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A ROOM WITH A CHEW
To recover from the long flight to New Zealand, the royal trio and their entourage took over the luxurious Wherekauhau Lodge, about 90 minutes from Wellington. Along with perks like cushy linens and heated floorboards, suites come with jars of the hotel’s freshly baked shortbread: the ultimate jet-lag cure.
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A VINE TIME
After spending a morning checking out director Peter Jackson's vintage plane collection and meeting locals in the town of Blenheim, the Duke and Duchess stopped for lunch at the nearby Wither Hills Winery. This Marlborough vineyard produces several sustainably-grown wines, including an award-winning Sauvignon Blanc and a newly launched Riesling. Though the location was previously undisclosed, curious Kiwis quickly figured it out and many swarmed the road near the winery hoping for a glimpse of the couple.
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The New Zealand Governor-General hosted a state dinner for William and Kate at his residence, Government House in Wellington. While Prince George slept upstairs, the Duke and Duchess were treated to a lavish menu that focused on regional wines such as Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc and fresh, local ingredients like lamb, rabbit, trout, feta and (of course!) kiwifruit.
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RED, RED WINE
The Otago region, near Queenstown, is known for producing some of the world’s top Pinot Noirs, like the ones made at Amisfield Winery. The Duke and Duchess stopped here for a vineyard tour, wine tasting and bistro lunch featuring a mix of the restaurant’s most popular dishes (like a beet-cured salmon starter) as well as new ones created in honor of the royal tour. With one small sip of the 2011 Pinot Noir, Kate squashed big-time rumors that she was pregnant with her second child.
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After a day of rugby coaching, wine tasting and speedboating, the Duke and Duchess spent a night away from Prince George at the uber-fancy Matakauri Lodge, a short drive from Queenstown. There, chef Jonathan Roger offers a menu of modern New Zealand dishes, like his local lamb loin served with rosemary jus, broccoli puree and kale chips.
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OPERA IN OZ
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It's fitting that Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, who’s a known fan of the royals and recently re-introduced knighthoods and damehoodsin the country, would welcome the Duke of Cambridge with tea. We're betting the sweets on the tea tray included plenty of chocolate (a favorite of William's) as well as the nationally beloved Anzac biscuits.
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At the Sydney Royal Easter Show, William and Kate toured the massive food hall, where hundreds of Australian exhibitors come to show off their tastiest wares. The couple checked out elaborate displays of produce and sampled wild berries, macadamia nougat and different types of chocolate. While looking at root vegetables at the South East Queensland display, Kate told one of the preserve makers that sweet potatoes were a current favorite of baby George.
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Like many Australian tourists before them them the Duke and Duchess visited Uluru (Ayers Rock), the country’s most famous national landmark in the heart of the Northern Territory. They spent the second night of their trip without Prince George at glamorous tented resort Longitude 131, where cocktails are timed to the spectacular sunsets and dinners take place in either the dome-roofed Dune House
or directly under the stars. Chef Seaona McBurney works with a local guide to gather ingredients from the surrounding bush, such as quandongs, a bright fruit that’s used in the burnt honey cream dessert.
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On their final night in Australia, Governor-General Peter Cosgrove sent the royal couple off in style with a cocktail party hosted at his home. Guests included Oz notables like INXS guitarist Kirk Pengilly and his wife, pro surfer Layne Beachley. Over wine, cocktails and canapes, William said that Manly Beach was one of his favorite spots in the country and Kate told one guest about her love for Australian fashion, seeming disappointed that she hadn't had more time to explore the country's boutiques.