Challenge Accepted. This gem of a short film from 1964 showcases Taupō tourism with Selwyn Toogood at his finest.
A change from looking at your friend's baby photos on social media, this 17 minute black and white film from Archives NZ is a fascinating glimpse of people on holiday in Taupō in the 1960s.
The clothes, the cars, the haircuts are all interesting. Pick how the New Zealand accent has changed and note the difference in speech patterns compared to modern times.
Highlights are below, with the video time shown so you can skip straight to the best bits.
At 1:54 Tongariro St is in full vintage traffic flow. A man from Hawera describes building his bach at 3:15 and the video pans to various houses under construction at 4:34.
Campers chat with Selwyn at the now closed camping ground at Riverside Park, with a particularly delightful interview with some children at 6:00.
Video footage of the Huka Falls rapids reveals a suggestion of safety fencing, seemingly without any netting.
Selwyn says that anglers on the Tongariro River at 9:25 can expect to land a trout that will be about five or six pounds, surely this is a much better average size than what is caught today? What's more, he says anglers can expect to catch two or three trout this size.
Craters of the Moon boardwalk area at 13:08 is a mass of furious steam, far in excess of present day. Wairakei Village is shiny and new at 13:21.
A business commentary at 13:30 notes that farming is a growing part of the local economy. Trace elements from fertiliser has been discovered to 'cure bush sickness', making farming a feasible land use. Teams of bulldozers are undertaking 'land development' at Lochinvar Station 'bringing in the land', with harrows turning over tussock and bulldozers shown mowing down manuka at 15:14.
The big question Selwyn put to overseas visitors was 'does Taupō do enough to make visitors from overseas feel welcome?' Interestingly, the Scottish couple being interviewed identified key issues as the state of the roads, hotel standards, how organised a tour was, and staff friendliness and warmth.
It was 1964, and Taupō and New Zealand got a good review.