Ship Cove (New Zealand)

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View across the sound from Ship Cove

Ship Cove (Māori: Meretoto or Totaranui, "the big totara tree") is a small bay in the Queen Charlotte Sound - part of the Marlborough Sounds in New Zealand. It is on the west coast of the Sound, just west of Motuara Island and Long Island.

The Cove was named by Captain James Cook on 15 January 1770 when his ship the Endeavour anchored there to replenish supplies of food, water and wood.[1] While his ship was overhauled at anchor, Cook made a headquarters on the shore in the Cove, ordering the planting of vegetable gardens and construction of an enclosure for pigs.[2] Cook would return to the Cove a further four times over the course of his first and second voyages to the Pacific.[2]

Monument to Captain James Cook, in Ship Cove

Cook's settlement was abandoned following his second voyage. Colonel William Wakefield, one of the founders of Wellington, also anchored his ship the Tory in the Cove in 1839.[2]

Approximately 1,700 acres (6.9 km2) of land at Ship Cove has been declared a Scenic Reserve administered by the Ship Cove Scenic Reserves Board.[2]


  1. ^ Rigby, Nigel; van der Merwe, Pieter (2002). Captain Cook in the Pacific. National Maritime Museum (UK). p. 35. ISBN 0-948065-43-5. 
  2. ^ a b c d A.H. McLintock, ed. (1966). "Ship Cove". An Encyclopedia of New Zealand. Ministry for Culture and Heritage/Te Manatū Taonga, Government of New Zealand. Retrieved 2009-04-08. 

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Coordinates: 41°05′35″S 174°14′20″E / 41.09306°S 174.23889°E / -41.09306; 174.23889