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1897 Cook’s New Zealand Tours Guide and Map

1897 Thomas Cook’s guide

Photo: World Rugby Museum

With the excitement and anticipation of the Rugby World Cup 2011 in New Zealand, this month’s object is an 1897 Thomas Cook’s guide/map of New Zealand. This particular map was collected by the British Isles forward G.V. Evers on the 1899 Anglo Australian tour.

The guide/map includes helpful travel information for visitors such as the best seasons for tourism, cost of travel /accommodation and tips on what to pack. There are eighteen different tours for travellers to choose from starting at Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin all by train and lasting a week or more. This Thomas Cook guide also features an excursion to the South Sea Islands via the Union Steam Ship Company making its way to the ports of Tonga, Haapi, Vavau, Samoa, Fiji and having its last call at Sydney. One of the best features of this guide is the large colour map that details the rail routes offered in New Zealand, titled “Map of New Zealand Shewing Railways Open for Traffic, June 1897” a useful tool for the British team touring the colony.

The 1899 tour of New Zealand and Australia was lead by team captain Rev. Matthew Mullineux, who played scrum-half for Cambridge University and Blackheath, but was the only British Isles captain, still to this day, who had not represented one of the home countries in an international match. After losing the first test, Mullineux decided to hand the title of captain to forward Frank Stout for the remainder of the tour. The British Isles played twenty one matches on tour, winning eighteen and losing three, but scored 333 points overall- a new record for the club. This was also the first time the team had representation from each of the home countries- yet still were referred to as “the English football team” while on tour.

Thomas Cook Travel Company was established in 1841, when Cook himself coordinated a one day rail trip for the price of one shilling from Leicester to Loughborough. From there on Cook envisioned his company to expand all over the world. Starting with trips to Liverpool in 1845, where he created a guide book to accompany each passenger, it was only ten years later that Cook was offering journeys to Europe. By 1872, Cook reached his goal and commenced on a world tour, with many travellers following in this footsteps. Thomas Cook is still a major travelling company today, taking the public to almost any travel destination


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