A royal tour of New Zealand

Prince Harry completed his eight-day royal tour of New Zealand recently. So what did he get up to in the country the Maori people call Aotearoa - or "the land of the long, white cloud"?



Prince Harry explored rugged coastline and temperate rainforests while trekking across Stewart Island and Ulva Island, which together have more than 300km of trails. Just a 20-minute flight or 60-minute ferry voyage from the mainland across the Foveaux Strait, Stewart Island is the country's third largest island, renowned for its untouched natural beauty. The island's Rakiura National Park is home to an abundance of wildlife, with pods of bottlenose dolphins and albatross spotted off the island's shores, and kakariki parakeets in its trees. With 270 hectares of protected rainforest on neighbouring Ulva Island, wildlife lovers and adventurers will not want to miss two of New Zealand's best-protected nature reserves.

Must do:

● Stewart Island from the air - Stewart Island Flights offers exhilarating flights over Stewart Island for a unique way to see Rakiura National Park. Arrive in style and touch down on the wild Mason Bay Beach to explore the coastline and forests on foot.

● Kiwi spotting - New Zealand's rare and iconic Kiwi bird thrives on Stewart Island, with over 20,000 inhabiting its forests. Try a guided twilight tour with Bravo Adventures for the best chance to spot a Kiwi.


Stretching out from the foot of a towering mountain range, Lake Wanaka's 45 kilometres of crystal clear waters provide a perfect playground for jetboarders, sailors and kayakers. Prince Harry took a break from his Royal duties to enjoy some downtime with a private overnight visit at the luxury boutique Riverrun Lodge on Lake Wanaka. The Prince enjoyed a personalised lunch prepared by Chef Karen Marinkovic, which included local delicacies such as Aoraki salmon, Blue River sheep's cheese quiche and Cardrona merino lamb. All washed down with Mt Difficulty Roaring Meg Pinot Noir - the region's famous tipple.

Must do:

● Skydiving over Lake Wanaka - Lake Wanaka is one of the best places in New Zealand to skydive. Freefall from 15,000 feet with views overlooking the stunning lakes and Southern Alps with Skydive Wanaka.

● Cycling - Wanaka Bike Tours offers cycling tours ranging from leisure trails following the lake edge to advanced trails exploring Wanaka's countryside. For a full day of activities, try the boat and bike combo - jet boating through Mt Aspiring National Park followed by cycling around Lake Wanaka.


Whanganui is one of New Zealand's oldest cities and the Whanganui River - the longest navigable river in the country - is the lifeblood of the region. The river passes through untouched natural environment; home to rare wildlife such as the whio (blue duck), kereru (native pigeon) and toutouwai (robin). Prince Harry made his way up the mighty Whanganui River, paddling his heart out with the crew of a traditional waka (canoe) - a journey that made for a spectacular arrival in the riverside city. Patiki, the original Maori settlement on the Whanganui River mouth, is a gathering place for all the people of the region.

Must do:

● Trek the Whanganui National Park - One of the most popular walks is the three- to four-day Matemateaonga Track, which follows an old Maori path. Guided walks can be arranged with the Department of Conservation.

● Whanganui Regional Museum - Take in the Whanganui Regional Museum, which has a historic range of permanent and changing exhibitions.


New Zealand's largest city, Auckland - perched between Waitemata and Manukau harbours - offers a buzzing mix of Maori culture, events, nightlife and restaurants as well as native rainforest, wild beaches, wineries, lots of geothermal activity and a range of mostly extinct volcanoes, all within easy reach of downtown. This year it plays host to the Fifa under-20 Football World Cup, and Prince Harry stopped by for a kick-around, captaining a team in a five-a-side match during which he scored the winning goal.

Must do:

● Free fall amid the skyscrapers - Even pop superstar Beyoncé has taken the plunge off Auckland's Sky Tower, the tallest structure in the southern hemisphere. The 192-metre jump may push your adrenaline levels sky high.

● Wine tasting and zip lining on Waiheke Island - Dubbed "the Hamptons of New Zealand", and being just a 35-minute ferry ride from the mainland, Waiheke Island offers art, sculpture, wineries and contemporary boutique hotels - and is home to its own flying fox zipline.

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