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White Wings Vol II. Founding Of The Provinces And Old-Time Shipping. Passenger Ships From 1840 To 1885

The Echunga

The Echunga.

The Echunga was a large ship of 1,000 tons, but she was not a clipper, her record passage to New Zealand being 103 days to Lyttelton. This was her first voyage out. She sailed from London on the 10th September, 1862, with 332 immigrants, for Timaru and Lyttelton, and arrived at the latter port on the 22nd December. At Timaru it was discovered that no provision had been made for their reception, although the Government knew as far back as May that a large batch of immigrants would arrive about that time. The barracks, which should have been ready, were only just started. When the first batch of passengers landed, in heavy rain, they found men preparing to erect some tents, and the voyagers had to lay down and rest on the grass, as not even straw had been provided. The consequence was that a large number refused to go ashore, and demanded to be taken on to Lyttelton, as their contract tickets were made out for Canterbury, and did not bind them to land at Timaru. Four deaths occurred during the voyage.

In 1865 the Echunga, under Captain Cooper, sailed from Gravesend on the 7th August, and cleared the land on the 12th.

She crossed the equator on the 27th September, rounded the Cape just a month later, and was off Otago Heads on December 4th, the passage to Port Chalmers occupying 122 days. The passengers numbered 83.

The next voyage of the Echunga, to Otago in 1867, under Captain Knight, was a more protracted one, as she took 138 days.

She sailed on the 29th May, and arrived on October 12th, withpage 165 96 passengers. The Cape of Good Hope was passed on the 29th August, and just a month later the Snares were sighted. The ship had 96 passengers. Smallpox broke out early after leaving London, and resulted in three deaths.