9 December

First passengers traverse Lyttelton rail tunnel

1867 First passengers traverse Lyttelton rail tunnel

After 6½ years of construction, it took just 6½ minutes for the first trainload of passengers to speed through the 2.6- km tunnel linking the Canterbury plains to the port of Lyttelton. Read more...

NZ troops fire first shots during South African War

1899 NZ troops fire first shots during South African War

Having answered the Empire's call to arms against the breakaway Boer states in South Africa, New Zealand troops fired their first shots in anger in northern Cape Colony. Read more...