Prince William and Kate Middleton, who began their royal visit to New Zealand on Monday, are retiring to private accommodation for a day.

The Duke and the Duchess of Cambridge are staying in the Wellington area before starting their royal duties in the country, according to Clarence House.

The royal couple, accompanied by their eight-month-old son Prince George, were greeted by misty weather and drizzle as they arrived at Wellington Military Terminal on 7 April.

The royal family was received by New Zealand Prime Minister John Key at the airport, where Prince George was a sheer delight for the crowd.

The future heir seemed oblivious to the cold conditions as he waved his arms and legs while cuddled up in Kate's arms.

Later, William and Kate received a traditional Maori welcome at Government House where they performed hongi, a traditional Maori greeting in which noses are pressed together and a breath is symbolically exchanged.

After recovering from their jetlag, Their Royal Highnesses will begin their New Zealand engagements in Wellington, the first leg of their 10-day stay in the country, on 9 April.

On Wednesday, the young royals will also take Prince George to an event at Government House to be attended by nurses, parents and young children from Plunket parents' group, which is New Zealand's largest provider of support services for the development, health and wellbeing of children under five.