Australians are set to line the streets in a matter of weeks in a bid to catch a glimpse of Prince Harry and his new wife Meghan on their long-awaited tour of Australia – and now the palace has revealed a full and final itinerary for the royal couple’s visit, pointing out exactly where and when they’ll be.
From petting koalas and riding a Melbourne tram, to climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge and meeting Aussie farmers – all before going on to recreate the Queen and Prince Philip’s 1953 welcome to Fiji and even taking part in a ‘welly-wanging’ contest in New Zealand – the couple have a jam-packed schedule for their 16 days overseas.
Kensington Palace released a lengthy itinerary on Thursday setting out every detail of their visits to New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria, before they go on to visit Fiji, Tonga and New Zealand. And in welcome news for fans, the couple have scheduled several walkabouts to greet members of the public.
After leaving London on October 15, Harry and Meghan will be formally welcomed to Admiralty House by the Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove on October 16, taking in views over Sydney Harbour before meeting representatives from the 18 countries involved in the Invictus Games in Sydney.
Later that day they will travel to Taronga Zoo to officially open the new Taronga Institute of Science and Learning, while taking the opportunity to meet two koalas and their joeys. Leaving the zoo, they will then travel by boat across Sydney Harbour to the Sydney Opera House, arriving at the Man O’War Steps at 11.05am.
After watching a rehearsal of Spirit 2018 by the Bangarra Dance Theatre, an internationally acclaimed Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander modern dance company, members of the public will then get a chance to meet them on the Opera House forecourt around 12.10pm.
The first day will end with a reception hosted by Sir Peter Cosgrove at Admiralty House, with Australians from charity and community, business and industry, arts and culture and sport and entertainment in attendance.
They’re back in the air on day two as the couple fly to the town of Dubbo, on the Macquarie River, where they will visit the Royal Flying Doctor Service to discover more about their life-saving work in rural areas. They will also meet local farmers in the aftermath of the horrific drought in the area.
From there they will travel to Victoria Park to join people from the area at a picnic in the park to celebrate community spirit within the region. Members of the public are invited along to meet them there and they’re expected to give a short address.
It’s over to school children to entertain the royals that afternoon as they visit a school working to improve education for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. The kids will show off their work and take part in a session of netball and touch football drills.
On Thursday, October 18, it’s Melbourne’s turn to host as Harry and Meghan meet members of the public outside Government House Drive at just after 11.00am, before they attend a reception hosted by Governor Linda Dessau, along with several young Victorian community leaders.
Later that day they will visit a social enterprise cafe and a local school, before boarding a tram around 2.30pm to South Melbourne Beach to meet volunteers from the local beach patrol.
The following day sees the royals visit famous Bondi Beach first thing where they will meet local surfers before a walkabout at around 9.15am. They will go on to take part in a youth advocate programme before, later that afternoon, Prince Harry will join Prime Minister Scott Morrison to climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge and raise the Invictus Flag above the bridge.
They’ll end the day by calling on Bill Shorten at Admiralty House, and the Prime Minister at Kirribilli House.
The next day, Saturday, October 20, Harry and Meghan will attend an Invictus Games event on Cockatoo Island in Sydney before enjoying a reception at the Bennelong Restaurant at the Opera House that evening. That night they will officially attend the opening of the Invictus Games on the Opera House forecourt, where the Duke of Sussex will give an address.
On day six, they will watch part of the games including cycling and sailing, before they’re invited to a lunchtime reception hosted by the prime minister, with Invictus Games competitors and representatives in attendance.
Then, on Monday, October 22, they’ll travel on to Queensland’s beautiful Fraser Island where they’ll be met by the traditional owners and the Premier of Queensland. Later that day they’ll travel inland to meet elders and park rangers at Lake McKenzie, before heading on to the beach to learn about the history in the island’s logging trade, as well as its use as a training base for the Australian Z Special Unit during World War II.
At 3pm there will be another public walkabout, this time at Kingfisher Bay Jetty.
From there they move on to Fiji and Tonga, before returning briefly to Sydney on the night of October 26 to attend the Australian Geographic Society Awards at the Shangri-La Hotel. The following day, Saturday, October 27, is taken up mainly with the Invictus Games as the couple watch the wheelchair basketball final at just after 2pm at the Quaycentre. They’ll then conclude the games with the closing ceremony at the Qudos Bank Arena that night.
Harry and Meghan will complete their trip in New Zealand before flying back to the UK at the end of the month.
You can see their full itinerary through each of the other countries on the palace’s official website here.