Mostly humorous with occasional farcical moments, the film focuses on the Rudd family and their trials and tribulations living on the land. Murtagh Joseph Rudd, known as Dad, and his son Dave finish a bark hut on their newly established selection. The rest of the family arrive and get to work, clearing the land by hand and planting a first crop of corn. The challenges include wildlife in their beds and no money to buy a horse, but their hard work pays off. In a year or two, the Rudds have a working farm and a more comfortable home, thanks to the domestic labours of Mrs Rudd. A bushfire and several years of drought impoverish them, but they hold on against all adversity. When Kate Rudd returns from her job teaching in the city, she falls for an eligible young farmer, Sandy Taylor. Dave and his sister Sarah also find sweethearts, although Dad tries to shoot one of them. Kate's wedding allows all grudges to be forgotten.
Based on the popular "Dad and Dave" series of stories by Steele Rudd (q.v.), first published in the Bulletin in 1895, this cinematic production stays closer to the original stories than many of the previous stage versions had.