Film: 3688

Places + Locations | 1960 | Sound | Colour

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Synopsis:

Australia and Fiji
A well filmed movie of an air trip holiday to Fiji and Sydney and Queensland in the late fifties/early sixties. Very good detail of Fiji on a resort at Viti Levu and of Suva. Sydney Harbour and the Harbour Bridge, two popular Australian sports, the Royal Easter Agricultural Show and the NSW Police Force Parade show something of life in Sydney and the Great Barrier Reef off the the coast of Queensland are filmed.


Fiji
Aerial footage of coastal Fiji in the South Pacific. An extraordinary, very small island with Fijian buildings and two very high vertical and rocky geographical outcrops, upon one is a modern house which takes up most of the flat top area. Aerial view of Suva, capital of Fiji. A four-engine Qantas plane taxis along Nadi International Airport runway. The Qantas plane taxis, mountains rise sharply to the rear. Passengers disembark the plane on mobile stairs, and the pilot and co-pilots farewell passengers at the top and the bottom of the stairs, while four Fijian hostesses stand to attention on the tarmac, the passengers wear formal day clothes, both men and women wear hats and the men are in suits.

The extraordinary island seen in the opening shot is approached by boat. In the foreground a Fijian boy propels tourists in a small punt-like boat past the island. Close up of the modern house perches precariously on top of the cliffs and is surrounded by tropical palm trees. The native Fijian houses below it are built of stone or wood and grass, and the roofs are all grass. Some are built out over the water on stilts. Ka Levu, a popular resort on the island of Viti Levu, has individual tourist accommodation buildings built in the same style as the native Fijian houses.

A group of Fijians sit in a clearing between palm trees and entertain the tourists with songs, they wear thin bands around their hair and flowers above their ears, and strings of flowers around their necks. The men wear bright printed shirts and white pants and bare feet, the women white shirts, darker cloth skirts and bare feet, and two little girls, one white and blond the other a Fijian girl are dressed in leis and grass skirts, move into the front of the adult group and dance to the singing and clapping. A young village chief wearing khaki shorts and a string of flowers around his neck stands before his village, and leans on a wooden pole that has two small Union Jacks fluttering at its top.

Male Fijians perform a rather fierce ceremonial dance. Another group of men sit on the grass and beat the ground with long wooden instruments, others beat a larger horizontal piece of carved timber with a smaller wood instrument while others clap to produce a music. The men continue their ceremonial dance with spears and long handled axes; they wear thick skirts of many pieces of woven material. The filmmaker walks up to the village chief and shakes hands and chats to him about the great western world beyond his island, grass-roofed huts and palm trees and the sea provide a backdrop, and a young Fijian child wanders by waving a round tropical leaf.

A young Fijian male, without shorts or shirt, climbs up a long coconut tree trunk very rapidly, and hacks several coconut tree branches off with the a machete he pulled from the back of his shorts. The coconut tree branches fall into the water below, where young children frolic about naked, an older girl in a white dress wades into he water in anticipation, and the village is visible in the background, and green coconuts fall heavily into the water hole. The young man is plucking coconuts off with one hand as he holds onto the tree and the machete with the other hand and his feet. The children romp about in the water, avoiding falling coconuts but grabbing those that bob in the water. The young man is seen shimmying down the coconut tree trunk, and dropping into the water.

A young Fijian male wearing nothing but a sarong around his waist and carrying a long very thin spear, walks along the waters edge on the white sand; suddenly he sees what he is looking for in the water and crouches, throws his spear then quickly follows it into the water from where he retrieves the spear which has a wriggling fish on its end; he takes the fish and kills it with his teeth, then holds up the dead fish while grinning at the camera.

A high grass-roofed building in a beautifully maintained area is a girls school, and Fijian girls in white blouses, red gathered skirts and wearing bare feet walk four abreast in a column down the wide winding path. The small city of Suva's main street is narrow and orderly as a policemen directs traffic in a little rotunda in the middle of the road, there are quite modern buildings set amongst more colonial style buildings with verandas, and a few modern cars and trucks. A parade of the Suva Police Brass Band are led by a band leader down one of Suva's main street, tourists and locals watch as the all-male marching police band members wear red shirts and white skirts cut in zigzag fashion and below-the-knee length. The camera follows the parade and shows the city streets of Suva. The band continues down another major Suva street and the bitumen road is divided by a median strip which has trees and grass and a white painted kerb; it is here people stand to watch the parade. Another angle of the divided road is seen as the band passes by.

