Prince Harry and Meghan have made a soggy start to their Auckland visit with heavy rain forcing the royals to don gumboots while opening an area of native bush.

Heavy rain dogged today's first event, with the couple experiencing a downpour when they arrived at Redvale on Auckland's North Shore.

It's hoped forecast rain - including possible thundery showers - don't cut short another event in the royal couple's itinerary after rain saw a scheduled tree planting canned during their visit to the Totaranui Campground in the Abel Tasman National Park.

This morning the couple are dedicating 20 hectares of native bush to The Queen's Commonwealth Canopy, planting native trees and throwing gumboots with local school children.


According to the MetService a heavy downpour is scheduled to saturate central Auckland from midday, when the couple begin their first activity at The North Shore Riding Club between 11.45am and 12.45pm.

The couple will learn about the ecological importance of the native bush before taking part in a gumboot throwing - or welly wanging - competition with children from Pinehill School.

The Duke and Duchess will then head to children's prison charity Pillars with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

Pillars is a charity that provides financial and emotional support to children of inmates, as well as helpline services, and mentoring programmes.

At 4pm, the couple, escorted by Auckland Mayor Phil Goff and wife, Mary, head to the viaduct where the public will be able to catch a glimpse as they stroll around North Wharf Walk to Karanga Plaza.

They're scheduled to leave from the corner of Halsey and Jellicoe Sts about 4.20pm when the will head to the Auckland War Memorial Museum to meet up with Ardern again.

The weather put a dampener on the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's visit to Totaranui Campground in the Abel Tasman National Park yesterday. Photo / Stuff
The weather put a dampener on the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's visit to Totaranui Campground in the Abel Tasman National Park yesterday. Photo / Stuff

Ardern and Prince Harry are expected to both give speeches. At the reception will be members of the younger Pasifika community who will put on cultural performances.

Today's activities follow a bumper schedule which rounded up last night at Wellington's Courtney Creative where the Hollywood actress got to reminisce with those involved in the trade.


Once through the doors of the centre — a training facility for the screen and creative industries which opens this month — the royals were welcomed by costumed Vikings and knights, and an orc from Lord of the Rings.

Lord of the Rings actor Jed Brophy stood beside them dressed as a devil. Prince Harry told him he should head out on the town, which Brophy was planning to do.

Tomorrow, the royals head to Rotorua.

Royal itinerary


• Travel to Redvale on Auckland's North Shore

• Join children in a gumboot-throwing contest

• Visit Pillars, which supports children with a parent in prison

• Walkabout around Viaduct Harbour

• Reception hosted by the Prime Minister


• Visit Te Papaiouru Marae in Rotorua
• Check out Rainbow Springs
• Public meet and greet Rotorua Government Gardens
• Visit Redwoods Treewalk
• Return to Auckland

Depart NZ
• Leave

Best places for a glimpse

• Auckland's Viaduct Harbour on the afternoon of October 30
• Rotorua's Government Gardens on the afternoon of October 31