Touring New Zealand Like Royalty

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have departed New Zealand after their nine-day royal visit, but royal fans can follow in their footsteps for a decidedly upscale tour.

Here are some places Prince William, Duchess Catherine and little Prince George visited in New Zealand: 

North Island

Auckland - Known as the "City of Sails" Auckland's Harbor has hosted two America's Cup campaigns. For the record, Duchess Kate beat her husband in a sailing race there. 
Hobbiton - Fans of the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movies will want to see the filming locations where the Bagginses began their adventures.  

Rotorua - A top destination for learning about Maori culture and geothermal activity, Rotorua lies on the Volcanic Plateau and is home to both Te Puia (the New Zealand Maori Arts and Crafts Institute) and the Pohutu Geyser. 

Wellington - New Zealand's capital city is famous for its arts, culture and cuisine. Wellington is also home to New Zealand's national museum (Te Papa) and Zealandia - a unique eco-sanctuary for native animals. 

South Island 

Blenheim - The sunny town of Blenheim is known for its vineyards and artisan food culture, but perhaps most popular for its Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre, one of the world's largest private collections of Great War aircraft and artifacts. (Sir Peter Jackson himself escorted the Royal Couple.) 

Marlborough Sounds - Close to Blenheim, Marlborough Sounds is home to inlets and bays and is good for a leisurely boat cruise. 

Christchurch - Known as the "gateway to the South Island", Christchurch is a resilient city rapidly recovering from the devastation of its 2011 earthquake. It's set to hold the opening match of the 2015 Cricket World Cup. Francophiles should make time to also visit the nearby boutique town of Akaroa, which has plenty of French culture and cuisine. 

Queenstown - One of the country's most popular visitor destinations, set on the shores of Lake Wakatipu at the foot of a huge mountain range, Queenstown offers bungee jumping and a Shotover jet-boat ride (which the Duke and Duchess tried). Be sure to try one of the restaurants and spas. 

For more details and an example itinerary, visit