The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrived in Wellington, New Zealand, on Monday with baby Prince George in tow for a three-week trip that will also take them to Australia. 

Prime Minister John Key greeted the couple before they were whisked off to receive a traditional Maori welcome in the capital. 

At Wellington's Government House, the royal couple were given a Kiwi haka dance welcome by the students of Rongotai College. They were accompanied by New Zealand's Governor General Sir Jerry Mateparae and his wife, Janine.

Upon arrival at Government House, the Royal couple greeted Maori elders Hiria Hape and Lewis Moera with a traditional hongi.

A 'hongi' is done by pressing one's nose and forehead to another person. Later, Prince William and Catherine spoke to the students of Rongotai College.

One girl said Prince William paid her a compliment.

"Prince William, he came up to me and he said, and he complimented me, he said how beautiful I was," she said.

Peter Jackson, jet boat

The royals are expected to have a private day on Tuesday before beginning a full program of public events on Wednesday.

William and Kate plan to spend the next few weeks enjoying a wine tasting at a local vineyard, meeting with The Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson, going on a jet boat ride and visiting the city of Christchurch.

Prince William has visited New Zealand several times in the past, including shortly after a catastrophic earthquake struck Christchurch in 2011. However, it is Kate's and George's first trip to the island nation.  

The foreign tour is the family's first together, and comes 31 years since William made the same trip as a baby.  

New Zealand's high commissioner to the U.K., Sir Lockwood Smith, said he spoke to Kate about visiting the Pacific nation previously. 
 
"This was before Prince George was born, and she said, 'well, there's a little matter that I have to deal with first of course' and then she said, 'but I've got to say coming to New Zealand is top of my bucket list, I'd love to come and see New Zealand.'"