Royals delight Otago crowds

Thousands of people have turned out to see the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge during a packed day in Otago which started in church and ended in a white-knuckle ride on the Shotover Jet.

Dunedin five-year-old Matawhio<br /> Matahaere-Veint had a hug with the Duchess. Photo by GettyThe weather played its part with no repeat of the rain seen elsewhere in the country during the royal tour.

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In Dunedin five-year-old Matawhio Matahaere-Veint became an instant star on news websites worldwide after holding on for a long hug with the Duchess at the airport.

The couple attended Palm Sunday mass at St Paul's Cathedral and then delighted the crowd in the Octagon with a walkabout.

Next stop was Forsyth Barr Stadium where Prince William gained a measure of revenge over his wife for trouncing him in yachting in Auckland by coaching the winning rippa rugby team in front of 8000 people.

After flying to Queenstown the royal couple visited a winery and then buckled in for a ride on the Shotover Jet.

Shotover jet thrill-ride

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge applauded on their return from a 25-minute thrill ride with Queenstown's iconic Shotover Jet. 

The couple clapped and thanked the driver as the jet returned.

The royal pair were clearly thrilled with the adventure.

After taking off their lifejackets they took several minutes meeting the Arrowtown School pupils.

Prince William was wearing a black New Zealand cap with a silver fern.

They were then whisked off to stay the night at the exclusive Matakauri Lodge 

Earlier the boat went up the Shotover river, turned and raced back before performing a dramatic 180-degree turn for the cameras.

When the boat shot up the river, the crowd shrieked in delight.

The boat then disappeared from view for a 15-minute journey, blasting by rocky outcrops, skimming around ragged boulders, and speeding through the narrow canyons. 

Minutes earlier in brilliant late afternoon sunshine, five-year old Maggie Langford presented Kate - who has changed into skinny jeans and a blazer - with a bouquet of flowers on arrival at the sandy riverside.

The royal couple on their Shotover Jet thrill-ride. Photo NZ<br /> Governor GeneralThe Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were given a short riverside safety briefing along with the 12 others travelling in their big, red boat.

Others on the royals' boat - and a second 'Big Red' boat that is going up the river - include representatives from Ngai Tahu, tribe chairman Sir Mark Solomon, Ngai Tahu youth, Shotover Jet workers, security guards and Kensington Palace officials.

William and Kate chose not to wear the tourism firm's grey sprayjackets to protect them from the inevitable splashes of water.

But they clutched their red lifejackets tightly as they met their fellow boat travellers.

They stood around chatting casually before they had a group photograph.

The royals then walked down the gangplank and sat in the middle of the boat, just behind driver Wayne Paton.

Royals visit winery

The Duke of Cambridge was more in the mood for drinking than talking when he visited Queenstown's Amisfield winery today.  

After a brief tour of the vineyard that took in not just the vines but an old showpiece Massey Ferguson tractor, Prince William remarked to co-owner John Darby: "We should probably stop the talking and start the drinking." 

Darby and Amisfield winemaker Stephanie Lambert took William and Kate through a tasting of Amisfield 2011 Pinot Noir. William gave it three or four hearty swirls in the glass, gulped back a mouthful and remarked: "Delicious". 

The royal couple have now arrived at Shotover Jet and are about to buckle in for a 25-minute adrenaline rush.

The royal couple stroll<br /> through the vines at Amisfield Winery. Photo NZ Governor GeneralEarlier on arrival at the winery at 2.40pm, the pair got a big cheer from a waiting crowd of hundreds lining the winery entrance at Lake Hayes. 

They'd come from Queenstown Airport where they arrived on a Royal New Zealand Air Force 757 and were greeted by Queenstown mayor Vanessa van Uden. 

Van Uden told them: "Welcome to Queenstown, have a lovely time." And Kate in response noted how amazing the weather was. 

At the vineyard, the pair were separated before sampling some of the best of the region's pinot noir and aromatic wines, represented by 29 of the district's vineyards. 

