The Great Liners (Episode 20)


Ships to New Zealand (Part 3)

The Ports of New Zealand

This is the third part of the story. ‘Ships to New Zealand’. In parts one and two we watched the ships as they readied themselves for sea, and then sailed with them on what was the longest line voyage on earth, from the UK to the shores of Australia and New Zealand.

In this third part of this story we once again return to the heyday of the British Merchant Navy and the follow the adventures of many of the ships that were once so much an every day part of our lives and operated by such famous lines as Blue Star, Ellerman, New Zealand Shipping Company, Federal Steam, Port Line, Savill and many, many more, as they sailed in and out of the scenic ports of Australia and New Zealand.

Using film recently shot especially for exclusive use in this production, we also see those same ports as they are today and draw a comparison with the way they once were. We visit places and bars once frequented by the men (and women) who once served aboard these beautiful old ships, places where so many romances, stories and adventures began.

As we watch the ships at work around the New Zealand coast; loading their cargoes of refrigerated meat, butter, cheese, bales of wool and drums of tallow, we join even more ships as they sail outward bound from the UK on that long voyage, calling at such places as Curacao, Panama and across the vast Pacific Ocean to the Southern Dominions and their final destination, New Zealand, The Land of the Long White Cloud.

After many weeks spent on the New Zealand coast, working sightseeing, partying and often falling in love, it’s finally time for the ships to sail for home again, amongst them some of the older ones sailing for the very last time, their paying-off pennants flying with nostalgic pride after giving so many years of loyal services.

Everyone who had anything to do with ships has theirs own very special story to tell, for those days were for most of us ‘the best days of our lives’. I give you now a story about the ships that once sailed to New Zealand. It’s a story I hope you will enjoy and one that will help to open the covers to your own very special book of memories.

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