The Aquila arrived in Invercargill on 20th July 1863 with passengers. This account of her voyage was published in the Southland Times:
"The cutter Aquila, Captain Austen, left Invercargill on March 25th with a light air from N. At midnight fell in with a heavy gale from S.W., accompanied by thunder, lightning, and rain.
Put into Port William [Stewart Island] and was there detained THIRTY days by heavy gales from the S.W. and W.N.W., accompanied by thunder, lightening, and rain.
On April 27 rounded the West Cape with light breeze from the N.E,
April 28, fell in with a heavy gale from the N.W. Bore up under close reefed canvas for Brachsea Sound. When within two miles of the land it fell calm. Got out the sweeps and pulled the ship into the Sound at 6 p.m, Came, to anchor and lay there three days, with heavy gales from N.W., SNOW and rain.
Left the Sound on May 2nd. with strong winds from the S.W. and rain.
May 4th. anchored in Milford Haven in Fresh Water Basin [Milford Sound]
May 13th, left Milford Haven for Master Bay. May 15 landed passengers and went back to Milford Haven with strong winds from N.W. When within four miles of the Haven it fell calm, with heavy swell rolling in from W.N.W. Vessel driving on the Brig Rock. Let go the anchor in eighteen fathoms water about half a mile from the Brig Rock. Saw two other rocks with heavy sea breaking over them, which are not on the charts.
At daylight strong wind came in with heavy sea rolling in from W. Hove short when the cable parted at thirty fathoms. Made sail and ran into Milford Haven and anchored again in Freshwater Basin.
Some of my passengers who came overland from Martin's Bay, saw part of a wreck painted light stone color, also a square, log of American timber.
Sailed from Milford Haven on Saturday, 30th May, and arrived in Marten's Bay on 1st June.
Found seven fathoms at low water, and went in on the 2nd. Sailed up the river about four miles, and then came into a lake about ten miles long and four miles broad.
The passengers took the boat and went up the lake- and found another river, and beyond that another lake running N.N.E., went to the head of the lake and could get no further for SNOW.
The passengers returned June 20th, and the ship came down the lake to the mouth of the river, but finding the sea running too high over the bar, did not get out to sea till July 8th, when we left with a strong gale from the N.W., at night the gale increased to a HURRICANE. Hove the slip to under close reefed storm trisail.
July 9th, put into Dusky Sound with a heavy gale from the westward. Barometer standing at 28 8O.
Left on the 15th, with strong wind from S.W., and put into Port William on the 16th with, strong gale attended by rain. Saturday, July 18th, weighed anchor with a light wind from S., and made the port of Invercargill about 3 p.m 19th July.