White Wings Vol I. Fifty Years Of Sail In The New Zealand Trade, 1850 TO 1900
The most remarkable run of all across the Tasman Sea was that made by the little schooner Huia. She was built by Mr. James Barber at Kaipara to the order of Mr. (now the Hon. Sir) Edwin Mitchelson), and made a sensational passage of four days six hours from Sydney to Kaipara Heads. Captain George McKenzie, now in business, with an office in the Ferry Buildings, Auckland, was master of the schooner at the time. the Huia also made some remarkable runs when engaged in the Lyttelton-Kaipara trade.
Mr. Andrew Jamieson, writing from Waihi, has supplied me with some further details of this fast sailing schooner. He says: "I was engaged on this vessel with Captain Mackenzie when she made the sensational runs across the Tasman Sea. In addition to the run of 4½ days from Sydney to the Kaipara, on another occasion the Huia left Newcastle and 48 hours after leaving Knobbys light was 510 miles clear of land. Then followed a thrash to windward of 600 miles in nine days, the trip being accomplished in eleven days. On the following trip she frequently logged from 14 to 16 knots from Kaipara, and made another remarkable run to Sydney. When nearing Sydney Heads we almost ran down the Newcastle passenger steamer, and would have done so had not Captain G. McKenzie thrown the schooner aback. It was a close shave, as only from ten to fifteen feet separated the vessels. The passengers and crew of the p.s. Sydney have to thank Captain McKenzie for his superb handling of his schooner in such a tight corner. The incident happened about 9 p.m., when the Huia was reeling off over 14 knots."