Harry Bryant, the eldest of Tom’s seven children, continued his father’s legacy by motorising the tours. The first car was a touring-top Oakland, bought in 1929, which Harry used to learn to drive. He worked hard to progress the business, paying fees to steamships, building a hut by the Routeburn, and ferrying locals in his free time. Within 4 years there were 3 cars, with his siblings as drivers, even if they weren’t yet old enough to drive! In 1937 he increased capacity with a Ford bus, designed for 18, but could squeeze in 56 passengers. Harry enjoyed trying to convince tourists that the sheep on the steep hillsides had one leg longer than the other; he was a popular guide.
Business peaked at 12,000 people a year across 6 buses. Harry learnt to be a backyard mechanic, able to fix anything on his vehicles, which occasionally led to legal arguments. Harry also worked on the road infrastructure and farmed, as well as taxiing locals on his boat. Life was grand until the Glenorchy-Queenstown road opened in 1962, making the regular steamships redundant, resulting in a large loss of custom; the last trip was during the 1969/70 season. The final nail in the coffin was the bridge over the Dart River in 1974, connecting Kinloch by road with the rest of the country.
Kinloch Wilderness Retreat was left to fall into disrepair and only opened for self-catering groups, able to sleep 90. In 2000 John and Toni Glover took ownership, restoring it lovingly to a true representation of its former self, able to sleep 50. Today the Heritage Lodge stands as a testament to settler architecture, catering for the needs of all kinds of traveller, in a beautiful, peaceful setting at the head of the lake.