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James Cook

Personal details

Full Name:

James Cook


27 Oct 1728 – 14 Feb 1779


James Cook
Captain James Cook, the first European to define the outline of New Zealand, has left a permanent imprint on the consciousness of New Zealanders.

Events In History

17 December 1773

At Wharehunga Bay, Queen Charlotte Sound, 10 men serving on the ship accompanying James Cook's Resolution died at the hands of Ngāti Kuia and Rangitāne.

20 May 1773

During his second voisit to New Zealand in 1773, James Cook released a ewe and a ram in Queen Charlotte Sound. They survived only a few days – an inauspicious start to this country’s long association with sheep.

1 April 1773

In an attempt to concoct a preventative against scurvy, Captain James Cook brewed a batch of beer on Resolution Island in Dusky Sound, using rimu branches and leaves.

16 February 1770

Lieutenant James Cook sighted Banks Peninsula from the Endeavour. The following day he decided it was an island, which he named for the expedition's botanist, Joseph Banks.

9 February 1770

The Endeavour's arrival at Cape Turnagain confirmed that the North Island was indeed an island, not part of a fabled great southern continent.

9 November 1769

James Cook helped his astronomer Charles Green observe the transit of Mercury at Te Whanganui-o-Hei (Mercury Bay), Coromandel Peninsula.

6 October 1769

Ship’s boy Nicholas Young received a gallon of rum and had a headland named after him for being the first aboard HMS Endeavour to spot land in the south-west Pacific.