Ship Cove (New Zealand)

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March 2004 view across the sound from Ship Cove

Meretoto / Ship Cove is a small bay in 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.

It was named by Captain James Cook on 15 January 1770 when he anchored HMS Endeavour there to replenish supplies of food, water and wood.[1] While his ship was overhauled at anchor, Cook made a headquarters on the shore, 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]

In 2014 the official name of the bay was altered to Meretoto / Ship Cove, reflecting its original Māori name.[3]


  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 2018-10-05.
  3. ^ "NZGB decisions". Land Information New Zealand. August 2014. Archived from the original on 21 November 2015. Retrieved 7 November 2015.

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