Disappointment Island

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Not to be confused with Disappointment Islands.
Disappointment Island
Position relative to New Zealand and other outlying islands
Coordinates 50°36.25′S 165°58.38′E / 50.60417°S 165.97300°E / -50.60417; 165.97300
Archipelago Auckland Islands
New Zealand
Population Uninhabited

Disappointment Island (50°36.25′S 165°58.38′E / 50.60417°S 165.97300°E / -50.60417; 165.97300) is one of seven uninhabited islands in the Auckland Islands archipelago. It is 8 kilometres (5 mi) from the northwest end of Auckland Island and 290 kilometres (180 mi) south of New Zealand. It is home to a colony of White-capped Albatrosses. About 65,000 pairs - nearly the entire world population - nest there.[1] Also on the island is the Auckland Rail, endemic to the archipelago; once thought to be extinct, it was rediscovered in 1966.[2]


On 14 May 1866, the General Grant, a full-rigged ship of 1,103 tons, crashed into the towering cliffs on the west coast of Auckland Island. Sixty-eight passengers died. Fifteen survivors made their way to the island, where they waited eighteen months for rescue.[3]

On 7 March 1907, the Dundonald, a steel, four-masted barque, sank after running ashore on the west side of Disappointment Island. Twelve men drowned and sixteen survivors waited seven months for rescue.[4] They survived on supplies from the castaway depot on Auckland Island.

Important Bird Area[edit]

The island is part of the Auckland Island group Important Bird Area (IBA), identified as such by BirdLife International because of the significance of the group as a breeding site for several species of seabirds as well as the endemic Auckland Shag, Auckland Teal, Auckland Rail, and Auckland Snipe.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ BBC - Science and Nature.
  2. ^ Auckland Islands Rail.
  3. ^ GOLD, SUNKEN. 'from An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand, edited by A. H. McLintock, originally published in 1966. Te Ara - The Encyclopedia of New Zealand, updated 18 September 2007.
  4. ^ Wrecked on the Auckland Islands in 1907.
  5. ^ BirdLife International. (2012). Important Bird Areas factsheet: Auckland Islands. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 2012-01-23.