UK & World News

  • 17 April 2014, 14:39

William And Kate Meet Oz Bushfire Victims

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have spent their first full day in Australia sightseeing as well as meeting victims of last year's devastating bushfires.

The royal couple visited a street in the community of Winmalee in New South Wales, which was badly affected during the bushfires last year that destroyed or damaged more than 300 properties.

As well as meeting affected families they also spoke to firefighters, many of them local volunteers, who spent weeks battling the blazes.

Adrian Harrison, whose house burned to the ground, said the visit by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to the region on Thursday was extra special.

"Here we are five months down the track after we lost our house and for them to come out now, it makes us feel like we haven't been forgotten," he said as he prepared to meet Kate and William.

The community's roads were lined with well wishers many of whom waved flags and cheered as the royals passed.

Kirsty McPherson runs a barber's shop in Winmalee and was offering free haircuts to anyone called William or George.

She told Sky News: "All week I have been doing haircuts for people who are meeting them who lost their houses. We are very proud and excited."

Stepping out into the sunshine, Kate was elegant in a navy and white Diane von Furstenberg wrap and wedge heels while William looked smart in a navy blue jacket, white shirt without a tie and sky blue chinos.

In the Blue Mountains, the couple stopped at Echo Point lookout to view the Three Sisters, rock formations which are a popular destination for tourists.

William described the breathtaking scenery as "a great place for a picnic" while Kate discussed bush walking and said they would come back.

They also met Aboriginal elders and saw an abseiling demonstration before returning to Sydney for a reception with Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott.