After arriving in the country on Monday, April 7, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge attended their first official event — a traditional Maori welcome ceremony — and then made the 90-minute drive to the coast, where they caught up on sleep before their three-week tour began in earnest.
“They wanted somewhere they could get over their jet lag privately,” a source close to the couple tells Us Weekly. (New Zealand is 11 hours ahead of the U.K.)
Wharekauhau Lodge — which once played host to Tom Cruise and Australian ex-wife Nicole Kidman — was chosen “at the recommendation of the New Zealand government,” a Kensington Palace spokesman adds, noting that the tourism board helped to secure a “substantially reduced rate” for the trio. It boasts several private cottages, which housed not only the royal family but some of their key staff.
Employees at the resort were tight-lipped about the Duke and Duchess’ stay, but an insider says they “made the most of the amenities.” Services include a high-end spa, a heated indoor pool, a private gym, and numerous dining options.
Alas, the luxe accommodations were only temporary. On Tuesday, April 8, the family moved to the Government House in Wellington, where they will be spending all but one of their remaining nights in the country, at the invitation of the Governor General.
“They’re very excited to be in New Zealand and can’t wait to get started,” a source tells Us of the Duke and Duchess and Prince George, who already made quite an impression during his playgroup on April 9. The source adds: “They’ve settled in nicely.”
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