Inside word on Harry and Meghan’s Rotorua itinerary
In just over three weeks millions of eyes will be on Rotorua as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex make their way to town.
The details of the royal itinerary have been revealed and local tourism operators and city leaders say the visit will be the perfect opportunity to shine a spotlight on Rotorua.
Prince Harry and Meghan will be in Rotorua on October 31 and their first stop will be to visit Te Papaiouru Marae for a formal po¯hiri and lunch.
The Duke and Duchess will then head to Rainbow Springs to learn about the centre’s kiwi breeding programme before heading to the city to visit Rotorua’s Government Gardens.
Members of the public are expected to gather in the city to catch a glimpse of the couple before they make their way to Whakarewarewa Forest where they will take on the Redwoods Treewalk Rotorua before meeting invited representatives of the local mountain biking community.
Nga¯ti Whakaue kauma¯tua Monty Morrison said he was “honoured and humbled” for Te Arawa and Rotorua to be asked to showcase who they were to the royals.
Morrison said it was an opportunity to showcase local culture and the unique relationship and history shared with the royal family to the world.
“I want to show them who we are today and give them a glimpse into the possibilities of our shared futures. Caring for each other and building a future of promise and prosperity, in which all can participate. Am I excited, I think I am beyond excitement,” Morrison said.
Destination Rotorua chief
Visit Te Papaiouru Marae for a formal po¯hiri and luncheon.
Head to Rainbow Springs to learn about the centre’s kiwi breeding programme and name two kiwi chicks.
Meet the public outside Rotorua’s Government Gardens.
Enjoy the Redwoods Treewalk Rotorua where they will learn about the history of the forest.
Meet with invited representatives of the local mountain biking community at Whakarewarewa. executive Michelle Templer said the organisation was looking forward to welcoming the royal couple and showcasing local manaakitanga (hospitality) on an international stage.
“It’s also a wonderful opportunity to host the thousands of national and international visitors that will flock here to catch a glimpse of the couple at key points during the day,” Templer said.
She said the economic impact of a royal visit was “significant” to Rotorua.
“Ranging from the money that the visiting media and onlookers will spend in restaurants and cafes, as well as the media coverage that will be generated.”
Templer said Prince William’s 2014 visit was worth more than $86 million in exposure for New Zealand and she expected Rotorua to feature strongly in the international coverage generated by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
She said the royal couple’s movements attract “intense interest” in both the UK and the US which were key tourism markets for Rotorua.
Templer said Chinese trade partners were very interested in the royals’ itinerary and had been talking to Destination Rotorua about replicating the royal experience in their travel packages.
Rotorua deputy mayor Dave Donaldson has been involved in organising the itinerary for the Rotorua leg of the royal visit.
He said that, considering the amount of time the Duke and Duchess of Sussex had in the area, the activities chosen meant the “best things” about Rotorua would be on show.
Donaldson said it would be special for the royal couple to visit Te Papaiouru Marae as it was the appropriate place for tangata whenua to welcome the visitors and for Ma¯ori culture to be celebrated.
The public had an opportunity to get a glimpse of the royals when they make their way to Rotorua’s Government Gardens and Donaldson expected many locals and regional visitors to take that opportunity.
Donaldson said the royals would learn about the history of the Whakarewarewa Forest when they take on the Redwoods Treewalk and they would also get to meet leaders of the local mountain biking community.
When asked if the Duke and Duchess would be giving mountain biking a go, Donaldson said it was “unlikely”, however, there would be some bikes on hand just in case.
Rainbow Springs business manager David Hennigan said he was “thrilled” to be able to share the important kiwi conservation mahi the organisation did.
Hennigan said the full details of what the royals would do at Rainbow Springs could not be discussed yet, however, it was announced the royal couple would meet with conservationists working to protect the kiwi and would also get the opportunity to name two young kiwi chicks.
He said the royals would be the first to visit the newly redeveloped National Kiwi Hatchery Aotearoa (formerly Kiwi Encounter) and the Kiwi Burrow.
“We are absolutely delighted that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will be the first to visit the new experience, which will be open to the public soon. The visit will give us the opportunity to share the kiwi’s story and the important work that we do, with New Zealanders and the rest of the world,” Hennigan said.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will be visiting Rotorua on October 31.
Rotorua’s BayTrust Rescue Helicopter will be axed on November 1.