Don't leave town till you've seen the country

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.

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

The hand-drawn map displayed in the exhibition 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.

This 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 following tracks include memories of beach and bush, the state of the roads for travelling and much-favoured lodges and locations.

The Auckland Tramping Club bus, Photographer J.T. Diamond, 1953, JTD-14M-00614, Auckland Libraries

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

Ian Bolton describes his father's preparation for their annual camping holiday to Long Bay Campground and the journey there from Mt Albert

The following extract 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 c1960.

Tennis courts at Whatipu Lodge photographer Isobel Hooker, 1940, JTD-06K-03061-1, Auckland Libraries

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.

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

Birkenhead wharf, photographer unknown, c1930, N0110016, Auckland Libraries

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

And finally, a collaboration with Ngā Taonga Sound and Vision sees this wonderful curated content available both at the Central City Library (on the Viewfinder in the front window) and also on the Ngā Taonga website, that highlights New Zealanders on Holiday and includes the footage of the 1980s tourism board campaign Don’t leave town till you’ve seen the country.

The exhibition, Don't leave town till you've seen the country runs until 27 May 2018 on Level 2, Sir George Grey Special Collections, Central City Library.

Read blog posts about the unique collections and resources from the Auckland Libraries research centres and heritage collections on Heritage et AL

Blog author: Sue Berman - Principal Oral History and Sound