The arrival in Auckland of the British battle cruiser HMS New Zealand on 29 April 1913 was another historic coincidental encounter made by the Wimmera.

The warship was constructed at Govan, Scotland by the Fairfield Shipbuilding and Engineering Company. She was launched in July 1911 and commissioned into the Royal Navy on 23 November 1912. She departed Portsmouth on her maiden trip to the Dominion on Thursday 6 February 1913. She called at a number of ports en route including Capetown and Durban before making landfall in the Antipodes at Melbourne on Monday 31 March. The battleship remained in Melbourne for just over a week before departing for the Dominion’s capital of Wellington where she arrived on 12 April 1913.

H.M.S. New Zealand, Rangitoto Channel, Auckland.
‘2386 H.M.S. New Zealand, Rangitoto Channel, Auckland. Prot. 29.4.13. W.T. Wilson.’
Postcard. Author’s Collection.

On Tuesday 29 April 1913 HMS New Zealand under command of Captain Lionel Halsey, steamed into Auckland Harbour from her last port of call Gisborne. She anchored opposite the Queen Street wharf.

In port that day also, the Wimmera departed her berth at the Auckland wharves that afternoon for Southern New Zealand ports, passing into the stream and providing her passengers a unique view of the giant warship then at rest in the harbour.

© Ralph L. Sanderson 2004-2021