New Zealand appears to have made an impression on Prince William, who completed his whirlwind visit today by insisting he didn't want to leave.
The prince rounded off his trip - his first official engagement on behalf of the Queen - by visiting sick children at Wellington Hospital where he bought grins and shy smiles to their faces and those of their parents.
As he left, he said his stay was "fantastic, very welcoming, very warm - I wish I wasn't going".
Again flanked by an entourage and trailed by an extensive media contingent he refused to compare his ability with children with that of his mother, the late Princess Diana, saying he wasn't "anywhere near her level".
"I just go and meet people and just enjoy their company ... I really enjoy it, I get a buzz out of it. Seeing kids smile means a lot to me."
It also appeared to mean a lot to those who had gathered to see him.
With children's murals hanging from the ceiling and walls plastered with paintings and drawings from its temporary occupants, the prince greeted each of those gathered to say hello.
Rachel Carter and her son Max, 2, had been in and out of hospital since December while doctors tried to find out what was wrong with him. They suspected he had a bone infection but could not say for sure.
"At this stage it feels as if we're trapped in a House episode," Ms Carter said.
However, the presence of royalty had made this stay more tolerable.
"Most mothers would rather have their sick kid at home but if you get sent to Wellington you might as well meet the prince."
Little Max proved shy but had been learning how to say "William", she said.
Prime Minister John Key, wife Bronagh and Health Minister Tony Ryall accompanied the prince during his visit to Wellington Hospital.
Hundreds of members of the public also gathered for a glimpse at the hospital's entrance and peered through ward windows.
Ethan Fagaloafa-Time, 12, in hospital with a heart condition and Pasia Filo, 14, who is being treated for an infection in his nose, talked rugby with the prince.
"We asked him about the All Blacks-England game," said Ethan.
"He said it was a good game but he didn't want to say which team won."
Ethan said he thought Prince William's accent was "pretty funny" and that it sounded "posh".
He said the prince turned out to be a nice guy. "I thought he'd be a bit up himself."
Pasia said his brother Potofou had been in hospital for seven weeks before Christmas and knew of the prince's visit. He was disappointed to have missed out.
Ward 19 charge nurse Trisha Martin said the prince's visit had lifted the spirits of those in the ward.
"I thought he was really lovely and seemed really genuine and I thought it was lovely how he was in conversation with every family.
"Everyone was really enthusiastic about seeing him, particularly the parents."
She said it was really special for the ward and the patients.
However, not all were pleased with the prince.
Ollie Langdale, 7, who has Down Syndrome and suffers from leukaemia refused to listen to his grandmother and stand still saying, "I'd rather see The Queen".
Grandmother Marilyn McHaffie said: "He wanted The Queen. The Queen and the policemen were the big drawcards, I have to say."
However, Ollie did not leave empty-handed with Prime Minister John Key giving him his silver fern pin.
Prince William arrived in Sydney shortly after 2pm this afternoon.
- NZPA with NZHERALD STAFF