It's been a sleepless night for some of Rotorua's royal fans as they counted down the final hours until the Duke and Duchess of Sussex touch down in the city.

Barry Jenkins, resident Rotorua royalist and host of a high tea celebrating the Queen's Birthday weekend earlier this year, will be among those hoping to get a front-row spot at the Government Gardens today.

He remembers the Queen coming through Dannevirke when he was younger, "and so was she".

"She was a young woman back then and we had all the same excitement about seeing her that people have about the royal couple now.

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"I just think the Queen is marvellous, she's done a wonderful job and now these younger generations coming through is what will keep the monarchy alive."

Today he will be arriving at the Government Gardens two-and-a-half hours early so he can be along the fence line when the Duke and Duchess make their only appearance open to the public.

He said he would be bringing along his flag bunting to decorate his spot.

"The public appearance will be especially good for the children, it's been amazing seeing the excitement on peoples faces as they've made their way around the tour.

"It brings a bit of magic into our lives and that's wonderful."

Barry Jenkins is very excited for the royal visit and is hoping to catch a glimpse of the Duke and Duchess at the Government Gardens. Photo / Stephen Parker
Barry Jenkins is very excited for the royal visit and is hoping to catch a glimpse of the Duke and Duchess at the Government Gardens. Photo / Stephen Parker

The public walk at 3.30pm will be the only chance for members of the public to catch a glimpse of the couple and thousands are anticipated to attend.

Jenkins said he would make the most of the free park and ride from the Arawa Park race course and would aim to get there about 1pm.

"I am sure there will be a few people who are here from even earlier in the morning."

He said if he was "lucky enough" to get the chance to meet them he would like to shake their hands and welcome them to Rotorua.

"Whatever Meghan wears she will be looking very smart, I am sure.

"Wouldn't it be great if she was to wear something from a Rotorua designer?"

He said the Duchess was perfect for the job and had done excellent work on the tour so far.

"People can complain about the cost of this, but who cares?

"There's going to be a worldwide press showing off Rotorua and it will be good for us."

With the weather forecast for sunshine, Jenkins said we would be a "good end to the tour".

On the Rotorua Daily Post Facebook page, some locals weren't quite as excited, with most commenters saying they wouldn't be going to the public appearance.