History lovers are getting a jump start on Tuia – Encounters 250 commemorations with a day sailing and exploring sites from Lt Cook’s visit to the Bay of Islands 249 years ago.

The day sail on March 17th on the tall ship, R. Tucker Thompson, follows a map of the parts of the Bay of Islands Cook and his crew explored. The trip is being organised by Heritage Northland Inc, in partnership with Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga.

In 2019 the nation will commemorate the journey that New Zealand has been on over the past 250 years since Cook’s first voyage to New Zealand in 1769.  In Northland the Te Au Mārie 1769 Trust are organising the regional events as part of the national commemorations, Tuia – Encounters 250, which will acknowledge and recognise the first meetings of Māori and the British in Aotearoa.

Te Au Mārie co-chair and R. Tucker Thompson executive trustee Jane Hindle said “the Tuia – Encounters 250 commemorations are all about understanding our history and where we have been so we can set a new course for the future. The Heritage Northland sailing is a great opportunity to really explore and better understand what Cook, his crew and scientists saw and experienced while here in the Bay of Islands.”

The tour is based on a map created by Grainger Brown, the chair of Heritage Northland, using information from journals and other sources collated by Hertiage New Zealand’s Northland manager Bill Edwards. It pinpoints exactly where Cook, his crew and scientists visited in the Bay of Islands.  The trip will include commentary and log book readings while visiting Motuarohia, Motorua, Manawaora, Paroa, Urupukapuka and a possible landing at Waipao Bay.

“The Bay of Islands is steeped in history with more and more stories being revealed. It’s a site of very early waka arrivals, then of course the pivotal encounters with local Māori when the Cook and Endeavour arrived in the Bay,” said Hindle.

“But probably the most interesting story yet to be explored is their meeting with the Polynesian navigator Tupia. He disappeared off the ship for four days while the British were carrying out their own exploration.  The big question is where did he go?”