Finding Longitude

Why did the Endeavour choose to anchor in Mercury Bay? Cook knew from the moment he made landfall at Tairawhiti (Gisborne) on October 6 1769, he had just over a month to find a secure site on land from which to observe the transit of planet Mercury across the face of the sun - an astrological phenomenon due to take place on November 9. Observing the event would help Cook determine the location of Aotearoa (New Zealand) on the globe and establish a longitudinal reference point from which to accurately chart the shoreline of these ‘new’ lands.

While establishing latitude was relatively easy…


He rae ki te rae, he ihu ki te ihu,
Te hau ka rere, te ha ka tau

A meeting of peoples, a mixing of cultures,
a blending of heritage, a sharing of future