Story: Charting the sea floor

The Acheron (1st of 2)

The Acheron

The Acheron, captained by John Lort Stokes, was the first vessel to undertake a detailed hydrographic survey of New Zealand waters, between 1848 and 1851. The ship (barely visible at far right) is set against the dramatic scenery of the South Island’s Milford Sound. The artist has indulged himself and introduced a group of Māori in the foreground to provide a sense of scale and human interest. But there is no mention of Māori in Milford Sound in the journals of anyone on board the Acheron.

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library
Reference: D-008-002
Watercolour by Frederick John Owen Evans

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.

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How to cite this page:

Lionel Carter, 'Charting the sea floor - First charts of New Zealand', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 18 May 2022)

Story by Lionel Carter, published 12 Jun 2006