News World Adrenaline hit for royals

Adrenaline hit for royals

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It looked like something out of a tourism commercial: A bright red jet boat speeding along crystal clear waters, carrying a smiling and waving Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

Prince William and Kate finished off their Queenstown visit with a half-hour jet boat ride on the Shotover River, flanked by jagged mountains.

The duke and duchess waved and smiled at the 100-strong crowd who had come to watch them whizz along the river at speeds of up to 70km/h.

And despite the rumours, the duchess definitely isn’t pregnant, says jet boat designer Wayne Paton.

The Duchess of Cambridge laughs after her ride on the Shotover Jet
The Duchess of Cambridge laughs after her ride on the Shotover Jet

Mr Paton asked whether anyone was pregnant as a protocol before they took off – and there was a resounding silence.

He said the royals seemed to be enjoying themselves, with risk-taker William asking him to go closer to the rocks.

Brooke Shields, Hugh Jackman and Chris Pine have all jetted down the river, but the couple were his most famous passengers, said Mr Paton.

When the duo arrived they were greeted by Maggie Langford, five, who handed Kate a small posy of red roses.

She wore a red dress specifically designed for the occasion by local designer Claire Bloom – and it won Kate’s seal of approval.

Kate had donned an outfit similar to her Auckland look for the Queenstown trip, but slipped off her Zara blazer and blue wedges in favour of a waterproof top and bright red life jacket.

The royal couple also met 12 youths from the South Island’s main iwi, Ngai Tahu, who joined them on their high speed jaunt which featured several 360 degree spins, including one that sprayed water all over the rocky shore.

The couple will stay in a secret Central Otago location before heading to Christchurch on Monday.

Royal Tour
The royal couple also attended a rugby rippa day in NZ. Picture: AAP Images

Wine time

Earlier, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were greeted by loud cheers as they arrived at Amisfield Winery near Queenstown.

They were met by co-owner John Darby and Central Otago Wine Growers president James Dicey.

Gibbston wine region founder Alan Brady will give William and Kate a brief overview of the area’s wine history and more than 20 local winemakers will serve samples of the best local drops.

Central Otago is the world’s southern-most wine region and the country’s highest, according to New Zealand Wine.

The region has a semi-continental climate where frosts are an accepted and planned-for hazard, but dry autumns and low humidity are significant assets for winemakers.

Vineyard owners include actor Sam Neill and former NZX boss Mark Weldon.

The royal couple’s first engagement on Sunday was a Palm Sunday service at St Paul’s Cathedral in Dunedin’s Octagon.

They then went to Forsyth Barr Stadium, where they each took charge of a primary school rippa rugby side.