16 Apr 2014

Soggy end to royals' New Zealand tour

9:35 pm on 16 April 2014

Thousands of people braved a wet Wellington day to see the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at the final appearances of their New Zealand tour.

Prince William and Catherine spent nearly an hour chatting to crowds in Civic Square in the central city, before leaving for the airport and their flight to Australia on Wednesday.

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Photo: POOL

After a morning of torrential rain, the sun came out just before the couple's arrival in Civic Square to cheers from the expectant crowds. Some of the thousands of people who turned out had camped out in the rain since 6am.

Thousands of Union Jacks waved, hundreds of posies were thrust forward and every other hand held aloft a phone or camera to record the special moment.

Thousands jostled for a view of Prince William and Catherine at Wellington's Civic Square.

Thousands jostled for a view of Prince William and Catherine at Wellington's Civic Square. Photo: POOL

A rousing cheer went up whenever William or Catherine waved, or merely glanced, at a section of the crowd.

By the end of the walkabout William's wrists were laden with coloured friendship bracelets given to him by ardent admirers. Catherine also sported a black and neon yellow bracelet.

William chatted easily with the crowds, telling one group of girls they were clever to stand under an overbridge, given the morning's weather.

The wet morning showed in Catherine's nude stockings - their heels were dyed blue from her sodden shoes.

Earlier, the prince and his wife had been welcomed to the Royal New Zealand Police College in Porirua in pouring rain with a mihi and a karakia. A drenched kapa haka group sang a waiata.

The Duke and Duchess met some police dog puppies.

The Duke and Duchess met some police dog puppies. Photo: POOL

The royal couple laid a wreath to honour police officers who have lost their lives while on duty. They also met three police dog puppies and their foster families, and the Duchess was gifted a small soft toy dog by a young girl.

The event included a demonstration of training techniques on how to deal with aggressive offenders.

Just after 1pm, the royal family flew out of Wellington to Sydney for the start of their Australian tour.

During their time in New Zealand, the royal couple have travelled throughout the country and thousands of people have taken to the streets to get a glimpse of them.

The tour has taken in Auckland, Hamilton, Cambridge, Wellington, Blenheim, Christchurch, Queenstown and Dunedin.

Media interest in the tour has been high both locally and internationally, with a focus on the eight-month-old Prince George.