They’ve done museums, monuments and a fancy soirée, but with an exhilarating jet boat ride and a taste of Central Otago’s best drops, it was finally starting to feel like a holiday for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
Kate and William turned up to church on Sunday like good English royals, but it wasn’t long before they’d taken off their Sunday best to see a rugby field battle – and later, discover what the New Zealand tourist haven of Queenstown had to offer.
The teams fought it out in Dunedin’s Forsyth Stadium, and it was William’s Clutha team who took home the trophy, winning 30-20 against the home side, who’d had a pep talk from both Kate and All Black captain Richie McCaw.
It was probably a relief for the duke after Kate’s America’s Cup yacht beat him not once, but twice, on Friday.
The stadium was packed with 10,000 cheering fans who gave Kate and William their loudest welcome of the tour thus far.
After their chilly morning in Dunedin, the duke and duchess flew to crystal-clear Queenstown where the tourist activities began in earnest.
The royals had been dogged for much of the day by rumours a possible sibling for George might not be far off, but Kate quashed the whispers when she sipped red and white wine at Amisfield Winery while sampling canapés featuring Bluff oysters, salmon and Fiordland venison.
Central Otago Pinot Noir Ltd chairwoman Lucie Lawrence, who escorted the Duchess during the sampling, said she had “six or seven” tastes.
“She really enjoyed drinking the pinot noir,” Ms Lawrence said.
But if they do have another baby, they’ve got a suitable tipple to open in celebration – William and Kate took three bottles of Pinot Noir away as a gift.
Jet boat driver Wayne Paton, who took the couple on a fast-paced trip down stone-lined Shotover River, also poured cold water on the baby rumour.
Mr Paton asked whether anyone was pregnant as a protocol before they took off … and there was resounding silence.
“I presume from that she’s not pregnant,” he said.
The duke and duchess seemed to enjoy their half-hour ride, smiling and waving to the 100-strong crowd on the shore as they did 360-degree turns and sped up to 70km/h in their bright red boat.
Mr Paton said William asked him to go closer to the rocks – but in the end the ride seemed speedy enough for the duke, who commented “I knew it’d be fast, but I didn’t realise just how fast”. Brooke Shields, Hugh Jackman and Chris Pine have all jetted down the river, but the couple were his most famous passengers, said Mr Paton.
“They’re number one for me, definitely.”
William and Kate will stay in a secret Central Otago location on Sunday night before heading to Christchurch on Monday morning.