Hundreds packed into the Dunedin airport terminal yesterday to welcome the victorious All Blacks on to Southern soil.
The squad arrived yesterday afternoon fresh from Saturday night's 36-22 win over Wales in Wellington and were greeted by a powerful haka and waiata by the King's and Queen's High Schools' kapa haka group, He Waka Kotuia.
Pipers accompanied the men in black through the airport's lower level and out to awaiting buses.
Captain Kieran Read said the group was heartened by the turnout and was "looking forward to our stay in the South''.
"It's great to be down in the deep South and to get a warm welcome like that - we feel really blessed,'' he said.
The team shuffled through the airport terminal, taking time to sign autographs and take the odd selfie.
One fan pleased to see them was 6-year-old Aaron Hill.
He had come to meet his favourite player and namesake, Aaron Smith.
Meeting Smith was "very cool'', he said.
He also met Read, Julian Savea and coach Steve Hansen, making for the best day ever.
However, the warmest welcome was reserved for one of the team's smallest fans.
Ben Smith's daughter, Annabelle, was greeted by her father and the cute tot also attracted attention from Highlanders star Lima Sopoaga and All Blacks management.
The 1-year-old was unfazed by the excitement of the situation but was happy to return to her mother's arms and get away from the spotlight.
The All Blacks are spending the week training in the city. Today, they will spend time with pupils from Taieri College, Mosgiel.