The Duke and Duchess of Sussex's final day in New Zealand saw an amazing display of Māori culture that helped wrap up a hugely successful royal tour.

Prince Harry and Meghan touched down in a sunny Rotorua wearing pounamu taonga pendants ahead of a visit at Te Papaiouru Marae.

Draped in korowai, they were welcomed onto the marae with a pōwhiri, a karanga and then a stirring haka involving up to 1000 children, women and men of all ages.

After enjoying a lunch prepared in a hāngi, the royals visited the National Kiwi Hatchery, at Rainbow Springs, to learn about the kiwi breeding programme there.

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The last public walkabout saw legions of royal fans come out to the Rotorua Government Gardens to meet their royal guests.

At one point, a toddler managed to get free of the barriers and made straight for Prince Harry. Concerned, the prince helped him back towards the crowd to find his mum.

The last item on the agenda was a visit to Redwoods Treewalk, a 700m walkway of suspension bridges between 117-year-old redwood trees.

As the couple left, the prince said: "Bye, guys, enjoy this heaven."

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex receive traditional cloaks at Saint Faith`s Church on Te Papaiouru marae in Rotorua. Photo / POOL
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex receive traditional cloaks at Saint Faith`s Church on Te Papaiouru marae in Rotorua. Photo / POOL

A spine-tingling royal welcome:

The true manaakitanga of Te Arawa was on display as the rousing voice of more than 1000 people rang out across Ōhinemutu.

A visit to St Faith's Church was first on the agenda. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were given a tour by Reverend Tom Poata.

Poata noted the iconic Galilee Chapel window before introducing the couple to Robert Gillies, the last surviving member of "B" Company in the 28th Māori Battalion and Bryce Morrison, Rotorua RSA president.

Prince Harry had a long conversation with Gillies, 93, who spent the last week helping prepare the marae.

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex speaks during a visit to Te Papaiouru Marae. Photo / POOL
Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex speaks during a visit to Te Papaiouru Marae. Photo / POOL

On leaving the church, the couple were draped in korowai and an eerie silence fell over the crowds as the pōwhiri began - it was a powerful moment complete with a spine-tingling haka.

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex hugs a young boys at the public walkabout at the Rotorua Government Gardens in Rotorua. Photo / POOL
Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex hugs a young boys at the public walkabout at the Rotorua Government Gardens in Rotorua. Photo / POOL

Once inside the marae, there were photographs of the Queen's visit in 1953, an altar cloth gifted by Prince Andrew and a korowai originally made for the Queen was on display.

Prince Harry was invited to speak, beginning his speech completely in te reo.

"Thank you so much for the beautiful cloak you have gifted myself and the Duchess."

He said the great skill and aroha which went into making it would see it as a treasured taonga in their family.

He then led the waiata himself, singing all of the words in te reo.

Representatives of Tūwharetoa gifted the couple a carved waka tewhatewha and flowers were presented tō the Duchess by 8-year-old Atareta Milne.

The royal couple then visited the steam boxes where their lunch was being prepared before sitting down to lunch with 180 invited guests.

Meeting kiwi:

Next was a visit to Rainbow Springs to see more kiwi, albeit the bird kind.

Guided by Kiwis for Kiwi's Michelle Impey and Rainbow Springs husbandry manager Emma Bean, the couple saw a kiwi chick that had hatched just minutes before.

The couple named three-day old chicks Koha (gift) and Tihei.

Both the duke and duchess expressed surprise when Bean revealed kiwis have a navel - she even showed the royal couple. They were also delighted to see the kiwi's whiskers and nostrils.

Hall then presented them with a fern ornament that represented a kiwi habitat.

"Please take this taonga and pass it on to your children and grandchildren.''

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex greets a young fan at the public walkabout at the Rotorua Government Gardens in Rotorua. Photo / POOL
Meghan, Duchess of Sussex greets a young fan at the public walkabout at the Rotorua Government Gardens in Rotorua. Photo / POOL

Last walkabout:

At the Rotorua Government Gardens, they grabbed every hand they could, took every gift offered and took time to chat to locals who had waited hours to see them.

There was a buzz of excitement among the crowd; many of whom were sporting plastic tiaras or holding up homemade signs.

There were calls of "we love you, Harry!'' and a little boy was heard calling out to "princess Meghan.''

Catalina Rivera, 2, won over Meghan's heart. As the wee girl got through the barriers, she held on to Meghan's hands and did a little dance. They then hugged, much to the delight of the cheering crowd.

Redwoods:

The royals' final stop on their 16-day tour was a visit to the Redwoods Treewalk, where they were greeted by a crowd of mountain bikers, dog walkers and children dressed in Halloween costumes.

The couple admired a 2000-year-old trunk section of Californian redwood - there as a comparison to the much younger and slimmer 117-year-old ones in this forest.

Prince Harry and Meghan were then escorted up a wooden track that spiralled to a platform 9m above the ground, where they admired hanging wooden lanterns and received an explanation from staff.

From there, they walked across a wobbly bridge to tread part of the 700m elevated path.

After the Treewalk, the royals held hands as they walked through the redwood forest at ground level, stopping to admire a spectacularly clear blue pool ringed by ponga ferns.

Shortly afterwards, a group of mountain bikers of all ages rides past to a table of waiting drinks, where they meet the royals, Meghan greeting bikers with a "kia ora."

Today
The royals returned to Auckland last night and stayed in an undisclosed location before their flight home today.