Te Kaukau Shipwreck
(Magnet) - Photo by Rennie Lovell
Thiswreck is situated on a 30 minute walk around the northern end of the coast at White Rock Beach.
There is plenty to see (and photograph) on this walk as a large seal colony frequents the point. The main focus however has to be the 'ship wreck' - Which can be found easily, propped up and accessible on the ledge above the high tide line.
On 8 March 1989, the fishing vessel Magnet ran aground off the Wairarapa coast just north of Te Kaukau Point. Magnet carried a master and a single crew member. On the morning of 7 March 1989, Magnet set sail from Wellington, with the intention to fish off the South Wairarapa coast. The day was successfully spent fishing. On the evening on 7 March, Magnet was approximately 6 miles south of Te Kaukau Point. The forecast was for a southerly wind, but wasnt expected until the morning. Both master and the crewmember turned in for the night at 2130 hours. As was their custom in fishing off that coast, they shut down the engine, turned off the lights and retired to sleep below without anyone on watch.
During the night a wind came up on the southerly quarter. By a combination of wind, tide and current, the vessel drifted toward land. The crew was awoken by a large crash at 0300 on 8 March. Magnet had struck the rocks off Te Kaukau Point.
The crew, a local farmer, and a marine surveyor appointed by the company who owned the boat tried fruitlessly to salvage the Magnet however, the strong winds and unfavourable tides meant that the Magnet continued to beat against the rocks and it was declared a write-off. It is still there to this day and is even visible from Google Earth.