Story: Mail and couriers

The White Swan

The White Swan

Steam-powered ships were still a novelty in New Zealand in 1858, when the steamer White Swan was chartered by the government to carry mail between the main cities. Other steamers carried mail to Australia and England. The White Swan came to a sad end in 1862 when, in a race to beat another ship from Napier to Wellington, she was wrecked on the rocks south of Castlepoint, on the Wairarapa coast. Many official papers on board were lost at sea.

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library
Reference: 1/2-050359; F
Artwork by H. C. Berry

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

All images & media in this story

How to cite this page:

Tim Shoebridge, 'Mail and couriers - Mail in the steam era, 1850s–1890s', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/artwork/23045/the-white-swan (accessed 25 November 2020)

Story by Tim Shoebridge, published 11 Mar 2010