Prince greets fans with warm wave

Central Otago Mirror - - WANAKA NEWS - By CHE BAKER

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.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.