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Day Two: Prince Harry in New Zealand

10th May 2015

Prince Harry meets Summer Thompson and Lily Everest during his visit to Stewart Island on the second day of his tour of New Zealand

Prince Harry meets Summer Thompson and Lily Everest during his visit to Stewart Island on the second day of his tour of New Zealand

Walking through untouched rainforest and along white sands, the second day of Prince Harry's tour to New Zealand took him to one of the most remote places in the Commonwealth.

Departing from Wellington, His Royal Highness first stopped at the city of Invercargill, where he came face to face with his namesake - a 100-year-old reptile.

Henry the Tuatara, a creature only found in New Zealand, looked slightly agitated by all the attention he received, but eventually settled on The Prince's arm.

The reptile is revered in Maori culture and was traditionally said to be the messenger of Whiro, the god of death and disaster.

The welcome included a haka and Prince Harry was given a ceremonial chieftain's cloak known as a Kakahu to wear as well a cuddly green Kakapo parrot for his niece Princess Charlotte.

He then travelled to Stewart Island, a remote island with a population of just 380, and took a short boat ride to Ulva Island, a nature sanctuary mostly covered by unspoilt rainforest.

Prince Harry is the first member of the Royal Family to make an official visit to the island - known as Rakirua in Maori ”“ though The Duke of Edinburgh and The Earl of Wessex have visited privately.

The Prince was given a short tour by conservation manager Brent Beavan, which saw them walk through parts of the canopy as well as long a golden beach known as Sydney Cove.

The island paradise hosts a variety of wildlife and is often visited by whales, dolphins as well as many sharks.

Prince Harry shucks  Bluff oysters with Jim Barrett of Big Glory Oysters during his visit to Stewart Island community centre on the second day of his tour of New Zealand

Prince Harry shucks Bluff oysters with Jim Barrett of Big Glory Oysters during his visit to Stewart Island community centre on the second day of his tour of New Zealand

Stopping on the shore, Harry asked: "What sort of birds do you have here? Are there birds here that are nowhere else?"

He also stopped to speak to John and Jean Hunter, who own the only private residence on the island which has been in their family for 93 years.

"That's your place just over the back there?" he asked. "It's a beautiful place, it's completely away from everything and everyone. Nothing has been touched here."

Mr Hunter, 76, said they come over to stay on the island as often as they can and share the house with the rest of his family.

"I'm so happy and honoured for the islanders that he has come," he said. "It's really great to see him here."

Later Harry was given a demo of one of the many rat traps on the island by ranger Phred Dobbins, who has lived on the island for 30 years.

The reserve has been rat free since the mid-1990s but the animals manage to make it back every so often so traps are maintained across the island.