Events In History


Erebus disaster

  • Erebus disaster

    On 28 November 1979, 237 passengers and 20 crew were killed when Air New Zealand Flight TE901 crashed into the side of Mt Erebus, Antarctica. The tragedy was followed by a demanding recovery operation and a raging debate over who or what was to blame

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  • Page 2 – Tourist flights to Antarctica

    Air New Zealand and Qantas began offering sightseeing flight over the Antarctic in February 1977.

  • Page 3 – Timeline to disaster

    The Erebus disaster was mainly caused by an unfortunate, late change in flight path and the white-out conditions in Antarctica.

  • Page 5 – Operation Overdue

    A team of New Zealand Police officers and a Mountain Face Rescue Team were immediately dispatched to the scene of the Erebus disaster.

  • Page 6 – Finding the cause

    With the death of so many people, it is not surprising that the investigations into the tragedy became a source of great debate and controversy.

Edmund Hillary

  • Edmund Hillary

    The legendary mountaineer, adventurer and philanthropist – whose familiar, craggy face beams out from the $5 note – is the best-known New Zealander ever to have lived. His ascent of Mt Everest with Sherpa Tenzing Norgay on 29 May 1953 brought him worldwide fame – literally overnight.

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  • Page 3 – From Everest to the South Pole

    On 29 May – four days before the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II – Hillary and the experienced Sherpa Tenzing Norgay reached the summit of Mt Everest and became

  • Page 5 – Honouring Edmund Hillary

    In 1987 Ed Hillary was among the first 20 people selected as members of the Order of New Zealand (ONZ), this country’s highest honour. He has been the recipient of

Antarctica and New Zealand

  • Antarctica and New Zealand

    NZ and Antarctica share a long and rich history. From Tuati in 1839 to Edmund Hillary in the 1950s and more recent scientists, Kiwis have explored, examined and endured the frozen continent.

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  • Page 2 – First among men

    New Zealanders were actively or passively involved in a number of significant Antarctic firsts - notably the first landing on the continent proper in 1895 and the first

  • Page 3 – Triumph and tragedy

    There is a New Zealand connection to a number of triumphs and tragedies that have occurred in Antarctica.

  • Page 4 – Sites of significance

    There are connections between places in Antarctica and New Zealand, and between places in New Zealand and Antarctica.

  • Page 5 – Timeline

    Key events in the history of New Zealand's involvement with the Antarctic

  • Page 6 – Further information

    Sources of further information.

From Tuati in 1839 to Edmund Hillary in the 1950s and more recent scientists, Kiwis have explored, examined and endured the frozen continent.

Meaning of place name
The name Antarctica is the romanized version of the Greek compound word ἀνταρκτική (antarktiké), feminine of ἀνταρκτικός (antarktikos), meaning "opposite to the Arctic", "opposite to the north". The first formal use of the name "Antarctica" as a continental name in the 1890s is attributed to the Scottish cartographer John George Bartholomew.

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