Central Otago Winegrowers Association president James Dicey escorted the Duke around sampling stations inside a marquee set up at Amisfield. Central Otago Pinot Noir Ltd chairwoman Lucie Lawrence took the duchess on her tour. 

The Royal pair departed at 3.30pm on the dot towards the Shotover Jet base.

Security was tight for the jetboat trip up the steep, rugged, tree-lined Shotover Canyons, and dozens of police have been scouring the area all morning.

Highly-trained Special Tactics Group (STG) officers were believed to be in the area, and a dive squad has trawled the river.

Prince gets a rippa revenge

Prince William has gained revenge for his wife's win in the yachting in Auckland with a rippa rugby victory in Dunedin.

 Prince William celebrates a try<br /> in the company of All Black captain Richie McCaw at Forsyth Barr<br /> Stadium. Photo by Peter McIntoshIn front of a crowd of 8000, the William-coached Clutha team prevailed 30-20 over Pirates who had  Kate Middleton as assistant coach.

After the game Prince William thanked the crowd for the warm welcome and said he had found the city in New Zealand "where the passion for rugby runs deepest."

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge took to the field in casual clothing and the prince delighted the crowd at Forsyth Barr Stadium by kicking off the rippa rugby final between two teams of Otago youngsters.

The royal couple had greeted NZ rugby boss Steve Tew, players Ben Smith, Richie McCaw and DJ Forbes and CureKids ambassadors Sophie Newbold and Bayden Marrin in the stadium tunnel.

They then split up to coach their teams. Prince William appeared to be taking his duties seriously with words of encouragement for the young players.

Of the triple attractions of rippa rugby, the royals and Richie McCaw, Richie was the biggest pull for 8-year old Finn Aitken, who has come to watch sister Mya play rugby for the West Tairi Rippa team.

Tam Alinaami, a big fan of the Queen, said she hoped to meet Prince William and see Catherine, because she liked the monarchist system and wanted to tell them that. "I'd like to shake hands with him."

Earlier the couple delighted a crowd of 3500 in Dunedin's Octagon with a brief royal walkabout after the Palm Sunday Service at St Paul's Cathedral.

The royal couple each concentrated on one side of the crowd and were greeted with loud cheering.

People scaled poles, sat on shoulders and even climbed onto the Robbie Burns statue to get a glimpse of the couple.

Octagon arrival

When they arrived the Duchess turned and waved to the crowd of royal-watchers before the couple were greeted at the steps of St Paul's Cathedral by Dean the Very Rev Dr Trevor James.

Narelle Hetfield (35) and her daughter Zoey (15) came along at 7.45am sporting Union Jack flags.

Narelle said she was shaking when Kate waved and was still buzzing a few minutes later.

Margaret Armishaw, from Dunback, who travelled to Dunedin with her friend Glennis Beyer, of Nelson, said Kate "looked beautiful" and it was worth getting up at 5am to get a prime spot outside the cathedral.

There was debate in the crowd over the colour of the Duchess's outfit with some settling on "peacock blue". 

Airport welcome

Royal-watchers from throughout the South, many wearing fake tiaras and waving Union Jacks, gathered at the airport to greet the royal couple.

The royal couple were welcomed on the tarmac by Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull.

Edward Ellison, of the local runanga, led a powhiri which included Dunedin five-year-old Matawhio Matahaere-Veint.

The youngster, who had a long chat with the Duchess, said she had been practising how to curtsey "for a long time."

She gave the Duchess two books for Prince George including The Little Yellow Digger.

Among the crowd of 300 a trio of fans from Haast have been at the airport since early morning and Gina Cosgrove and her daughter Chelsea (14) from Invercargill arrived at 8pm the previous evening and slept in their car.

Kate and Wills in Dunedin

Kate looks fab - but she could also double as a Teal Airways hostess in that blue outfit!