"The Zealandia, a fine iron clipper-built ship of 1116 tons, was built for the Shaw, Savill Co., in 1869, and made her maiden voyage to Lyttleton, arriving there on November 20, 1869, in command of Captain Henry Rose, late of the Mermaid, making a good run of 84 days from Gravesend and 76 land to land. The Zealandia was a beautiful ship, especially designed to carry passengers. Her saloon was spacious and lofty, and the cabins were unusually large and well ventilated, having extra large portholes to them. The decoration of the saloon was extremely chaste. She had some special cabins for families, and a ladies saloon. The second cabin was on deck and the berths were larger than usual and well lighted. The ship sailed from Gravesend on August 18, crossed the Equator September 23, the meridian of Tasmania November 11, where northerly winds were met with, and continued until reaching Stewart Island on November 15. She was delayed with light winds on the coast, and sighted the Peninsula on teh 19th, arriving in port the following morning.
"Captain James White, late of the Blue Jacket, and more recently of the Charlotte Andrews, brought the ship out on her second voyage, arriving at Lyttleton on December 24, 1870, after a fine weather passage on 89 days. Running from the Cape to the New Zealand coast the Zealandia, in seventeen consecutive days, covered the extraordinary distance of 5044 miles, averaging 296 miles 3-5 miles per diem, nearly twice the distance from Queenstown (Ireland) to America, thus proving to be one of the fastest ships afloat. In December, in ten days, she ran 3000 miles. On the next trip to Lyttleton, in 1871, Captain White made the passage in 91 days. On the homeward passage Captain White was washed overboard and drowned.
"The Zealandia had an eventful career, at one time being in collision with another ship in mid-ocean, about a month after leaving London docks, and on other occasions encountered terrific gales in the Southern Ocean. .......
"The Zealandia, after completing 31 voyages to New Zealand, was sold to the Russians. She was stranded in 1911, and sold to a firm in Novia Scotia."
It was on her tenth voyage to New Zealand, arriving in Wellington on 19 October 1879 after 104 days at sea, that the Askew family reached New Zealand.
References: "White Wings" - Sir Henry Brett