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Friends of Karori Cemetery: SS Penguin Tour 2024

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Event description

On the 12 February 1909, the SS Penguin sank in Cook Strait in a raging southerly storm with the loss of 72 lives, one of the worst maritime disasters in NZ history.  Many of those who died were woman and children, as their lifeboats capsized in the wild sea. 

Although the Captain was heavily criticised, it is still not clear what the ship hit nor where, as the wreck of the Penguin has never been located. 

The tragedy stunned Wellington and a day of mourning was called for 16 February.  The city came to a standstill as many of those who died were brought up to Karori Cemetery for burial in a long procession of cabs and lorries.

To commemorate this tragedy the Friends will be undertaking a guided tour of most of the Penguin graves on Sunday 11 February.  The tour will commence at 1pm at the Shelter which is located in the centre of Karori Cemetery and will run for up to two hours starting with a short presentation. The tour covers some uneven ground and sustained uphill stints and so may not be suitable for everyone.

Bookings are required for this tour.

We look forward to welcoming you to Karori Cemetery.

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Refund policy

We'll refund you the ticket cost if the tour is cancelled. Booking fee is non-refundable.