Auckland schoolgirls’ dispatch washes up at Cape Tribulation in Queensland

They send hundreds of instant messages to friends every day, but it was a message that took nearly two years before it was found that excited two Auckland schoolgirls the most.

In the summer of 2013, Carmel College friends Alex Roa and Emma Macnaught put a message in an old wine bottle for the fun of it and threw it off the Murrays Bay jetty on the North Shore.

"We did it entirely just for the fun of it, and in fact [had] totally forgotten about it," said Roa.

"We just couldn't believe it when we got an email from someone who said they found it in Australia."


The bottle had gone around New Zealand and made its way to Cape Tribulation in Far North Queensland, 3683km away, where it was discovered by the skipper of a reef boat.

An Ocean Safari Crew staff member, who gave his name only as Kellie, wrote to the girls saying the skipper, Kane, had found it while taking tourists to a snorkel site at Mackay Reef.

"What an awesome discovery for both us and the guests we had on tour at the time," the email said.

Roa was holidaying with family in Hawaii and Macnaught was visiting family in Feilding when they received the email on July 14, which included pictures of the discovery.

"After we cast it, we thought the bottle had sunk and never in our wildest dreams did we think we'd get an email back," Roa said.

"It's so exciting to know that it had survived nearly two years and went all the way to Australia."

The bottle was found at Cape Tribulation in Far North QLD
The bottle was found at Cape Tribulation in Far North QLD

The message the girls wrote said: "We are two 14-year-old girls enjoying the final days of Year 9. This bottle was cast on the 11th of December 2013.

"We hope you are having a good day, and if you can, could you please contact us." The email addresses of both girls were in the message.


Macnaught said the two had been walking their dogs at the time, and thought of casting a message in a bottle like they did in the movies.

"We took an old wine bottle out of the recycling bin from Alex's house, wrote our message and put it in."

Macnaught said everyone around them was excited about the discovery. Their mothers were busy telling everyone and teachers were talking about it in the staff room, she said.

But the bottle may not have reached its final destination.

Kellie said in the email that a new message will be added and the bottle cast back into the sea where it was found.