Many plans are being drawn up around the world to commemorate Cook’s voyages of Pacific exploration, and his encounters with the indigenous peoples he encountered.

Click on the name of the country for further information about what is being planned in Australia, New Zealand, Tahiti and the United Kingdom.

Tell us of anything we've missed by emailing the Webmaster or leaving a comment below.



Kamay, Botany Bay

A redevelopment of the Kamay Botany Bay National Park has been proposed..

The Australian National Maritime Museum (ANMM) and Sydney Heritage Fleet are working with the NSW State Government to create a new Maritime Heritage Precinct along the ANMM’s Darling Harbour waterfront.  The aim is to bring together the vessels of both museums and thereby create one of the largest presentations in the world of operational historic vessels.  This major project involves construction of new wharves and associa­ted infrastructure.  The aim is to have the new Precinct operational for the 2020 celebrations.

Australis 2020 is the name for a major International Garden Expo to be staged in Sydney at the Olympic Park.  The event is being staged to commemorate the finding by Joseph Banks and Daniel Solander of Australian flora in 1770 in Endeavour.  For more information visit

Cooktown, Queensland
In 2020 a special festival will be running from 17 July to 4 August, reflecting the time that Cook spent ashore there in 1770.  Planning continues.  Visit

Childers, Queensland
On 22 August, 1970, the Captain Cook Cairn was erected by the citizens of the Isis District to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the Cook’s arrival.  The Cairn, which is situated in Millennium Park, Childers, houses a time capsule that is scheduled to be opened in 2020.

New Zealand

Four trusts have been established to fund and promote commemorative events in those areas visited by Endeavour.  The trusts have their own websites (see below), which are worth exploring, as their details of those events commemorating Captain Cook are not always immediately apparent.

Tuia-250 was established as an umbrella organisation with an overview of national and regional commemorative activities, to ensure a coordinated programme.  Its website at shows the wide range of the participating organisations, both at a national and a community level. 

The main events will be focussed around the periods when the heritage flotilla will be visiting those areas.  The heritage flotilla includes the Endeavour replica and some ocean-going canoes from New Zealand and Tahiti.  At various points in the route, the flotilla may be joined by other historic sailing ships and some Naval craft.  Here is the schedule of the visits to be made by the flotilla, taken from the website


5 to 11 October, 2019, at Gisborne
The formal opening ceremony will be staged at Gisborne at dawn on 5 October.  It will celebrate 1,000 years of voyaging and navigation traditions.  This event will welcome the arrival of ocean-going canoes from New Zealand and Tahiti.  A second formal opening ceremony will be staged at Gisborne on 8 October.  It will celebrate and welcome the arrival of the Endeavour replica and acknowledge those first onshore encounters of 1769.  To find the range of events being organised in and around Gisborne, visit

12 to 16 October, 2019, at Tolaga Bay
The lighting of the Te Pourewa beacon will guide the heritage flotilla into the cove at Tolaga Bay.  Much of this visit will focus on Tupaia, the Poly­nesian high priest and navigator who many Māori thought was the captain of Endeavour. 

18 to 21 October, 2019, at Mercury Bay
The heritage flotilla will continue along the coast to the bay where Cook and his men observed the Transit of Mercury.  Stories of Cook’s engagement in the area will be shared by the local iwi (tribe) Ngāti Hei.  There are many Captain Cook Society members living in this area who will be assisting with events celebrating the 250th anniversary.  To find the range of events being organised in and around Mercury Bay visit

25 to 28 October, 2019, at Auckland
At Auckland the heritage flotilla is expected to be joined by many heritage and other vessels.  There will be an opportunity to engage with the crew of the six vessels making up the flotilla, and opportunities to board the vessels.

31 October to 6 November, 2019, at Whangarei
7 to 11 November, 2019, at Bay of Islands

The heritage flotilla will be welcomed with a Māori ceremony performed on the water.  Celebratory events at this venue include a parade celebrating 1,000 years of voyaging.  A waka symposium and a maritime festival are being planned.  Māori from these communities will share the stories of their meetings with Cook.  In Northland the heritage flotilla will visit Doubtless Bay as a tribute to the late Sir Hector Busby, who died in May 2019.  He was a key figure in the revival of the Polynesian voyaging tradition.  To find the range of events being organised in and around the Bay of Islands, visit

21 to 28 November, 2019, at Marlborough Sound and Picton
Here the Māori welcoming ceremony will be performed at Ship Cove, where Cook returned three times.  From there, the flotilla will sail to Picton, where community activities and public events will be held.  To find the range of events being organised in and around Marlborough Sound, visit

30 November to 3 December, 2019, at Wellington
The heritage flotilla sails north to spend a few days at the capital of New Zealand.  It will be the last opportunity to see the Endeavour replica before she sails back to Australia to prepare for that country’s 250th celebrations.

6 to 10 December, 2019, at Lyttleton and Christchurch
Two vessels from the flotilla (the New Zealand waka and the barquentine Spirit of New Zealand) will sail south to extend the celebrations to more of the South Island.

15 December, 2019,  at Mahia (on the coast south of Gisborne)
Mahia, a site of significance for ancient Polynesian voyaging, has been chosen as the site for the closing ceremony of the Tuia Encounters celebration.  Following the ceremony, the different vessels comprising the heritage flotilla will depart for their respective homes. 


13 April, 2019

From 9am to 4pm, there will be several cultural activities, such as the traditional tattoo, tapa making, javelin throwing and peeling coconuts.
In the evening, from 5:30 pm to 10 pm, a traditional dinner show will take place on the beach of Point Venus.

17 April, 2019

The House of Culture-Te Fare Tauhiti Nui hosts a lecture by historian Corinne Raybaud, Wednesday, April 17 at 6:30 pm at the Petit Theater
Corinne Raybaud is the author of the book "James Cook, Joseph Banks and Tupaia, 250 years ago in Tahiti" published by Mémoire du Pacifique.

United Kingdom

Many events took place during 2018, the 250th anniversaty of Captain Cook sailing from Plymouth in Endeavour on his FirstVoyage to the Pacific.

11 May, 2019, Captain Cook Birthplace Museum, Marton

A talk by Phil Philo called "Venus, Paradise & the Society Islands: Cook's First Voyage, April to August, 1769".
From 11:00 am until 12:30 pm.
£3 per person, including light refreshments.
For more information visit

2 June, 2019, Captain Cook Birthplace Museum, Marton

A talk by John McCue called "The Transit of Venus Explained", in which he explains the phenomenon that Cook documented in Tahiti 250 years ago.
From 11:00 am until 12:30 pm.
£3 per person, including light refreshments.
For more information visit

6 October, 2019, Captain Cook Birthplace Museum, Marton

A talk by Phil Philo called "In the Land of the Long White Cloud".  A look at Cook's circumnavigation and charting of New Zealand
From 11:00 am until 12:30 pm.
£3 per person, including light refreshments.
For more information visit


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