Rotorua prepares for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle royal fever

Prince Harry and wife Meghan's New Zealand tour is coming to an end, but not before a jam-packed day in Rotorua after departing Auckland. 

Rotorua's tourism organisation is hoping the Duke and Duchess of Sussex visiting the city will boost tourism numbers. Michelle Templer from Destination Rotorua says it will likely have benefits. 

"We'll be looking at the coverage around the world and estimating what sort of profile that media has had," she told Newshub, adding that Prince William and Kate's last visit had a huge impact on the economy. 

"We've already had enquiries from some of our trade partners in the US and also markets such as China where they're looking to recreate [the royals'] itinerary," said Ms Templer. 

The royal couple are expected to arrive in Rotorua on Wednesday morning, and Ms Templer believes they will draw large crowds of fans. 

"People from the Waikato and the Bay of Plenty can travel to see them, so we're expecting people from all around the surrounding areas to take this opportunity," she said. 

Rotorua Mayor Steve Chadwick said the city is "very excited" to receive Harry and Meghan, telling The AM Show they're "going to get a bit of everything here".

The cultural experience will be the most exciting part of the couple's experience as they visit the marae on the foreshore of Lake Rotorua, she said.

"Even though they've been welcomed appropriately all around the country, they're going to really experience the heart of Māori culture this morning."

"Meghan herself particularly wanted to experience Māori culture, and it couldn't be a better place to understand biculturalism, which she referred to in her speech at Government House."

"She is actually aware that indigenous cultures need to be part of the fabric of all society, so why not come to Rotorua where we've got the partnership with the tribe."

Rotorua prepares for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle royal fever
Photo credit: Newshub

When they arrive in Rotorua, Harry and Meghan will be greeted with a powhiri before lunch at a local marae, and later in the day they will get up close to some kiwi birds at a local sanctuary, Newshub's Jared McCulloch reports. 

Then in the afternoon, the royals will meet fans during a walkabout at Rotorua's Government Gardens, before exploring Redwoods to look at local trees. 

The couple's tour of Rotorua comes after a whirlwind trip in Auckland. The Duke and Duchess greeted crowds at Auckland's War Memorial Museum, with Prince Harry complementing the city for its diversity. 

"We've heard Auckland described as a 'multicultural melting pot by the sea'," Prince Harry, 34, said in his speech. "Its mix of people, cultures and languages is what gives the city its unique identity."

Before Auckland, the royal couple were in Wellington, where they met with mental health advocates on Monday, with Prince Harry revealing his own struggles with the issue. 

Their pair also made a quick trip to Abel Tasman National Park in the South Island to speak with local iwi, before returning to Wellington to visit Courtney Creative for an evening event celebrating the city's thriving creative arts industry. 

Prince Harry and Meghan's visit to New Zealand has shown an admiration Kiwis have for the royal family, which comedian Stephen Fry says only natural. 

The acclaimed author appeared on The Project Tuesday night, saying: "If you are a real human with real blood running through you, you can't help but stopping and staring when they are in front of you." 

Harry and Meghan will depart New Zealand on Thursday.