built, cooking apparatus, and tents, also, found fifty bags piled upon the beach, filled with a soft mossy substance, apparently decaying vegetation. Under these circumstances the Clarinda bore away for Auckland.


Otago Witness 14 Jan. 1865 pg16Vessel: SUSANNE 
Captain's name: J P Moller 
Port of departure: Cape Of Good Hope 
Date of arrival: June 17, 1863 
Port of arrival: Auckland 
Vessel type: Brigantine 
Tonnage: 255 
Source: Southern Cross 18/06/1863 


Captain's name: Prince Gilpen 
Port of departure: Cape Of Good Hope 
Date of arrival: May 21, 1864 
Port of arrival: Auckland 
Vessel type: Barque 
Tonnage: 376 
Source: Southern Cross 23/05/1864 


Vessel: ALFRED 
Captain's name: Decker 
Port of departure: Cape Of Good Hope 
Date of arrival: November 16, 1864 
Port of arrival: Auckland 
Vessel type: Barque 
Tonnage: 476 
Source: Southern Cross 17/18.11.1864 


Captain's name: Oehlmann 
Port of departure: Cape Of Good Hope 
Date of arrival: Dec. 24, 1864 
Brigantine , tonnage: 200 
Source: Southern Cross 26/12/1864. 
Sailed Cape Town October 26th 1864 - arrived Auckland December 24th 1864. On Christmas Eve, the "Reihersteig" - the third immigrant ship to arrive within three days - dropped anchor in Auckland Harbour. 


Daily Southern Cross, 24 March 1866, Page 4
The arrival was the barque Frederick Bassil, Captain Whitta, on the 20th, from the Cape of Good Hope, with immigrants. She left Cape Town on the 18th of January, with a small cargo of hops and 80 passengers, who all arrived in excellent health after a passage of 60 days. The Frederick Bassil was formerly named me Nil Desperandum and William Porter, and was one of the seventeen vessels driven ashore at Cape Town during the heavy gale in May last. Her wreck was purchased by her present owners, Messrs. De Pass, Spence, and Co., of Cape Town, for �350 ; and, after undergoing an extensive overhaul, re-rigging, &c., she was laid on for this port. Her passengers, are chiefly of the agricultural and artizan class, and bond fide immigrants, having received no assistance from the Government, either here or at the Cape. Addresses and testimonials were presented to the captain and chief officer on the arrival of the vessel, the former receiving a handsome gold watch, and the latter a silver watch and guard.

Can anyone tell me if there was any particular reason that families who had emigrated to South Africa should then decide to go on to Australia or New Zealand during the 1870s? Did families "break their journey" in South Africa, particularly if they weren't comfortable on board ship for too long?  Any family migration patterns? email

March 2007 E.H.
You asked for reasons people left South Africa for New Zealand in the 1860's - I can speculate based on my Irish ancestors that they were able only to join schemes for South Africa when they really would have preferred to go to either Australia or New Zealand. Some of my Irish Slattery's went to Oz via South Africa but then later returned to South Africa to settle. On another family line my great-grandmother was born in Wellington but 'lived most of her life' in South Africa. So perhaps the answer to your question would be simply - greener grass!