Arapawa Island

Arapawa Island is a small island located in the Marlborough Sounds, at the north east tip of the South Island of New Zealand. The island has a land area of 75 km² (18500 acres). Queen Charlotte Sound defines its western side, while to the south lies Tory Channel, which is on the sea route from Wellington in the North Island to Picton.

It was from a hill on Arapawa Island in 1770 that Captain James Cook first saw the sea passage from the Pacific Ocean to the Tasman Sea, which was named Cook Strait. This discovery banished the fond notion of geographers that there existed a great southern continent.

From the late 1820s until the mid 1960s, Arapawa Island was a base for whaling in the Sounds.Perano Head on the east coast of the island was the principal whaling station for the area.The houses built by the Perano family are now operated as tourist accommodation.

Arapawa Island is known for the breeds of pigs, sheep and goats found only on the island. The origin of these breeds is unknown, and is a matter of some speculation. Common suggestions are that they are old English breeds introduced by the early whalers, or by Captain Cook or other early explorers, which are now extinct in England.

Aircraft accident

An elevated power cable from the mainland to Arapawa Island over Tory Channel was struck by an Air Albatross Metro III commuter plane in 1985. The crash was witnessed by many passengers on the inter-island Cook Strait ferry. The ferry immediately stopped to despatch a rescue lifeboat. Along with the two pilots, one entire family was lost, and all but a young girl from the other. No bodies were ever found. The sole survivor (Cindy Mosey) was travelling with her family and the other from Nelson to Wellington to attend a gymnastics competition. The Arapawa Island crash caused public confidence in Air Albatross to falter, contributing to the company going into liquidation in December of that year. Cindy went on to become an accomplished gymnast and in her 30's was three times world champion kitesurfer (2002, 2003 & 2004).

External links

* [http://www.rarebreeds.co.nz/arapawagoat.html Arapawa Goats]
* [http://www.rarebreeds.co.nz/arapawapigs.html Arapawa Pigs]
* [http://www.rarebreeds.co.nz/arapawa.html Arapawa Sheep]
* [http://www.arapawahomestead.co.nz/ Perano Homestead]


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