You’re invited to the Harbour Bridge opening, 1959

It’s all on video

It was a great day for Aucklanders when the Harbour Bridge was officially opened in 1959. With all the pomp and ceremony typical of that era, the opening ceremony was conducted by the Governor-General Lord Cobham, with Prime Minister Sir Walter Nash in attendance.

At last, the North Shore and the rest of Auckland were linked by road, instead of ferries.

A spectacular parade made the initial crossing of the bridge, followed by cars queued for 6 miles on either side of the bridge, their drivers eager to be among the first to cross.

Wish you’d been there? Then take a look at this old Movietone News-style video to see the big day and plenty of reminders of the cars, clothes and style of the late 1950s.

And if you’re interested in more detail, and would like to see a video of the actual building of the bridge, click here. Look closely and you will see some of the St Mary’s Bay houses on the clifftop above the motorway under construction.