Skip to main content


Events In History

26 June 1987

The speed skier and bungy pioneer planned the 110-m leap meticulously. His dozen-strong team hid on the tower overnight and Hackett jumped at dawn. He described it as ‘one small step for a man, a bloody great leap for the adventure tourism industry.’

21 December 1971

A few months after the last steam locomotives had been withdrawn from this country's scheduled rail operations, New Zealand Railways launched a new tourist-oriented steam passenger venture in the South Island.

24 February 1912

For more than a century, the TSS Earnslaw has carried freight and people to and from remote settlements on the shores of Lake Wakatipu.


New Zealand and Le Quesnoy

It was the New Zealand Division's final action of the First World War. On 4 November 1918, just a week before the Armistice was signed, New Zealand troops stormed the walled French town of Le Quesnoy. The 90 men killed were among the last of the 12,483 who fell on the Western Front. Read the full article

Page 3 - Visiting Le Quesnoy

Just 4 kilometres east of Beaudignies in northern France is Le Quesnoy. This town was in German hands for almost all of the First World War, from August 1914, until the New

Life in the 20th century

Exploration of everyday life in New Zealand from 1900 to the mid-1980s Read the full article

Page 3 - Time out

As a modern society began to evolve in New Zealand in the early twentieth century, a new concept of 'leisure time' began to emerge

Scenery preservation 1903-1953

Premier Richard Seddon outlined his vision for 'God's own country' in 1903 as he steered the Scenery Preservation Act through Parliament. This act was an important landmark in preserving New Zealand's natural and historic heritage. Read the full article

Page 3 - Beautiful New Zealand

Even before systematic colonisation began in 1840, New Zealand had been promoted in British publications as a wild, scenic, romantic wonderland – and a place of

The North Island main trunk line

All aboard! The North Island main trunk railway was 100 years old in 2008. Take a trip back in time to explore the epic story of its construction, the heyday of the steam passenger train and the place of the iconic railway refreshment room in New Zealand life. Read the full article

Page 4 - Travelling by train

For most second-class travellers, travelling the main trunk meant a long, sleepless journey on hard-backed seats, struggling to find 'elusive comfort with the NZR

Rail tourism

From the late 19th century the expanding rail network opened up exciting leisure and tourism opportunities for ordinary New Zealand families. New Zealand Railways promoted rail holidays through bright, attractive posters and its own popular monthly magazine. Read the full article

Page 1 - Rail tourism

From the late 19th century the expanding rail network opened up exciting leisure and tourism opportunities for ordinary New Zealand families. New Zealand Railways promoted rail

Page 2 - Day excursions

From the early days of rail, excursion and special trains gave people new opportunities to visit beaches, lakes, parks, racecourses and

Page 3 - Holidaymakers

As well as day excursions, from the mid-1890s New Zealand Railways offered special deals for travellers taking longer rail journeys over the Christmas and Easter holiday

Page 4 - Railways Studios

In 1920 New Zealand Railways established it own Railways Studios – the country’s first outdoor advertising studio. The studios produced posters, pamphlets, maps and pictorial

Page 5 - Railways Magazine

During the inter-war years no other monthly magazine matched New Zealand Railways for its commitment to promoting a popular literary culture in New

Page 6 - Post-war changes

After the peak years of the 1920s and late 1930s, tourist travel all but ceased during the Second World War.

Erebus disaster

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

Page 2 - Tourist flights to Antarctica

Air New Zealand and Qantas began offering sightseeing flights to Antarctica in February

Page 3 - Timeline to disaster

The Erebus disaster was mainly caused by a late change in the flight path and atmospheric conditions over