If you haven’t had a chance to see the exhibition Don’t leave town till you’ve seen the country on Level 2 of Tāmaki Ngā Pātaka Kōrero Central City Library, we recommend you go to enjoy its visual richness. In the meantime, we offer you an opportunity to listen to a selection of exhibition interviews in the comfort of your favourite chair, or on your commute.

The first track is an interview with Principal Curator Georgia Prince giving a background to the exhibition content and selection process.

Georgia shares with interviewer Haunui Royal a couple of highlights including Cecil Burleigh’s diary. The diary begins in 1932 when he was 22, and records his regular holiday trips around New Zealand. The hand drawn map charts three road trips he took with his mother in 1948 and 1949. In March 1949 they travelled from Auckland to Waiouru and back, before he returned to sea as a chief engineer.

‘The whole trip was pleasant and interesting.’  Cecil Burleigh. Diary. 1932-1987. NZMS 1450.

Georgia Prince looking at Cecil Burleigh’s diary. Photograph by Sue Berman 2018.

The second track is an interview with Oral History curator Sue Berman who discusses a couple of tracks from the collection which give voice to people’s memories of their holiday times and destinations. 

The remaining tracks on the podcast include memories of beach and bush, the state of the roads for travelling and much favoured lodges and locations.

Juliet Batten conveys her deep sense of connection and love for tramping and spending time in the Waitakere Ranges and her yearning for this wilderness while overseas.

Ref: J.T. Diamond. The Auckland Tramping Club bus, 1953. Research West, Auckland Libraries, JTD-14M-00614.

Ian Bolton describes his father’s preparation for their annual camping holiday to Long Bay Camp ground and the journey there from Mt Albert.

The next track is from an interview with Dorothy Butler who owned and restored the popular holiday destination Winchelsea House in Karekare. In this extract Dorothy recalls her family’s earliest experience of going to Karekare about 1960.

Accommodation Houses in the Waitākere Ranges by Ben Copedo is a recorded talk delivered to the West Auckland Historical Society in 1984. In this extract Ben shares his research on accommodation houses in the Whatipu area.

Ref: Isobel Hooker. Tennis courts at Whatipu Lodge, 1940. Research West, Auckland Libraries, JTD-06K-03061-1.

Mary Woodward remembers taking picnics on the north end of the beach at Te Henga [Bethells Beach] while on holiday at the family cottage.

Olive Ashby describes going to Beach Haven from Birkenhead for holidays in the 1920s.

Birkenhead wharf, about 1930. Research North, Auckland Libraries, N0110016

And finally a collaboration with Ngā Taonga Sound and Vision sees some wonderful curated content available both at the Central City Library and the Ngā Taonga website, highlighting New Zealanders on Holiday - including the 1980s tourism board advertisement Don’t leave town till you’ve seen the country.

Author: Sue Berman, Oral History Curator, Archives and Manuscripts