Prince William and Kate will bring eight-month-old Prince George with them to New Zealand, but the sporty couple still wants the trip to be “outdoorsy”.
The Duke and Duchess in April will match race on America’s Cup yachts on Auckland harbour, open the new Cambridge velodrome, coach rugby teams in Dunedin and jet boat on the Shotover River.
After visiting New Zealand the royals will head to Australia for 10 days.
“It goes without saying that both the Duke and Duchess are very outdoorsy, sporty people and both countries … for different sports are famed and renowned – it’s a big part of national life,” Prince William’s private secretary Miguel Head told reporters in London.
“So having a chance to be part of that in some small way is very exciting for both of them.”
Prime Minister Tony Abbott, an avowed monarchist, says he is looking forward to entertaining royal guests next month.
“Members of the royal family have enjoyed being in Australia and that pleasure is amply reciprocated by the Australian people,” he said in a statement on Monday.
“I look forward to welcoming The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince George to our country in April.”
The first glimpse of Prince George will be at Wellington airport on Monday April 7.
Then it is expected on Wednesday he’ll be taken to a Plunket society function at Government House. It’s an informal coffee afternoon for mums, dads and babies.
The next day the Cambridges will attend a wreath-laying ceremony at the war memorial in Blenheim.
Back in Wellington they’ll meet Prime Minister John Key and Labour leader David Cunliffe. At a state reception the Duke will unveil a portrait of his grandmother the Queen.
The couple on Friday, April 11, will be in Auckland on separate Team New Zealand yachts.
“There will be a number of informal match races between the two racing yachts,” Mr Head said.
“As everyone probably knows, the Duke and Duchess are a little competitive so we expect this to be very enjoyable indeed.”
On the weekend they’ll open New Zealand’s new national velodrome on the outskirts of Cambridge, meeting recent Olympic medallists and starting a number of races.
The Duke and Duchess on Sunday will leave little George with his nanny in Wellington and travel to Dunedin, Queenstown and then Christchurch.
They’ll attend a Palm Sunday service in Dunedin before hitting the city’s rugby stadium where William and Kate will each coach a Rippa Rugby team from the touchline along with All Blacks players.
In Queenstown they’ll sample local food and wine and experience the Shotover jet boat.
The couple on Monday are in Christchurch, which the Duke visited in February 2011 following the earthquake.
The Cambridges fly out of New Zealand on Wednesday April 16.
Multiple heirs are not normally allowed on the same flight in case of an accident.
“The Queen has to give permission for it to happen and Her Majesty has given permission for it to happen,” Mr Head said.
“Indeed, Prince William travelled with his parents when he was a very similar age to New Zealand and Australia back in 1983, so there is precedent for this.”
Mr Head said above all else the couple wanted to meet New Zealanders on the trip.
“There is no hiding the enthusiasm for this visit by both the Duke and the Duchess,” he said.
“The Duke has no doubt his wife will fall in love with New Zealand and Australia every bit as much as he did some years ago.”