Port Pegasus - Stewart Island New Zealand information. Stewart Island accommodation and hotel booking, travel, tours, activities and things to do. Events, maps and news for Stewart Island NZ.

Port Pegasus

Stewart Island seal colonies were almost annihilated between 1800 and 1820. While gangs from the ship Pegasus were sealing round South Port in 1809, William Stewart drew a detailed chart of the area. The chart was published in 1816. This was the first reference to "Stewart's Island". Later, South Port was renamed to commemorate the Pegasus.

In 1826 a second William Stewart landed a group of boat-builders at Pegasus. Despite many difficulties, they finally completed a schooner, the Joseph Weller. This became the first vessel recorded in the "New Zealand Shipping Register".

A brief tin-mining boom brought 200 miners to the area in the 1890s. There's still evidence of their dams, water races and mine-shafts in the Tin Range.

Around the same time a fish freezer began operations. The small fishing community at Pegasus continued, on and off, right through to the 1950s.

In the late 1970s kakapo, the ground-dwelling night parrot, were found in the Tin Range. Predation by feral cats necessitated capturing these endangered birds for relocation to Codfish Island, off Stewart Island's west coast, and to other predator-free islands.

Today there's no tin-boom, or kakapo boom at Pegasus. Fishermen working lobster boats in the rugged waters round South Cape shelter there for the night. A few hunting parties and diving groups visit by boat, but that is all - a wilderness in the south.


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