Thursday, November 24, 2016

BOMBAY in New Zealand – Travel Tales

BOMBAY in New Zealand
Travel Tales

I am sure you knew that there was a “Bombay” in India.

(I have used the past tense “was” because – in 1995 – Bombay was renamed to its vernacular indigenous name Mumbai– and now – the erstwhile Bombay is officially called Mumbai)

But – Dear Reader – Did you know that there is a town called BOMBAY in New Zealand…?

I did.

In fact – on my previous visit to New Zealand – I did see a place called “Bombay” on the map located South of Auckland.

But – this time – we passed through “Bombay” – on our way to the fascinating Waitomo Glowworm Caves and awesome Geothermal Region of Rotorua.

Initially – I thought – that like many towns in New Zealand – this town was probably named Bombay because people from Bombay (India) had migrated and settled down there during one of the “immigration schemes” in the 19th Century (especially in the 1860’s) – wherein – subjects of the erstwhile “British Empire” were given incentives to migrate and settle down in New Zealand.

In assuming this – I was wrong – since – the “Bombay” in New Zealand is named after a ship.

The settlement of “Bombay” was directly named after the merchant navy sailing ship “Bombay” which brought volunteer migrants from England to be settled down in this area under the Waikato immigration scheme.

This area, 29 miles south of Auckland, where “Bombay” is now located was originally called Williamson’s Clearing.

Now there is the town of Bombay and the Bombay Hills nearby – both named after the immigrant ship “Bombay”.

The ship “Bombay” itself was named after the Indian city of Bombay (now Mumbai) – which was then a part of the British Empire.

The sail ship “Bombay” was a 937 ton “Clipper Ship” (a fast sailing ship with narrow hull and large sails to enable higher speeds).

The Clipper Ship “Bombay” (which could carry up to 400 passengers depending on the cargo) made a total of 4 voyages transporting volunteer migrants from England to New Zealand from 1862 to 1866.

It seems that most settlers in the town named “Bombay” arrived on the 2nd voyage in 1863 – and – many others may have come in the remaining voyages – including the hazardous 3rd voyage – when the ship “Bombay” sailed from London to Auckland on 26 November 1864 – and – arrived in Auckland on 18 March 1865 – after a perilous voyage of 112 days beleaguered by adverse winds, extremely heavy seas, and narrow escapes from certain disaster – and – in the final leg of her long journey – the ship’s sails were damaged by a terrible storm as she was approaching New Zealand – and – the ship “Bombay” had to be towed into Auckland by a warship.

Thus – the “Bombay” in New Zealand is named after the immigrant ship which brought its first settlers from England in the 1860’s – and – the hills nearby were accordingly called “Bombay Hills”.

It seems that there are other places in New Zealand named after ships – for example – Coromandel takes its name from “HMS Coromandel” – which sailed into Coromandel Harbour around 1820 –and – the Chatham Islands from the ship “Chatham” which visited in 1791. Also – it seems that some ports, islands and even streets have been named after ships.

Here is a picture of the Immigrant Ship Bombay

(Picture courtesy Keith Blayney from his article “The Voyages of the ship Bombay to New Zealand” on his website url: )

This 937 ton clipper ship “Bombay” made four voyages carrying immigrants from England to New Zealand. The town Bombay, in the south of Auckland, is named after this vessel.

So – Dear Reader – now you know that we have a “Bombay” in New Zealand.

But – do you know that there are two more places with the same names in both India and New Zealand…?

If you have been to the Nilgiris in South India – you will know that there are two small towns located adjacent to each other – Coonoor and Wellington (where the famous Defence Services Staff College aka DSSC is located).

Do you know that – in New Zealand – there is a “Coonoor”...?  

(Of course – I am sure you know that there is a “Wellington” in New Zealand).

So – apart from BOMBAY – both India and New Zealand have two places with the same names – WELLINGTON and COONOOR

Wellington (the Capital of New Zealand) is named in honour of Arthur Wellesley the 1st Duke of Wellington (and maybe – so is the “Wellington” in India which was established by the British as a Cantonment in 1905).

But – the “Coonoor” in New Zealand is named after the original Coonoor in India.

References and Further Reading:

'BOMBAY HILLS', from An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand, edited by A. H. McLintock, originally published in 1966.
Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, updated 22-Apr-09

Bombay Hills (from Wikipedia): 

How Bombay Derived its Name (Extract from Bombay School Centenary Booklet): 

Jock Phillips, 'History of immigration', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand,  (accessed 24 November 2016) 

Malcolm McKinnon, 'Place names', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand,  (accessed 24 November 2016) 

The voyages of the ship "Bombay" to New Zealand: 

List of New Zealand place name etymologies (From Wikipedia): 

Dear Reader:

During my previous visit to New Zealand  I wrote a few Travel Tales  like this one on my visit to MILFORD SOUND 

and another Foodie Pictures Post 

and this one on a A Better Life 

I intend to write a few Travel Tales on my recent visit too. 

I hope you have read my first post (on the same Better Life aspects) at URL 

And now – after this piece on BOMBAY in New Zealand – I intend to write a few more travel tales and posts on my recent New Zealand trip  and  I hope you will enjoy reading them. 

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