A document of the Knowles’ holiday in the south, filmed as a narrative travelogue.
Man opens garage to reveal his van. Note is left in milk bottle. Tickets for the ferry, Maori, dated 18/9/1953. Woman carrying bag to van. Man piles up the rest of the luggage including bottle of spirits. Locking house. The van leaves the driveway. Driving along road, view in the wing mirror. AA sign with signs for different regional centres in Palmerston North. Crossing the Himatangi bridges, passing group of cyclists. Kapiti Island. Yacht on Wellington Harbour. Masses of sea gulls on the waterfront. Yachts at Chaffers Marina. Royal Tiger Hotel. Ship at wharf. The TSS Maori at wharf. Cars and truck lifted onto ship. “Union Line” written on the gangway.
Intertitle: “South Island Tour”. Sailing out harbour in fading light. Crossing Cook Strait. Maori life Buoy. Ships officers on bridge. Arriving in Lyttelton. Cars unloaded, quickly lowered by the crane. Elevated view of Banks Peninsula.
Scenes about Christchurch. Man on adult tricycle. Square. A family at a motor camp. Filmmaker setting up his packed down caravan in front of a grandstand.
Driving through north Canterbury countryside. Sign: “Waipara River.” Bridge. “School Waipara”. Waipara Stores. Long shots into distant country vistas. Wife beside car at Lewis Pass summit. The van parked at side of road with water fall behind. [Reefton]. Grey River. Mining works on the river. Bridge. Greymouth. Railway station. Theatre showing the “Crimson Pirate”. Coastal bus service. (Dilapidated) Marquis of Lorne Hotel. Wharfs. Memorial for the “Pioneers of Westland”. Hotel Empire. Several other hotels in ill repair.
Hokitika clock tower, fire brigade. Tent in water logged camp ground. Signs for the glaciers. The car/rail bridge on the Arahura River. West coast beach. West Coast scenes.
AA Sign: “Slow Hari Hari Township”. Hari Hari, shops and street. Filling van with petrol.
AA Sign: “Slow Township Wataroa”. Buildings and shops. Paddocks. Wood pigeon in tree. Distant shot of Franz Josef glacier.
POV car crossing bridge. Motor camp at Franz Josef . The Franz Josef Hotel. St James Church, interior exterior. Franz Josef River.
Various views of the river and glacier. Walking to the terminus. Crossing river. Man licks large chunk of ice lying on valley floor. Looking up into the Southern Alps. Aircraft flies overhead. The van driving down to the main road through large puddles. AA signs. Cricket match. Bridge across the [Buller]. West Coast beach. AA sign for Westport. Pancake rocks at Punakaiki. Dirty Mary Creek bridge.
Sign for Aerodrome, golf links, Carters Beach etc. Westport sign, railway station, buildings, clock tower, Public Trust Office. Train from moving car.
Granity Post Office. Woman beside two toddlers in a stroller. Town and buildings. Sign for Millerton and Stockton.
Stockton township. Stockton open cast mine, works. Transportation of coal via an aerial ropeway on pylons. The van parked in quarry. Collecting chunks of coal. Coal locomotive. Graveyard.
Setting up the caravan at motor camp.
Boundary sign for Westport and Buller counties. Hawkes Crag. Buller river, rocky overhang on highway.
Sign for Murchison Motor Camp. Murchison town. Murchison Theatre.
Sign: “Upthrust on Fault-line, Earthquake 17-6-28”. Hope Saddle.
Bridge over Motueka river. AA sign: “Nelson City Boundary”. Coast road into Nelson. Tahuna Beach Motorists Camp. Shop, Canteen emblazoned on hoarding. Elevated view of the city. Trafalgar Street, town clock. AA Nelson building. JH Lock & Co. Ltd. Airways and Shipping Office. Steps up to the cathedral. Interior of cathedral. Nelson College. Gardens and fountain. “Tiny Town”. Model town and railway. Beaches. Barn. Farm house.
Rai Saddle. Rai Valley Post Office. Scenics in the valley.
Sign for Wairau. Bridge. Motor camp.
Blenheim. Riverside Park. Small zoo.
Heading south towards Kaikoura. Dual rail and car bridge. Kaikoura coast. Kaikoura township. Tunnels. POV as car travels through north Canterbury. Railway building with sign for Parnassus. Knox Church, Cheviot. Railway building with sign for Domett. Interior of Glenmark church, Waipara. Neon lights in Christchurch. Parking in front of grandstand again to set up camp.
All male marching team practicing. Christchurch street scenes. People boarding bus. Trams. “Knowles” shop. Old housing. Christchurch Cathedral and Christchurch Catholic Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament. Bridge of Remembrance. Victoria Square. People relaxing by the Avon. Arts Centre [University]. Botanic Gardens – Cunningham Conservatory interior. Plaque commemorating planting of tree by the Prince of Wales in 1930.
Horse in trailer. Unloading horse at stables, harnessing sulky. Trotting.