The Wahine Ferry Disaster

Sharing a complex, sensitive, and engaging story for Wellington Heritage Week.

The Wellington waterfront is a harbour not just of ships, but of stories. It is filled with fascinating history and legends; from the tale of the taniwha Ngake and Whātaitai to the arrival of Kupe, and later, the European settlers.

For Wellington Heritage Week 2019, we set out to tell one of the stories of the Te Whanganui-a-Tara, that of the sinking of the passenger ferry, T.E.V Wahine.

Using Augmented Reality, we visualised the path of the cyclone which doomed the fated ferry, along with the journey the Wahine went on to reach Wellington. 3D models allowed us to visualise the path the ship took once inside the harbour, and to explain what went wrong that led to the tragic loss of 53 lives.

We then took people on a tour to the Wahine Memorial Mast and visualized the full story beside the mast of the ship in question. This connected the visitors further with the story, but also provided an accessible and well known site from which to tell the story.

We also volunteered to demonstrate this experience at Maker Faire Wellington 2019, where 3000 people were able to engage with us and other Wellington creatives.

We are sharing this story again for Wellington Heritage Week 2020. Come and join us, for free, by signing up at the link below!

The Wahine Disaster – Augmented Reality Storytelling