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Disappointment Island is one of seven uninhabited islands in the Auckland Islands archipelago, in New Zealand. It is 290 kilometres (180 mi) south of the country's main South Island and 8 kilometres (5 mi) from the northwest end of Auckland Island. It is home to the native Marianne teal, and a large colony of white-capped albatrosses: about 65,000 pairs – nearly the entire world's population – nest there.[1] Also on the island is the Auckland rail, endemic to the archipelago; once thought to be extinct, it was rediscovered in 1966.[2]

Disappointment Island
FMIB 50815 Disappointment Island.jpeg
1909 photo
Position of the Auckland Islands relative to New Zealand and other outlying islands
Coordinates50°36.25′S 165°58.38′E / 50.60417°S 165.97300°E / -50.60417; 165.97300Coordinates: 50°36.25′S 165°58.38′E / 50.60417°S 165.97300°E / -50.60417; 165.97300
ArchipelagoAuckland Islands
Area3.0 km2 (1.2 sq mi)
Length3.35 km (2.082 mi)
Width1.53 km (0.951 mi)
New Zealand
Pop. density0 /km2 (0 /sq mi)



On 7 March 1907, the Dundonald, a steel, four-masted barque, sank after running ashore on the west side of Disappointment Island. Twelve men drowned and sixteen survivors waited seven months for rescue.[3] They survived on supplies from the castaway depot on Auckland Island.


The etymology of Disappointment Island is unclear, however the naming of islands that lacked resources – such as the Disappointment Islands – may have been a contributing factor in its naming.[4] Or indeed, the occurrence of frequent shipwrecks.[5]

Important Bird AreaEdit

The island is part of the Auckland Island group Important Bird Area (IBA), identified as such by BirdLife International because of the significance of the group as a breeding site for several species of seabirds as well as the endemic Auckland shag, Auckland teal, Auckland rail, and Auckland snipe.[6]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ BBC – Science and Nature Archived 5 December 2004 at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ Auckland Islands Rail.
  3. ^ Wrecked on the Auckland Islands in 1907.
  4. ^ Evans, Andrew. "A journey to the Disappointment Islands". Retrieved 16 April 2019.
  5. ^ Kaushik. "The World's Most Depressing Place Names". Amusing Planet. Retrieved 16 April 2019.
  6. ^ BirdLife International. (2012). Important Bird Areas factsheet: Auckland Islands. Downloaded from "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 10 July 2007. Retrieved 2012-12-16.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link) on 2012-01-23.