Skip to main content

Unveiling of James Cook monument, 1913

Robert McNab, historian and minister of lands in the Liberal government, was closely associated with the development of the Ship Cove monument in Queen Charlotte Sound. This is where James Cook spent the most time in New Zealand during his voyages.

An estimated crowd of 2000 attended the unveiling of the monument on 11 February 1913. It can still be seen on the Queen Charlotte Walkway. The reserve predates the Scenery Preservation Act, having been established in 1896. The area remains of interest to historians and anthropologists.

Images of the monument today:


A plaque on the monument reads: 'To this Cove Captain Cook made five visits while navigating the globe. On this beach he erected tents for his invalided sailors and from this stream he watered his vessels'. Another lists his visits on the Endeavour: 1770 and the Resolution: 1773 (twice), 1774 and 1777.


Historic image: Appendix to the journals of the House of Representatives, 1913, C-6

Modern images: Francis Vallance, 2011

How to cite this page

Unveiling of James Cook monument, 1913, URL:, (Manatū Taonga — Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated