He may be one of the world's richest men but American multi-billionaire Michael Bloomberg couldn't do much about Queenstown's unseasonable summer weather.

The former mayor of New York, with an estimated fortune of US$31 billion ($37 billion), was snapped flying out of Queenstown airport on his private jet less than 24 hours after he arrived.

Mr Bloomberg was on a 10-day golfing and kayaking holiday to New Zealand and Hawaii.

With New York gripped by a polar freeze, the 71-year-old would have hoped to catch some sun Downunder. However, the weather for his abbreviated Queenstown stay - a combination of heavy rain and low cloud - was described as "horrendous".


Mr Bloomberg and long-time partner Diana Taylor arrived in Queenstown at 1.30pm on Saturday. They were then whisked away by a waiting helicopter.

Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel dined with Mr Bloomberg, at the exclusive Matakauri Lodge, between Queenstown and Glenorchy.

Ms Dalziel said it was a "privilege to be able to meet the former mayor of a great city so early in my term of office". "It was an informal dinner so it would not be appropriate to comment further other than to say I have extended an invitation for him and his partner to visit Christchurch. He faced major challenges as mayor post 9/11 and in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, so there is a lot we can learn from his experience."

Matakauri Lodge is owned by Mr Bloomberg's friend Julian H. Robertson III.

Mr Bloomberg's 12-year tenure as New York mayor ended on January 1.

He told Forbes magazine he was about to take his first holiday in 12 years.