Waikumete Cemetery – Auckland, New Zealand - Atlas Obscura

Waikumete Cemetery

Home to the unidentified remains of the 1979 Mt. Erebus Disaster. 


On November 28, 1979, Air New Zealand flight TE901 crashed into Antarctica’s Mt. Erebus , killing all 257 people on board. The recovery mission started the next day and lasted until December 10th.

Whatever remains that were found were flown back to New Zealand. After weeks of analysis, the medical team successfully identified 213 of the victims. The bodies that were unidentifiable were placed in 16 caskets and buried at Waikumete Cemetery in West Auckland on February 22, 1980. The grave site was marked with a memorial bearing the names of those 44 people. Nearby, a cherry tree was planted to honor the 24 passengers that came from Japan.

Every year, a wreath is laid at the memorial. In 2009, the community held a service to mark the 30th anniversary of the disaster.

Know Before You Go

The main gates are on Great North Road with other gates situated at Awaroa Road, Glenview Road, Sunhill Estate and Waikumete Road.

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February 27, 2012

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