Although they returned to Australia for final concerts in Brisbane on 29 and 30 June 1964, on this day The Beatles flew from Sydney Airport to Auckland, New Zealand.
As The Beatles prepared to leave Suite 801 of Sydney’s Chevron Hotel, they heard a tap on the windows. It was Peter Roberts, a 20-year-old Liverpudlian living in Australia, who had scaled eight storeys in darkness via the hotel drainpipes.
We were all shoving our dirty rags into a case when I heard a knock on the window. I thought it must have been one of the others mucking around so I didn’t take any notice, but the knocking kept on so I went over to the balcony – and there was this lad who looked just like a typical Liverpool lad. I knew before he opened his mouth where he was from, because nobody else would be climbing up eight floors. This lad – Peter – walked in and said, ‘Hullo dere,’ and I said, ‘Hullo dere,’ and he told me how he’d climbed up the drainpipe, from balcony to balcony. I gave him a drink because he deserved one and then I took him around to see the others, who were quite amazed. They thought I was joking when I told them.
At Sydney Airport The Beatles were greeted by an estimated 10,000 fans – their biggest number yet. After flying 1,500 miles to Auckland they were greeted by another 7,000 people, and were given traditional nose-rubbing kisses from Maori women in native dress.
When we were flying in to New Zealand, it looked like England – like Devon, with cows and sheep. But in those days we were looking for some action, and there was absolutely nothing happening.
We were in the hotel room, sitting around eating fish and chips with peas, and watching television. And suddenly, at about nine o’clock at night, the channels all closed down. So we threw our dinners at the TV.
The Beatles were driven to Auckland’s Hotel St George where a further 3,000 fans were waiting for them. They had to be smuggled in through a nearby bottle shop to avoid the crush of people.