Australia
The Qantas plane arrives at Sydney, Australia, taxiing across the tarmac, two men wearing suits and hats chat to the left. A view of Sydney Harbour including numerous coves and points and the Sydney Harbour Bridge from the Toronga Park Zoo. A view of the Sydney Harbour Bridge has mostly single storey buildings in the foreground. There is a sweeping shot of the Sydney Harbour Bridge with a ship at the base of the pylon. The bridge is seen as the camera passes under it. A freight ship with two smoking funnels passes under the bridge. A passenger ferry passes by. A old 1860's sandstone fort, Fort Dennison, is in the centre of Sydney Harbour. Giant cranes sit on a wharf, where there are freighters moored and the city is in the background.

A four way intersection of streets in Sydney, with cantilevered verandas on old Victorian and Edwardian buildings, there are large "Peak Freeans Vita Weat" and "Peters Ice Cream" fluorescent signs above the buildings and a FJ Holden and a Ford and an Austin car. A city street has a double tram and many shops and cars. Another city street has a doubledeck bus, utilities, cars and vans. St Mary's Catholic Cathedral is seen from the perspective of the lawn bowling club next door. Elderly male bowlers in their white flannels and shirts, club tie and white club straw hats display their skill at an extremely popular mature-age persons sport, and their charming old club house is in the background. There is a long low shot of one mans bowling attempt. Another view of the men playing lawn bowls which provides gentle exercise and outdoor recreation for old people.

The New South Wales Police Force parade (possibly in Centennial Park) begins with the motor bicycle squad. Mounted policemen wear a uniform with riding boots and white pith helmets. A women's regiment marches by followed by the New South Wales Police Brass Band. The NSW Police Force Pipe Band is next in the parade followed by members of the uniformed branch marching four abreast.

Bondi Beach and the point with its high rise buildings are seen. Bondi Surf Life Saving Carnival has several teams competing, and they march along Bondi Beach under their teams flags. The clubs parade up the beach and return while the crowds applaud. Teams perform a drill with each club member passing the life line above his head from the reel to those who are attempting to save the drowning victim. Officials in white shorts, shirts and sun hats watch each team carefully and note points as earned or lost, the crowds are kept back and they sit and stand behind the competing teams, and in the background modest beach houses are visible. The "drowning victims" are carried rather slowly and ceremoniously in a face down horizontal position, up to the dry sand by the three life savers at almost shoulder height. Officials keep a close eye as each team performs an early method of resuscitation. The patient is chest down on the sand and the lifesaver presses his upper back rythmically, then raises his bent elbows above his head. Children and adults romp and play in a city swimming pool at the base of the Sydney Harbour Bridge pylon.

An aerial view of Sydney's Royal Easter Show's grand parade in the show ring, with a myriad of agricultural animals on parade. and some of the buildings and the grandstand and crowds in the background. A closer aerial view of the Show details show jumping horses. Prize winning goats are led by their owners, with other animals in the background. Prize diary cattle are paraded by officials, dressage competitors are in the background. Old-style horse drawn vehicles with two wheels and carrying two people and with folded-down canvas shelters. Prize miniature ponies pull a small two-wheeled vehicle. The old grandstand contrasts with the contemporary 1950's construction beside it, as the grand parade is seen from aerial view again. There is a view of the arena as the lines of animals led by officials snake around in curling lines.

A koala is up a gum tree, two others crawl up the trunk to join him. The three koalas are in the fork of a eucalyptus tree and one munches on gum leaves. One koala sits on a cut gum tree branch, and when offered a little branch of gum leaves, it reaches out after them. A kangaroo stands and then hops about in an enclosure. Two kangaroos hop by. A small white albino kangaroo or wallaby hops along the wire fence line.

A tourist boat is heading out to the Great Barrier Reef in the vicinity of Hayman Island, Queensland. Two small outboard motor boats carry about six passengers each who look through the glass bottoms to the reef, a sharply rising island is nearby. A view of the coral. Tropical fish dart amongst the reef. The two glass-bottomed boats cruise along, a steeply mountainous island rises in the background. The larger tourist boat cruises by, with sharply rising rocky outcrops in the land in the background. The tourist boat approaches Bird Island. An Australian aboriginal male wearing only shorts raises a rifle and shoots from the boat towards the island. A great flock of birds rises up from the tiny strip of land in the sea. A view from the beach of Bird Island has the ascending birds and the tourist boat moored offshore. A couple in bathing costumes stroll along the waters edge of Bird Island with its white beaches and blue skies and mountainous land beyond the sea.


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