Images 1 and 2 – December 30, 1953, The Queen and Prince Philip arrive at Tūrangawaewae marae, Ngāruawāhia.
Image 3 – Te Arikinui Dame Te Ātairangikaahu and her husband, Whatumoana Paki, welcome Queen Elizabeth to Tūrangawaewae marae, Ngāruawāhia, in 1974.
Wednesday, December 23
A.M. SS Gothic berthed in Auckland.
Government address of welcome. Her Majesty and His Royal Highness set foot in New Zealand and were officially welcomed, Auckland Civic Reception, Town Hall.
P.M. Presentation of official tour and press parties. Garden party, Government House.
Thursday, December 24
A.M. Auckland Hospital, youth gathering, Auckland Domain.
P.M. Presentation of Colour, Devonport Naval Base. Garden reception, Government House.
Friday, December 25
A.M. Divine Service, St. Mary's Cathedral.
P.M. Her Majesty's Christmas Broadcast.
Saturday, December 26
A.M.-P.M. Auckland Racing Club, Ellerslie.
P.M. Royal Cinema Performance, St. James Theatre.
Sunday, December 27
A.M. Divine Service, St. Mary's Cathedral.
Monday, December 28
A.M. Presentation of Colour, R.N.Z.A.F. Station, Whenuapai. By plane to Kaikohe – public welcome.
P.M. By car to Waitangi – ceremony, Whangarei – civic reception.
Tuesday, December 29
A.M. By car Whangarei to Warkworth – public welcome.
P.M. By car to Puhoi Beach – picnic, and Auckland. Investiture, Town Hall.
Wednesday, December 30
A.M. By car to Pukekohe – public welcome.
P.M. By car to Alton Lodge, Te Kauwhata – lunch, Huntly – public welcome, Turangawaewae, Ngaruawahia – visit pa, and Hamilton – civic dinner and youth fiesta.
Thursday, December 31
A.M. Hamilton – civic reception and agricultural display, Claudelands Show Grounds.
P.M. By car to Te Kuiti – public welcome.
A.M.-P.M. H.R.H by air to Wellington – funeral of victims,Tangiwai railway accident . Return to Waitomo Caves.
P.M. By car to Waitomo Caves – visit Aranui Cave and Waitomo Glow-worm Cave.
Friday, January 1
A.M. By car Waitomo Caves to Te Awamutu – public welcome, and Cambridge – public welcome and civic luncheon.
P.M. By car to Karapiro Hydro-electric Station – inspection Tirau – public welcome, and "Moose Lodge", Lake Rotoiti.
Saturday, January 2
A.M. Rotorua – civic reception, Motutara Golf Course, and civic luncheon.
P.M. Maori reception, Arawa Park, Rotorua.
Sunday, January 3
A.M. Divine Service, St. John's Presbyterian Church, Rotorua.
P.M. Whakarewarewa model village and thermal activity.
Monday, January 4 – Tuesday, January 5
At "Moose Lodge", Lake Rotoiti – no official engagements.
Wednesday, January 6
A.M. By car "Moose Lodge" to Rotorua and plane to Gisborne
Gisborne-Wellington (6 -16 January 1954)
Wednesday, January 6
A.M. arrival at Gisborne airport – civic reception.
P.M. By air to Napier – civic reception. H.R.H. to Hawke's Bay Ex-naval Officers.
Thursday, January 7
A.M. By car Napier to Hastings – public welcome, and J. Wattie Canneries Ltd.
P.M. By train to Waipawa – public welcome, Waipukurau – public welcome, Dannevirke – public welcome, Woodville – public welcome, and Palmerston North – civic reception and civic dinner.
Friday, January 8
A.M.-P.M. By train to Palmerston North to Feilding – public welcome, Marton Junction – public welcome, Wanganui – civic reception, Patea – public welcome, Hawera – ceremonial drive, Stratford – public welcome, and New Plymouth.
Saturday, January 9
A.M. By car to Bell Block Dairy Factory. New Plymouth – civic reception, Pukekura Park.
P.M. By plane to Paraparaumu airport, and by car to Wellington – brief civic welcome.
Sunday, January 10
A.M. Divine Service, Cathedral Church of St. Paul.
Monday, January 11
A.M. Wellington civic reception, Town Hall. Lay wreath, Wellington War Memorial.
P.M. State luncheon, Parliament House. By car via Petone assembly factory, Ford Motor Company, Lower Hutt – inspection St. James's Church. Reception of heads of diplomatic missions, Government House.
Tuesday, January 12
A.M. Children's gathering, Athletic Park.
P.M. Opening of Special Session of Parliament. Reception for Members of Parliament and wives, Parliament House. Investiture, Wellington Town Hall.
