Gillard enjoys meeting locals

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard's first visit to Queenstown was successful, both for political deals and impressing the locals.

Ms Gillard arrived in a Royal Australian Air Force jet, to be met by about 20 media personnel at the runway, where they were greeted with a smile and a wave from afar.

At the Hilton Hotel, Ms Gillard gave a statement, which included her take on the Australian professional sports doping scandal.''

I think all sports fans, including me, find this pretty sickening.''

It is believed both Mr Key and Ms Gillard arrived at the Millbrook Resort near Arrowtown that night and ate at the Thai restaurant.

On Saturday, Ms Gillard's time was filled with visiting a memorial, photo shoots and a spot of shopping in Arrowtown.

Ms Gillard and Mr Key announced, after a two-hour meeting at the Hilton, that New Zealand would take 150 boat people a year who have been approved as refugees by Australian authorities in offshore processing.

When questioned by media how this would benefit New Zealand, Ms Gillard said the deal would not send any message of encouragement to boat people to come straight to New Zealand, nor would it add to the 750 annual total New Zealand already took.''

It will fit the `no advantage test', because we don't want any message sent anywhere around the world that by transiting to Australia you get some form of advantage, whether it is resettlement in Australia or resettlement in New Zealand.''

The two prime ministers also announced both Governments' new commitment to transtasman telecommunications and to lower costs through action on roaming charges.

Ms Gillard said this would benefit holiday-makers and business workers alike, from both countries. Once the 30-minute question time limit was over the two leaders visited the Queenstown war memorial, to lay two wreaths.

They were greeted by a lone protester who goes by the name of Fay, of Queenstown.

She held up a sign calling on Australia to close its offshore processing centre in Nauru and said she did not agree with the New Zealand Government's boat people deal with Australia, as the new arrangements could include refugees processed through offshore centres in Nauru and Papua New Guinea.

Neither Ms Gillard nor Mr Key acknowledged the woman and left in the 12-car motorcade to return to the Hilton for another media opportunity, this time with the Cricket World Cup by the Wakatipu lakefront.

The two prime ministers joked about which country was likely to win the trophy in 2015, when New Zealand will host the tournament.

Although Ms Gillard's tone was convincing, Mr Key seemed to have some doubt about the Black Caps.

''Well I hope New Zealand, but, umm, history would indicate Australia are in a stronger position.''

Queenstown was in the loop to host a CWC match in 2015, although organisers were not close to making a decision, Mr Key said.

From there it was ''let's go shopping'' as the prime ministers, Mr Key's wife Bronagh and Ms Gillard's husband Tim Mathieson took the motorcade to Arrowtown, where a media mob followed them down Buckingham St, as they looked in nearly every store.

Both prime ministers bought lollies from the Remarkables Sweet shop. However, Mr Matheison had to settle for a venison pie at the Arrowtown Bakery, after walking into the shop hoping a mint and lamb variety would still be on offer - one he had tried when he was last in Arrowtown, 12 years ago.

Mr Key took another photo opportunity when he was invited to sit on a local's Harley-Davidson motorcycle outside the dairy.

Finally, the prime ministers reached their intended destination, the Postmasters cafe, where they sat in view of more than 100 locals, media and security guards.

Later that night, Ms Gillard and her husband enjoyed a meal at Queenstown's Bunker restaurant.

Yesterday morning, Ms Gillard left from the airport.

''It has been very nice to come to Queenstown itself. I have never been here before.

''It's a very beautiful, beautiful place. The scenery is incredible and it seems like a very happy town, with every one enjoying the sunshine and enjoying what it's got to offer.

''It's been nice to say hello to a few locals as well.''