Prince greets fans with warm wave
It was a wet, whirlwind trip for Prince Harry who spent less than 24 hours visiting Wanaka on his New Zealand tour this week.
The prince flew into the Wanaka Airport on Monday morning on one of two Royal New Zealand Air Force helicopters before being whisked away with his entourage in a waiting SUV.
The Wanaka stop was not part of his official tour engagements, but ‘‘private time’’, where it was believed he dined and stayed at Riverrun Lodge with aviation pioneer Sir Tim Wallis.
A fishing trip had to be cancelled because of the wet weather.
Warbirds and Wheels general manager Naomi Lindsay said staff at the airport were suspicious on Monday when police and some bodyguards turned up at the airport.
‘‘Then these two black hawks [helicopters] started coming over and then he climbed out.
‘‘He gave us a wave as he walked across the tarmac then jumped in a black SUV and left. ‘‘It was fabulous . . . awesome,’’ she said.
The British national said she was a keen follower of the royal family.
‘‘Oh, my God. I amso excited. I never thought in my lifetime I would get to meet a member of the royal family. I still haven’t but I got to see him,’’ she said.
Yesterday morning about five members of the public watched the prince board the helicopter in the rain just before 8am, where he was flown to Christchurch for other engagements including meeting with Prime Minister John Key.
Friends Prue Wilson and Anne Dougal braved the cold to watch him take off.
Dougal said she had been looking forward to catching a glimpse of the prince but was surprised not many others had turned out to see him off.
Prince Harry prepares to board a Royal New Zealand Air Force helicopter at Wanaka Airport yesterday morning to fly to Christchurch. Photo: JAMES ALLAN
Anika West started at Wanaka Primary School on 20 April 20.