Captained by three men whose names live on in New Zealand history, Australian (sometimes recorded as Australia) was a new barque when she left Sydney on 29 December 1829. Her owners Cooper & Levy had commissioned the south seas sailing stalwart Captain Grono to lead her on her first whaling expedition.
Australian's next voyage also for the south seas fisheries left Sydney on 21 August 1831, this time in the hands of Captain Catlin. When she returned to port 18 months later, she had on board 80 tons of sperm oil. Australian's next captain was W.B. Rhodes who brought her into Port Cooper on the north side of Banks Peninsula on 16 July 1836.
In 1837, Captain Rhodes noted his sailor's delight that the local Maori women in Cloudy Bay came to stay on board their ship.
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