NEW ZEALAND's FAR NORTH
PHOTOGRAPHY by donhammondimage
SHIPWRECKS of the FAR NORTH ...
The early years were difficult times for the first settlers to
the Far North. The rugged topography meant many settlements were
unapproachable, roads were non existent, communications poor and the
ability to deliver goods to main centres extremely difficult. The coast
and harbours were the only viable option as commerce routes and gave
rise to a proliferation of coastal shipping, traders and scows.
Whilst a godsend to the remote settlements, the coastline
of the Far North had its own hazards. Many of the harbours were
exposed to the full force of the elements, none more so than those
along the West Coast, others with treacherous bars that had to be
navigated. It is not surprising then that the Far North is no stranger
to maritime loss with over 70 recorded wrecks along 200 miles of
coastline the first recorded being that of the "Betsy" in 1815.
One could be forgiven for laying blame on the lack of maritime
technology in those years, however, near 200 years later vessels are
still claimed by the uncontrollable elements. Many are a complete loss,
others salvaged, all a reminder of an unpredictable environment.
Early or modern they hold varying degrees of fascination and history,
each a tale unto themselves.