Wednesday, January 13
A.M. Laying foundation stone of Anglican Cathedral. Meeting of Privy Council and Executive Council.
P.M. H.R.H. address and luncheon with scientific organisations. Presentation of address in reply. Garden party.
Thursday, January 14
A.M.-P.M. Wellington Racing club, Trentham.
Friday, January 15
A.M. By train Wellington to Masterton.
P.M. Masterton – civic reception. By car to Wellington via Carterton, Greytown, Featherston and Upper Hutt.
Blenheim-Christchurch (16-22 Jan 1954)
Saturday, January 16
A.M. By car to Wellington to Paraparaumu airport. By plane R.N.Z.A.F. Station, Woodbourne and car to Blenheim – public welcome.
Sunday, January 17
A.M. Divine Service, Nelson Cathedral.
P.M. By plane, Nelson to Westport – public welcome and Hokitika. By car to Greymouth.
Monday, January 18
A.M. Civic reception, Greymouth. By train via Otira for Darfield – public welcome, and Christchurch.
Tuesday, January 19
A.M. Civic reception, Cathedral Square, Christchurch. Christchurch Hospital.
P.M. Ceremonial drive. Disabled Servicemen's Training Centre – Evensong, Christchurch Cathedral. Civic dinner.
Wednesday, January 20
A.M. Factory of Lane Walker Rudkin, Ltd.
P.M. H.R.H. address and luncheon with Canterbury Chamber of Commerce. Investiture, Civic Theatre. Civic garden party.
Thursday, January 21
A.M.-P.M. New Zealand Metropolitan Trotting Club, Addington.
Friday, January 22
A.M. By car to military camp,Burnham and Ashburton.
P.M. Public welcome, Ashburton. By car to Longbeach.
Ashburton-Bluff and beyond (22-31 Jan 1954)
Saturday, January 23
H.R.H. visited Winchmore Irrigation Research Station.
Saturday, January 23
A.M. Divine Service, Longbeach.
Monday, January 25
A.M. By car Longbeach to Timaru – civic reception.
Tuesday, January 26
A.M. Civic reception, Dunedin Town Hall.
P.M. Sports meeting, Carisbrook. Royal concert, Town Hall.
Wednesday, January 27
A.M. Ross and Glendinning's Roslyn Woollen Mills.
P.M. Her Majesty to Truby King-Harris (Karitane) Hospital. H.R.H. with leading sportsmen. Reception, Art Gallery.
Thursday, January 28
A.M. By car Dunedin to Milton – public welcome, Balclutha – public welcome, Gore – public welcome, and Invercargill.
Friday, January 29
A.M. Civic reception, Invercargill.
P.M. Royal Agricultural Show and Caledonian Sports Meeting. Her Majesty's farewell broadcast.
Saturday, January 30
A.M. By car Invercargill to Bluff, Official farewells and embarkation. Leave New Zealand in S.S. Gothic.
Sunday, January 31
Unscheduled visit by SS Gothic to Milford Sound.
Why was the 1953-54 Royal Visit such a huge event for New Zealanders?
- This was the first time a reigning monarch had set foot in New Zealand. Previous royal visitors had either been sons or brothers of the monarch – Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh in 1869, Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and York in 1901, Prince of Wales in 1920, Duke and Duchess of York in 1927, Duke of Gloucester in 1934-1935.
Hopes for a visit by the monarch had been raised over the previous decade:
- There had been discussions of a visit by George VI in 1940, but the war prevented this.
- A detailed itinerary was prepared for a tour by the king in March 1949, but he fell ill.
- A shortened tour was planned for May 1952, and when the king again fell ill it was decided Princess Elizabeth would come instead. But at the first stop on this tour, in Africa, the young princess learned of her father's death and she returned home.
- The Queen's coronation in June 1953 heightened interest in royalty in New Zealand.
- The state was heavily involved in overseeing preparations for the tour and ensuring its success. Internal Affairs were the main organisers, but Tourist and Publicity, Defence, Railways (which supplied the special royal trains), Works, Maori Affairs, Police and the Education departments all put enormous energies into the tour.
- The war had strengthened New Zealanders' sense of their relationship with Britain. Where Britain went, New Zealand went. New Zealand's trade was overwhelmingly with Britain (67.5 of our exports in 1953, 56% of our imports), and British people were our most important immigrants (65% in 1953-54).
- By 1953 New Zealand had recovered from depression and war. Indeed the boom in wool prices created by the Korean War had carried New Zealand to the second highest standard of living in the world. There was a general satisfaction with New Zealand life and the Royal Visit became a way of presenting this modern paradise to the world.