narrow canyons. Shotover Jet’s signature ‘big reds’ are an iconic New Zealand tourism activity that has thrilled more than three million visitors with high-speed, gravity-defying, 360-degree action.
Jet boat driver Wayne Paton - who was also responsible for the safety briefing before the royals’ departure, said, “William had been shouting 'go closer, Wayne' as they powered down the canyon. The jet boats, which today are capable of reaching 85kph / 53 mph, are powered by jet units that were invented by New Zealander Sir William Hamilton more than 50 years ago.”
Along with the adrenalin-pumping moments, the royal couple also enjoyed some quieter moments tasting some of New Zealand’s wine and food. At Amisfield Winery, near Queenstown, William and Kate enjoyed sampling fine Central Otago wines - pinot noir, riesling, chardonnay and pinot gris - and food, meeting local producers and strolling through the vineyard learning about cultivation and wine-making. Queenstown lies in the heart of the Central Otago wine region which has earned international recognition for its pinot noir wine.
The Duke and Duchess also dined with New Zealand Prime Minister, John Key, and his family at Premier House, in Wellington, where Kiwi staples pavlova and hokey pokey icecream were on the menu.
There was also a meeting with notable New Zealand film-maker Sir Peter Jackson for a tour of the ‘Knights of the Sky’ exhibition, featuring Jackson’s personal collection of vintage planes and aviation memorabilia at Omaka Heritage Aviation Centre, Marlborough.
Nine days in New Zealand saw the Duke and Duchess visit eight regions with numerous opportunities to meet and mingle with New Zealanders.