Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 was berthed at Sydney’s Overseas Passenger Terminal on Tuesday morning, March 19. The surrounding area in the historic Rocks was buzzing with activity. Lines of taxis were waiting to transport the disembarking passengers, delivery trucks unloading supplies for the next voyage plus the many excited Sydneysiders who had just come down to see this famous ship.
Docking facilities at the Terminal have recently been lengthened to accommodate this giant Queen, which previously could only dock at the near by Garden Island Naval Base. I am sure the Base’s Admiral is very happy about not having to move his naval vessels to make way for the Queens.
Queen Mary 2’s arrival in Sydney from her historic New Zealand circumnavigation marked the return of some items from the State Library of NSW’s renowned Captain James Cook collection. The items, which had been on display in the liner’s library during the twelve night voyage, included personal possessions which the master navigator had with him on his 18th century voyages to New Zealand and the South Pacific.
Items included Cook’s tea caddy and a spoon, also signed 1768 correspondence about his preparation for the first New Zealand voyage on Endeavour and an excerpt from Cook’s handwritten draft journal from his first voyage to New Zealand, including his account of Endeavour’s arrival at Poverty Bay and a violent first encounter with Maori.
This is the second time the State Library of NSW has entrusted Queen Mary 2 with items from its prized collections. In 2012, Queen Mary 2 carried Matthew Flinders’ historic journals and map atlas from his circumnavigation of Australia on the liner’s own maiden circumnavigation of the country.
Carnival Australia CEO Ann Sherry said the Cook items had been a highlight for the Australian and New Zealand guests onboard during the historic voyage.
“We’re so grateful to the Library for allowing Queen Mary 2 to take these Captain Cook possessions on a similar journey to his 18th century exploration of New Zealand, albeit under vastly different circumstances this time,” Ms Sherry said.
Queen Mary 2’s circumnavigation included a maiden visit to Milford Sound in New Zealand’s stunning World Heritage listed Fiordland National Park, where she made history on becoming the largest ship to visit.
Sandra Tiltman Photo: John Pond