Living World

Wreck to reef-the transfiguration of the Rainbow Warrior

On a clear day the sea mirrors the rose tint of dawn across the Cavalli Islands. The Rainbow Warrior lies here, her final resting place; a sunken treasure in 22 metres of tranquil water.Bordered by Northland's rolling hills and bush remnants, Matauri Bay and the adjacent Cavalli Islands are steeped in maritime history. The ancestral Ngapuhi waka Mataatua came ashore here some 800 years ago. Six centuries later, in 1769, Captain Cook on board the Endeavour exchanged "cavalle" fish (horse mackerel) with local Maori in a small flotilla of canoes, prompting Cook to name the islands the "Cavalles."

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