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Arapawa Island

Arapawa Island is a small island located in the Marlborough Sounds, at the north east tip of the South Island of New Zealand. The island has a land area of 7500 hectares (18500 acres).

It was from a hill on Arapawa Island in 1770 that Captain James Cook first saw the sea passage from the Pacific Ocean to the Tasman Sea, which was named Cook Strait. This discovery banished the fond notion of geographers that there existed a great southern continent.

From the late 1820s until the mid 1960s, Arapawa Island was a base for whaling in the Sounds. Perano Head on the east coast of the island was the principal whaling station for the area. The houses built by the Perano family are now operated as tourist accommodation; see the website at http://www.arapawahomestead.co.nz/.

Arapawa Island is known for the breeds of pigs, sheep and goats found only on the island. The origin of these breeds is unknown, and is a matter of some speculation. Common suggestions are that they are old English breeds introduced by the early whalers, or by Captain Cook or other early explorers, which are now extinct in England.

See other islands of New Zealand.



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