Sir Richard Branson arrives in New Zealand

Billionaire entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson touched down in Auckland on Saturday. He's here to raise cash for his global philanthropic organisation.

He spent the day touring Auckland's conservation hotspots, but he's got some high-profile catch-ups planned too.

Sir Richard had a quintessentially Kiwi stage for his grand entrance - the curious onlookers were mostly the bovine variety. But the seclusion is, for Sir Richard, a big part of the appeal.

"It's brilliant because so often you end up turning up in a city and seeing a hotel room, so it's lovely to be able to get out and see how beautiful New Zealand is," he says.

It was a hastily organised expedition. Mayor Phil Goff took the billionaire on a private tour of Rotoroa Island and on to Shakespear Park, promoting the plan to plant 1 million trees in Auckland.

"It's amazing to see what New Zealand must have looked like once; it would've looked like that," he said, looking around.

Sir Richard is headlining a speaking event on Sunday night, where he'll be interviewed by former Prime Minister John Key.

Mr Goff made the most of his time, with one final photo-op.

It was an in-and-out visit for Sir Richard, with less than 45 minutes on the ground, but one thing he's cemented - a bromance with Mr Goff.