Trans-Tasman Migration

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Trans-Tasman Migration

New Zealand Bound

Migration across the Tasman was and still is commonplace.

Immigrants from Australia to New Zealand

Anne Bromell wrote in her book Tracing Family History in New Zealand  "Steerage passengers travelling between Australia and New Zealand, army personnel below the rank of lieutenant were rarely named in the newspaper reports.  It is therefore more difficult to trace the movements of passengers between Australia and New Zealand than those arriving from Europe.  Unfortunately, because of the absence of records, some researchers will never learn the name of the ship that transported their forebears to New Zealand, or establish the date and place of arrival". Anne Bromell d. August 23, 2004, aged 68 years, Auckland.

Many immigrants came to New Zealand via Australia.  Steamers use to bring thousands of goldminers over to Hokitika (West Coast, SI) from Melbourne and during the 1860s, the time of the Maori Wars. They traded between Auckland and Sydney delivering troops, English mail and cargo and returned with out going mail and passengers to connect with steamers leaving Australia for England.  The main source for lists for immigrants leaving Australia to New Zealand are newspapers and a few have been indexed, 1840-1855 at the New Zealand Room, Wellington Public Library. Lists of those leaving Melbourne during the 1850s and 1860s gold rushes to the South Island are held at the Victorian Public Record Office and on film through LDS Family History Centres.  Also check Sydney and Hobart newspapers for departures to New Zealand ports for arrivals before 1840.

National Archives AUS
Victoria BDM's
South AUS
Queensland -  BDMs, Immigration Archives
    Assisted immigrants arriving at Moreton Bay-Brisbane, 1848-59
Maryborough, Queensland, AUS. Immigrants from British Isles & Germany 1861-91
List of Ships into Maryborough, a city located on the Mary River in SE QLD, AUS., approx. 300k north of the Brisbane.  Help.
"Maryborough" from Liverpool to Pt Denison and Moreton Bay, 1865

State Records NSW Go to publications
Tasmanian Records
Immigration to Tasmania

Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour WW2 to date
LISWA resources

Journeys in Timepoll

Ryde Library Sydney: Pathfinder: pdf Shipping and Passenger Records 

Passenger Lists Victoria, Australia Outwards to NZ     Available from NZGS
Part 1 1852-1860 
$  7.50    3 fiche
Part 2 1861-1865  $19.80 11 fiche
Part 3 1866-1870 $16.65   9 fiche

Hall, Nick Vine  Tracing your family history in Australia, 1994 General guide to sources available in Australia for family history research. Sections for each State e.g. newspapers, passenger arrivals and departures.

Australasian Federation of Family History Organisations. National Register of Shipping Arrivals : Australia and New Zealand / Andrew Guy Peake, 1949- Sydney (N.S.W.) : 1992. 3rd ed. First ed. published 1988. How people arrived, what records were created and where held. Available from Australasian Federation of Family History Organisations, PO Box 30, Blackburn Vic 3130. Indicates where to find records.

Shipping Arrivals & Departures, Sydney. (interest to NZ)
Cumpston.       Vol. 1. 1788-1825    240pp
Nicholson, Ian. Vol. 2. 1826-1840    357pp
Nicholson, Ian. Vol. 3. 1841-1844    494pp Some 10,000 shipping entries, details of maritime incidents. Separate indexes for ships, persons and places.
Look slowly at the shipping registers of the ships that had come to Sydney from New Zealand ports and roll quickly through the others. The ships had come from all over the world, stopping at various NZ ports on the way to Australia. Some may have gone on to Victoria etc. Look for departures from Sydney to NZ.

Nicholson, Ian Shipping arrivals and Departures Tasmania: Vol. 1 1803-1833 1983 Provides the fullest record of shipping movements, index to ships, vessels and people. Illustrated 326pp
Nicholson, Ian Vol. 2 1834-1842 & Gazetteer 1803-1842  1985 photos, maps, fully indexed 464 pp.

Syme Shipping Arrivals & Departures, Vol. 1. 1798-1845 1984 300pp For many Victoria ports.  From newspaper reports, Government records, ship's logs, settlers diaries etc Bibliography, indexes, charts, maps & illustrations. Vol. 2. 1846-1855 1987 585pp shipping lists, 3420 vessels & 4850 persons. Maps, illus.

Unassisted Immigrants 1826-1865 shipping list (fiche), Tasmanian, but it only lists incoming passengers and 'soldiers'. e.g Soldiers. 96th regiment (8) per the 'Portenia' Jun 1843 from New Zealand.


Carmichael, Gordon Alexander, 1948-. Australia. Bureau of Immigration Research. New Zealand. Immigration Service Trans-Tasman migration : trends, causes and consequences. Canberra [A.C.T.]  Australian Govt. Pub. Service, 1993. 435 pp.

Chapman, Henry S. (Henry Samuel), 1803-1881 The New Zealand portfolio : embracing a series of papers on  subjects of importance to the colonists. London : [Dunedin : Smith, Elder & Co., Hocken Library, University  of Otago, 1843 ; 1969].  Subject: NZ emigration and immigration  1825-1852, description and travel 1840-1876, and  colonization. "... a true facsimile of the original edition of 1843, which had  been issued in six separate parts during the previous year."

