The WAIKATO departed London on 19 January, 1878 and arrived in Lyttelton, via Plymouth, on 27 April, 1878. Captain William Worster was in command.


Transcribed from the Star, 29 April, 1878.



The New Zealand Shipping Company's ship Waikato, Captain Worster, arrived from London on Saturday night, and anchored off the Break water. The Health Officer, Dr Donald, proceeded off to her in the Customs' launch at 9 a.m. yesterday, and all being well aboard, the ship was at once cleared. On going on board, the Waikato was found to be in splendid order everywhere, notwithstanding her long voyage. The passage has occupied 91 days from the time the ship finally left the Downs, this being attributable to the very heavy and adverse weather repeatedly met with during the time. At the very commencement of the voyage the Waikato was driven back to the Downs, where she was com­pelled to lie for five days. Final departure was taken from the Start on Jan. 27 and 86 days later the New Zealand coast was sighted. The Equator was crossed on Feb. 24, 29 days out from the Downs, and 26 days after that the meridian of the Cape was passed. From March 20 a succession of gales from different points of the compass was experienced, together with very heavy rains, up to making the laid. The Waikato behaved well through all the bad weather, though a good deal of water found its way aboard rendering it necessary to barricade the main hatchway and poop. The saloon was flooded out, and the main bulwark started for a distance of eight stanchions, the topgallant rail was started from the fore-rigging to the waist of the ship, and other damage done. No spars, however, were carried away during the bad weather, and no accident happened. The Waikato has brought 44 passengers, 15 of whom were saloon and the remainder second cabin and steerage. All appear to have been very comfortable indeed during the passage, and speak of the kindness and attention of Captain Worster and the officers of the ship. Several concerts were given, which, with other a amusements, helped to vary the monotony of a long passage. No sickness of any sort occurred on board, the health of the passengers being very good throughout. Mr Howard Rees was the medical officer. Mr. Best still occupies the post of chief officer, and the remainder of the officers are the same as when the Waikato was here last. The following is the report of the passage:—

Left London on Jan, 19, and anchored at Gravesend for the night. Left there next morning in tow of the India, and proceeded down the river. Passed Cleopatra's Needle off Margate in tow of the Anglia. Landed the pilot at 5 p.m. in the Downs, and then proceeded down channel, in tow, with a moderate westerly wind. At 5 a.m. next day, Jan. 21 the wind rapidly increased from the west-south-west, and when abreast of Dungeness the tow line parted, so the ship was compelled to run back to the Downs, there being too much wind for her to beat out. Brought up off Deal, and lay at anchor there until Jan. 26, strong westerly gales having been blowing all the time. Got away from the Downs on that day with a northerly breeze, and passed Start Point at 10p.m. on Jan. 29, it bearing north-west ten miles. A fresh north-west gale was met with next day, Jan. 28, and at 8 p.m. Ushant light was sighted bearing south by east, 24 miles. On Jan. 31 signalled Shaw, Savill and Co.'s ship Electra, London to Otago. Moderate, variable, and light winds were met with to 23.40 north and 23.49 west on Feb. 13, when the north-east trades were met with. The island of Palma was sighted on Feb. 8. The north-east trades proved very light and unsteady, and were lost on Feb. 21 in 6 north 27 west. The Equator was crossed on Feb. 4 in long. 29.16 west. On Feb. 26 sighted Ferando Neronha. The south-east trades were very poor, and were lost about the edge of the Tropic on March 6. A spell of moderate, variable winds and fine weather was then met with until March 18, when in 40.15 south and 3.10 west the first of the welcome westerly winds were met. On March 20 a fresh gale from west-north-west to west-south-west was encountered. The meridian of the Cape was passed on March 22 in 41.32 south. The gale lasted until March 25, the vessel seeming at times to be almost under water, and requiring two men to be lashed to the wheel. The gale took off 37.49 south, 35.07 east. On March 30 a heavy north east gale, with very high sea, was experienced, with heavy rains. From that date to April 12, bad a succession of hard gales from north-east, south-west, south-east, north-west, south, and north, with very heavy seas, and almost constant rain. The meridian of Cape Lewin was passed on April 13, in 45.20, and moderate winds and cloudy weather were met to passing Tasmania on April 20, in 49 south. Heavy weather was met with between there and the Snares, which were sighted Wednesday. A fine breeze carried the ship as far as the nuggets, when the wind shifted round to the northward. Northerly and north-west winds were experienced at the Coast, and at 7 p.m. on Saturday, pilot Galbraith boarded the ship, and brought her up to anchorage at 9.30 p.m.

In addition to the Electra, the following ships were sighted. On Feb. 4, the ship Juno, London to Sydney, was sighted:— March 7 - a steam tug, showing the letters W.V.K.N., bound to the Cape of Good Hope, was signalled. March 11 Signalled the barque Runnymede, Liverpool to Adelaide.


April 27—Waikato, ship, 1021 tons, Worster, from London. New Zealand shipping Company, agents.



Rev P. R. Munro,

Mrs. T. Everard Upton,

Master T. E. Upton,

Master Robert H. B. Upton,

Mr. and Mrs. W. A. Sheppard,

Mr. Herbert Burnett,

Mr. John Cleathing,

Mr. Percy T. Elliott,

Mr. Jonathan Turner,

Mr. Alexander Wust,

Mrs. Hale,

Mrs. Thomas Ferrah,

Miss Julia Hicks,

Mr. Howard Rees.


Second cabin and steerage:-

Miss Elizabeth Macarthur,

Mr. Richard F. Cruddon,

Mr. Henry Kent,

Mr. Henry Aldred,

Mr. James Aldred,

Mr. Frank White,

Mr. Robert Grey,

Mr. Charles L. D. Slan,

Mr. Walter A. Reagan,

Mary Williams,

William Williams,

Walter Rowlandson,

John Bennett,

Margaret Bennett,

Beatrice Ben­nett,

Matthew Trewhella,

Hans P. Iversen,

George A. Bradbury,

H. A. Boddy,

James C. Whitlaw,

Daniel McKinnon,

John Kearney,

Mary Ann Kearney,

George Kearney,

Annie Kearney,

Susan Kearney,

William Kearney,

Emily Kearney,

Wil­liam Moore.


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Copyright – Gavin W Petrie - 2012