Disappointment Island

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Disappointment Island
FMIB 50815 Disappointment Island.jpeg
1909 photo
Position relative to New Zealand and other outlying islands
Coordinates50°36.25′S 165°58.38′E / 50.60417°S 165.97300°E / -50.60417; 165.97300Coordinates: 50°36.25′S 165°58.38′E / 50.60417°S 165.97300°E / -50.60417; 165.97300
ArchipelagoAuckland Islands
Area3.0 km2 (1.2 sq mi)
Length3.35 km (2.082 mi)
Width1.53 km (0.951 mi)
New Zealand
Pop. density0 /km2 (0 /sq mi)

Disappointment Island is one of seven uninhabited islands in the Auckland Islands archipelago, in New Zealand. It is 290 kilometres (180 mi) south of the country's main South Island and 8 kilometres (5 mi) from the northwest end of Auckland Island. It is home to the native Marianne teal, and a large colony of white-capped albatrosses: about 65,000 pairs – nearly the entire world's 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 American ship 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 Archived 5 December 2004 at the Wayback Machine..
  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 "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 10 July 2007. Retrieved 2012-12-16.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link) on 2012-01-23.