Earp, George Butler.  New Zealand : its emigration and gold fields. London : George Routlege, 1853. 260 pp. Subjects: NZ gold mines and mining, description and travel, emigration and immigration.  First published in 1849 as: Hand-book for intending emigrants to the southern settlements of New Zealand. State Library of Tasmania   Hobart.

Passenger lists, Victoria, AUS outwards to NZ. Part 3 [9 microfiches ] 1866-1870 / compiled by Gaynor Kirkby. Includes: Alphabetical list of passengers and ship information.

Price, Charles A. (Charles Archibald) Australian National University. Dept. of Demography Australian immigration : a bibliography and digest, no.4, 1979 / Canberra : Dept. of Demography, Australian National University, 1979, c1980. Subject: Australian and NZ emigration and immigration

Wigglesworth, Roger. Thesis written relating to Trans-Tasman migration. {Where is the thesis located?}

Trans-Tasman Traders - across the ditch

Adela -  barque
Albion - steamer
Aldinga - steamer
Alexander - steamer
Alice Cameron - barque
Ariel -
Auckland - steamer
Boomerang -
Claud Hamilton-
Dart - schooner
Daniel Webster -
Francis -
Gazelle - steamer
Gil Blas (for Melbourne)
Gothenburg - steamer
Huia - schooner
Island City - barque
Kate- barque
Lion -
Lord Ashley - steamer
Lord Worsley - steamer
Moa - brig
Novelty - barque
Otago -
Phoebe -
Prince Alfred - steamer
Scotia - brigantine 1850s
Thomas and Henry
Tieste - barque
Vision - brig
Reference: Shipping Intelligence in newspapers and "White Wings" by Brett

The first steamer to travel from Sydney to New Zealand was in 1854. Reference: NZ Contemporary Dictionary. The average voyage across the Tasman was about seven days.   The run from San Francisco to Auckland would take approximately 45 days.

New Zealand Bound

The Emigrant Ships
Those splendid ships, each with her grace, her glory,
Her memory of old song or comrade's story,
Still in my mind the image of life's need,
Beauty in hardest action, beauty indeed.
"They built great ships and sailed them" sounds most brave,
Whatever arts we have or fail to have;
I touch my country's mind, I come to grips
With half her purpose thinking of these ships.

That art untouched by softness, all that line
Drawn ringing hard to stand the test of brine;
That nobleness and grandeur, all that beauty
Born of a manly life and bitter duty;
That splendour of fine bows which yet could stand
The shock of rollers never checked by land.
That art of masts, sail-crowded, fit to break,
The life demanded by that art, the keen
Eye-puckered, hard-case seamen, silent, lean,
They are grander things than all the art of towns,
Their tests are tempests, and the sea that drowns.
They are my county's line, her great art done
By strong brains labouring on the thought unwon,
They mark our passage as a race of men
Earth will not see such ships as those again.

John Masefield (1878-1967) English Poet.
Born at Hertfordshire, England. Left an orphan so was sent to join the training ship 'Conway' at Liverpool, when he was fourteen. For three years he sailed before the mast. Sailed around Cape Horn in a merchant ship, worked various jobs in New York City, returning to London in 1897 and was determined to devote himself to writing. His first book of poetry was Salt-Water Ballards, 1902, contained what has remained his best known short poem, Sea Fever.  His poems describe the ships and the tossing seas that so recently had been a part of his life.


Otago Witness, 14 September 1904, Page 69
It is these miles of sea that Sir John Hall cited as "the 1200 good reasons" why New Zealand should not federate with Australia.

Shagroons - The Australian squatter who invaded Canterbury in 1851-2. They always spoke of coming down (not over) from Australia. They were also called Prophets.

Nelson Examiner and New Zealand Chronicle, 29 May 1852, Page 54
We print below an extract from a letter received by us from Mr. Lee, dated Lyttelton, April 26, which shows the interesting fact that that gentleman and his party had safely accomplished their journey from Nelson to the Port Cooper Plains with a flock of sheep, without sustaining more than the most trifling loss. As the whole distance between the two places may be traversed in twelve days easily, and the road is such that the journey, except in spots, may be performed on horseback, I think that very many of the Canterbury Pilgrims, and many also of the Nelson Shagroons, may be expected to exchange visit next year.

Otago Witness, 19 December 1900, Page 52
The "Shagroons" those who were here before the arrival of the "first four ships"
The "Pilgrims" passengers by the Canterbury Committee's ships
The "Old Colonists" arrivals up to 1861.
"Old Identity"

Otago Witness, 15 October 1859, Page 3
When suddenly came the rude unsympathizing "Shagroon" from the north and from the south and the rough daring "overlander" from Australia to dispel our cherished illusions.

Wanganui Herald, 9 December 1907, Page 7
Among the passengers on the Maheno which left Sydney on Saturday night for Wellington, were Dick Arnst (the sculler) and Lieut. Shackleton (the explorer).

Sydney is a pretty big place, more people than New Zealand.